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Aesthetics and Gesture as Protest Language

This project is a response to Columbia University’s nefarious real estate practices around New York City, as observed at the Audubon Ballroom in Washington Heights, as well as in and around Harlem. It imagines how protest, as a tactic against the destructive tendencies of property acquisition, can be augmented by imagery counter to Columbia’s pristine aesthetic, and by transient structures counter to the university’s monumentality. As architectural addendums to the protest, its instruments situate the campus as a site of action to propose ways students can leverage their power and capital, activating bodies in protest and speculating on the level of verticality that can be reached.