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2016-2017 Faculty Publications

Mark JarzombekDigital Stockholm Syndrome in the Post-Ontological Age
University of Minnesota Press, 2016

Once, humans were what they believed. Now, the modern person is determined by data exhaust—an invisible anthropocentric ether of ones and zeros that is a product of our digitally monitored age. Author Mark Jarzombek argues that the world has become redesigned to fuse the algorithmic with the ontological, and the discussion of ontology must be updated to rethink the question of Being. In Digital Stockholm Syndrome in the Post-Ontological Age, Jarzombek provocatively studies the new interrelationship between human and algorithm.

 

Caroline Jones, David Mather, Rebecca Uchill, Experience: Culture, Cognition, and the Common Sense
MIT Press, 2016

Experience offers a reading experience like no other. A heat-sensitive cover by Olafur Eliasson reveals words, colors, and a drawing when touched by human hands. Endpapers designed by Carsten Höller are printed in ink containing carefully calibrated quantities of the synthesized human pheromones estratetraenol and androstadienone, evokingthe suggestibility of human desire. The margins and edges of the book are designed by Tauba Auerbach in complementary colors that create a dynamically shifting effect when the book is shifted or closed. When the book is opened, bookmarks cascade from the center, emerging from spider web prints by Tomás Saraceno. Experience produces experience while bringing the concept itself into relief as an object of contemplation. The sensory experience of the book as a physical object resonates with the intellectual experience of the book as a container of ideas.

Experience convenes a conversation with artists, musicians, philosophers, anthropologists, historians, and neuroscientists, each of whom explores aspects of sensorial and cultural realms of experience. The texts include new essays written for this volume and classic texts by such figures as William James and Michel Foucault. The first publication from MIT’s Center for Art, Science, & Technology, Experience  approaches its subject through multiple modes.


William O'Brien Jr., Room for Artifacts: The Architecture of WOJR
Park Books, 2016

Room for Artifacts contains a collection of sixteen architectural artifacts designed by WOJR—a mask, a church, a labyrinth, a dwelling, a bust, and a series of totems, among others. The artifacts are presented three times throughout the book—in conceptual drawings, architectural drawings, and images. Certain characteristics recur, such as symmetry, frontality, figurality, proportionality, and the play between flatness and depth, underscoring WOJR’s preoccupation with the fundamental aspects of architectural form that are rich in historical precedent. Room for Artifacts offers a new way to explore the role of architectural representation in a contemporary context, looking at how architects can invoke aspects of ideologies from architects of the past while establishing a progressive agenda for a forward-looking body of work.


Leon Glicksman, John H. Lienhard V, Modeling and Approximation in Heat Transfer
University of Cambridge Press, 2016 

Engineers face many challenges in systems design and research. Modeling and Approximation in Heat Transfer describes the approach to engineering solutions through simplified modeling of the most important physical features and approximating their behavior. Systematic discussion of how modeling and associated synthesis can be carried out is included - in engineering practice, these steps very often precede mathematical analysis or the need for precise results.

 

Caroline Jones, The Global Work of Art: World's Fairs, Biennials, and the Aesthetics of Experience
University of Chicago Press, 2017

Global biennials have proliferated in the contemporary art world, but artists’ engagement with large-scale international exhibitions has a much longer history that has influenced the present in important ways. Going back to the earliest world’s fairs in the nineteenth century, this book argues that “globalism” was incubated in a century of international art contests and today constitutes an important tactic for artists.

As world’s fairs brought millions of attendees into contact with foreign cultures, products, and processes, artworks became juxtaposed in a “theater of nations,” which challenged artists and critics to think outside their local academies. From Gustave Courbet’s rebel pavilion near the official art exhibit at the 1855 French World’s Fair to curator Beryl Madra’s choice of London-based Cypriot Hussein Chalayan for the off-site Turkish pavilion at the 2006 Venice Biennale, artists have used these exhibitions to reflect on contemporary art, speak to their own governments back home, and challenge the wider geopolitical realm—changing art and art history along the way. Ultimately, Caroline A. Jones argues, the modern appetite for experience and event structures, which were cultivated around the art at these earlier expositions, have now come to constitute contemporary art itself, producing encounters that transform the public and force us to reflect critically on the global condition.

 

Ana Miljački, The Optimum Imperative: Czech Architecture for the Socialist Lifestyle, 1938–1968
Routledge Architext Series, 2017 

The Optimum Imperative examines architecture’s multiple entanglements within the problematics of Socialist lifestyle in postwar Czechoslovakia. 

Situated in the period loosely bracketed by the signing of the Munich accords in 1938, which affected Czechoslovakia’s entrance into World War II, and the Warsaw Pact troops’ occupation of Prague in 1968, the book investigates three decades of Czech architecture, highlighting a diverse cast of protagonists. Key among them are the theorist and architect Karel Honzík and a small group of his colleagues in the Club for the Study of Consumption; the award-winning Czechoslovak Pavilion at the 1958 World Expo in Brussels; and SIAL, a group of architects from Liberec that emerged from the national network of Stavoprojekt offices during the reform years, only to be subsumed back into it in the wake of Czechoslovak normalization. This episodic approach enables a long view of the way that the project of constructing Socialism was made disciplinarily specific for architecture, through the constant interpretation of Socialist lifestyle, both as a narrative framework and as a historical goal.

Without sanitizing history of its absurd contortions in discourse and in daily life, the book takes as its subject the complex and dynamic relationships between Cold War politics, state power, disciplinary legitimating narratives, and Czech architects’ optimism for Socialism. It proposes that these key dimensions of practicing architecture and building Socialism were intertwined, and even commensurate at times, through the framework of Socialist lifestyle.


Skylar Tibbits, Self-Assembly Lab: Experiments in Programming Matter
Routledge, 2017

What if structures could build themselves or adapt to fluctuating environments? Skylar Tibbits, Director of the Self-Assembly Lab in the Department of Architecture at MIT, Cambridge, MA, crosses the boundaries between architecture, biology, materials science and the arts, to envision a world where material components can self-assemble to provide adapting structures and optimized fabrication solutions. The book examines the three main ingredients for self-assembly, includes interviews with practitioners involved in the work and presents research projects related to these topics to provide a complete first look at exciting future technologies in construction and self-transforming material products.