University of Minnesota

University of Minnesota

Minneapolis, MN


"lowercase-a" public program at the University of Minnesota

By gcuellarumn
Mar 4, '21 6:46 PM EST
University of Minnesota School of Architecture
University of Minnesota School of Architecture

The University of Minnesota School of Architecture is delighted to announce the online public program for its annual Master of Architecture workshop, Catalyst. This year, the week-long workshop explores the concept of “lowercase-a” architecture and launches with a series of public lectures from invited guest tutors: CLUSTER (Cairo), HECTOR (Newark), Lacol arquitectura cooperativa (Barcelona), and SOC – Société d'Objets Cartographiques (Paris).

Catalyst 2021 is concerned with lowercase-a architecture, that is to say, spatial-material practices beyond capital-A Architecture. As a result of the traditional distinction between architect-designed structures, on one hand, and environments shaped by other actors and forces, on the other, spatialities beyond the strict design of buildings are often overlooked. Departing from the stance that the presets of capital-A are increasingly ill-suited to contemporary conditions and injustices, this workshop endeavors to articulate and capitalize on lowercase-a matters. Accordingly, Catalyst 2021 opens onto a wide range of spatial, material, and organizational activities and dynamics, attuning students to opportunities for engaging with spatial justice and environmental dilemmas in ways that customary templates may fail to capture. The workshop is thus directed to inquiries that help to define forms of architectural study and action beyond capital-A. What does it take to transpose political and ecological conflicts into questions of spatial-material agency? Through which relationships and formats can spatial practitioners contribute to social movements? How can architects help challenge the conditions that underlie environmental relations? Underscoring those prompts, Catalyst 2021 makes the case for architecture that is—drawing from the work of this year’s guests—grounded, habitable, cooperative, and accountable.

We invite you to join these online lectures, all free and open to the public. To learn more about the events and access the live streaming links, please visit the workshop website here.

Catalyst 2021 is organized by Gabriel Cuéllar, Assistant Professor-in-Practice, University of Minnesota School of Architecture.

University of Minnesota Catalyst Public Program: lowercase-a

Lecture times listed below are in CST time zone (GMT-6).

Omar Nagati
“Towards Grounded Urban Practices”
Monday, March 8, 9am

Alexandra Arènes
“Terra Forma, investigating the Critical Zones”
SOC – Société d'Objets Cartographiques
Monday, March 8, 10:30am

Cristina Gamboa, Carles Baiges
“Logics of Cooperation”
Lacol arquitectura cooperativa
Tuesday, March 9, 9am

Jae Shin, Damon Rich
“Accountable Architecture”
Tuesday, March 9, 12pm