America: The New Domestic Landscape
America: The New Domestic Landscape is a research project about architecture’s role
in propagating a climate of fear for a city and its inhabitants. As cities confront both
COVID and climate change, a looming culture of anxiety exacerbates the mental and
physical health consequences of each crisis. We believe that architecture must prioritize
affect as a framework for addressing health and climate. And that to do so requires
historical understanding.Through archival material we consider architecture’s
relationship to historical anxieties about the postindustrial metropolis, the disintegration
of the social safety net, and the media infatuation with danger which all precipitate the
present. Inspired by the legacy of experimental filmmaking in architecture, we test
documentary film as an expanded mode of practice. This allows us to critically unpack
archival footage in its native media, point to the affective power of film, and make visible
how the built environment—just like cinema—is a project of power and control. The
Incubator Prize supports the production of a pilot episode introducing the home as a site
where fear in and of the city takes hold.
Alexandra Tell received her Master of Science in Critical, Curatorial, and Conceptual Practices in Architecture from Columbia GSAPP in 2020, and her BA in Art History from Oberlin
College. Her work looks at the intersections of media, environmentalism, and spatial
politics. Her writing has been published in BOMB Magazine, Places Journal, and The
Avery Review, among others.
This proposal is being developed in conjunction with Zoe Kauder Nalebuff ‘20 MSCCCP.