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Symposium: Producing Waste/Producing Space

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Saturday, March 7 - 9:30am-5:00pm
School of Architecture, Betts Auditorium
Note: Scroll down for video

An interdisciplinary symposium on waste and the production of urban space organized by Mariana Mogilevich (Princeton-Mellon Initiative) and Curt Gambetta (PhD Student).

The production of waste and the production of space go hand in hand. The design of urban space has historically produced a considerable amount of waste, ranging from wastelands to the material detritus of consumption and urban development. The transport and disposal of waste, in turn, has produced important ideas and practices about the design and construction of space. Yet despite waste’s centrality to the design and imagination of cities, it is today understood as a largely technical problem about the management of its disappearance.

If waste was for much of the twentieth century a marginal topic for design discourse, recent scholarship and experimentation in architecture and the arts question the terms of its disappearance from the urban landscape and its segregation from critical debate. They acknowledge its immutable presence as something that we increasingly design and think with. Producing Waste/Producing Space will bring together scholars engaging in innovative research on the origins, meanings and repercussions of waste landscapes in conversation with artists and architects conducting design research and interventions in spaces designated as waste or wasted. The symposium seeks to locate points of intersection between the study of waste and strategies for waste in space.



9:30am - 10:00am
Curt Gambetta, PhD student, School of Architecture
Mariana Mogilevich, Princeton-Mellon Initiative
Aaron Shkuda, Princeton-Mellon Initiative

What are we talking about when we talk about waste? What definitions and new directions in waste research are useful in the study of its role in the production of urban space?

The Political Consequences of Definition Work
Robin Nagle, anthropologist, NYU
Max Liboiron, artist and scholar, Memorial University, Newfoundland

Museum of Waste: Capital / Ecology / Sovereignty
C. Greig Crysler, architectural theorist and historian, UC Berkeley
Shiloh Krupar, geographer, Georgetown

Respondent: Vera Candiani, historian, Princeton University

What is a wasteland, and what role does design play in its definition and reclamation? What is the relationship between wasteland improvement and social and economic transformation?

The Wasteland Imaginary
Vittoria Di Palma, architectural historian, USC

Soils, Airs, Waters, Bodies, Futures: Thinking Industrial Wastelands at Multiple Sites and Scales
Lindsey Dillon, geographer, UC Davis

Orange Agency
Damon Rich, urban designer, City of Newark NJ

Respondent: Jenny Price, environmental historian and writer, Princeton University


How does the obsolescence of the built environment impact public health, practices of dwelling, and future design practices? How does material obsolescence intersect with ideas of spatial obsolescence?

Second-hand Cities: Race and Region in the Antique Americana Trade from the Civil War to Urban Renewal
Alison Isenberg, urban historian, Princeton University

Wasted House, Leaded World
Catherine Fennell, anthropologist, Columbia University

House Anamnesis
Dennis Maher, artist/architect, SUNY Buffalo

Respondent: M. Christine Boyer, architectural historian, Princeton University


What politics and practices shape waste systems? How do waste materials move through and make space?

Geographies of Trash
Rania Ghosn, architect, MIT

Ghostly Matter: A brief history of waste in Mumbai
Vijayanthi Rao, anthropologist, New School

Rubbish In, Resources Out
Biba Dow, architect, Dow Jones Architects, London

Respondent: Jesse LeCavalier, NJIT

Visiting Princeton University
Getting to Princeton University
Map to the School of Architecture

Watch videos of the symposium here: Part One, Part Two, Part Three

Producing Waste, Producing Space is sponsored by the Princeton-Mellon Initiative in Architecture, Urbanism, & the Humanities, the Program in American Studies, and the Lewis Center for the Arts at Princeton University.