The Exhibitions

Sick Architecture


Conceived by Beatriz Colomina (guest curator, Princeton University), Silvia Franceschini (curator CIVA), Nikolaus Hirsch (artistic director CIVA)
A collaboration between CIVA, the Princeton University Ph.D Program in the History and Theory of Architecture and e-flux Architecture

Architecture and sickness are tightly intertwined. Architectural discourse always weaves itself through theories of body and brain, constructing the architect as a kind of doctor and the client as patient. Architecture has been portrayed as both a form of prevention and cure for thousands of years. With Sick Architecture, CIVA and guest curator Beatriz Colomina (Princeton University) highlight a topic that has shaped our lives since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Floating University

Bauhaus Datatopia (Floating University, Berlin, 2018)

A collaborative project by Princeton University School of Architecture (seminar: Beatriz Colomina, “Loosening the Bauhaus”) and Columbia University GSAPP (seminar: Mark Wigley, “Extreme Design”).

The Bauhaus was actually a performance work that went viral and is still playing today, deeply infecting everyday life. The whole thing—curriculum, workshops, teachers, students, clothes, haircuts, building, graphics, products, books, photography, films—was an elaborate form of theater energized by extreme, even cultish attitudes and behaviors. A crucial part of the shocking success of this ongoing performance was a set of attitudes about sexuality, diet, breathing, animals, plants, etc. The lecture will explore the side of the Bauhaus that is normally repressed but was central to its success.

Are We Human

ARE WE HUMAN? : The Design of the Species : 2 seconds, 2 days, 2 years, 200 years, 200,000 years (3rd Istanbul Design Biennial, 2016; SoA Princeton, 2017)

Curated by Beatriz Colomina and Mark Wigley. 

Design always presents itself as serving the human but its real ambition is to redesign the human. The history of design is therefore a history of evolving conceptions of the human. To talk about design is to talk about the state of our species. Humans have always been radically reshaped by the designs they produce and the world of design keeps expanding. We live in a time when everything is designed, from our carefully crafted individual looks and online identities, to the surrounding galaxies of personal devices, new materials, interfaces, networks, systems, infrastructures, data, chemicals, organisms, and genetic codes. The average day involves the experience of thousands of layers of design that reach to outer space but also reach deep into our bodies and brains. We literally live inside design, like the spider lives inside the web constructed from inside its own body. But unlike the spider, we have spawned countless overlapping and interacting webs. Even the planet itself has been completely encrusted by design as a geological layer. There is no longer an outside to the world of design. Design has become the world.

Radical Pedagogies

Radical Pedagogies: ACTION-REACTION-INTERACTION (14th Venice Architecture Biennale, 2014; Lisbon, 2013; Warsaw, 2015)

Curated by Beatriz Colomina, Britt Eversole, Ignacio G. Galán, Evangelos Kotsioris, Anna-Maria Meister, Federica Vannucchi with other PhD Students of the School of Architecture at Princeton University.

Radical Pedagogies: ACTION-REACTION-INTERACTION explores a series of pedagogical experiments that played a crucial role in shaping architectural discourse and practice in the second half of the twentieth century. As a challenge to normative thinking, they questioned, redefined, and reshaped the postwar field of architecture. They are radical in the literal meaning of the term—from the Latin radix (root)—as they question the basis of architecture. These new modes of teaching shook foundations and disturbed assumptions instead of reinforcing or disseminating them. They operated as small endeavors, sometimes on the fringes of institutions, but had long-lasting impact. Much of architectural teaching today still rests on the paradigms they introduced.


Playboy Architecture

Playboy Architecture 1953 – 1979 (Bureau Europa, Maastricht, 2012; Elmhurst Art Museum, 2016)

Curated by Beatriz Colomina and Pep Aviles in collaboration with the Ph.D. program of the School of Architecture and the Media and Modernity program at Princeton University

Playboy Architecture, 1953-1979 illustrates how cities, buildings, interiors, furniture and products have always played an important role in the fantasy world of Playboy. Ever since Hugh Hefner launched Playboy in 1952, its erotic spreads have featured the likes of Frank Lloyd Wright, Mies van der Rohe, Buckminster Fuller, Moshe Safdie, and Paolo Soleri. As Colomina’s program argues, “sexual revolution and architectural revolution are inseparable.” The exhibition reveals how Playboy reshaped masculinity with the influence of architecture and design.


Clip/Stamp/Fold: The Radical Architecture of Little Magazines 196X–197X (Storefront for Art and Architecture, NY, 2006; CCA, Montréal, 2007; Bureau Europa, Maastricht, 2010)

The exhibition has been a collaborative research and design project by a team of Ph.D. candidates at the School of Architecture at Princeton University led by Professor Beatriz Colomina. 

An explosion of architectural little magazines in the 1960s and 1970s instigated a radical transformation in architectural culture, in which the architecture of the magazines vied with buildings as the site of innovation and debate. Clip / Stamp / Fold: The Radical Architecture of Little Magazines, 196X – 197X takes stock of over seventy little magazines from this period, which were published in over a dozen cities both inside and outside the Netherlands. Coined in the early twentieth century to designate progressive literary journals, the term "little magazine" is not taken at face value. In addition to short-lived, radical magazines, Clip / Stamp / Fold includes pamphlets and building instruction manuals as well as professional magazines that experienced "moments of littleness," influenced by the graphics and intellectual concerns of their self-published contemporaries. In addition to a selection of rare originals, and a timeline tracking the progression and transformation of a wide-variety of little magazines over two decades, the exhibition also offers audiovisual fragments from interviews conducted with the editors involved.