Are We Human?

New York / United States / 2018

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ARE WE HUMAN? : The Design of the Species : 2 seconds, 2 days, 2 years, 200 years, 200,000 years


Curated by Beatriz Colomina and Mark Wigley.


Designed by Andrés Jaque / Office For Political Innovation
(Laura Mora, Roberto González, Paola Pardo, Marta Jarabo, Isabel Sánchez, Danay Kamdar, Pablo Maldonado, Solé Mallol, Valentina Marín). Structural Consultants: Mechanism


Princeton University. School of Architecture


A galaxy of designers, architects, artists, theorists, filmmakers, historians, scientists, labs, centers, institutes, and NGOs respond to ARE WE HUMAN? manifestó. The entire School of Architecture building will be filled with a dense collage of overlapping provocations on the question ARE WE HUMAN?
Art meets science meets reflection meets speculation in a new kind of conversation about design. The exhibition thinks about the fact that the human is unique in its capacity to design but is also continuously redesigning itself in a never ending loop that flings it into the world in unexpected ways. The human is a question mark and design is simply the way of engaging with that question.
Every participant scrutinizes the human from a different angle. Unspoken by Diller Scofidio + Renfro explores Darwin’s observation that only humans blush. Forensic Architecture considers the question of whether orangutans should be granted human rights. Orkan Telhan offers his Microbial Design Studio, an inexpensive automated and networked countertop biofabrication machine to design, culture, and test genetically modified organisms. Laura Kurgan changes architectural thinking to the scale of the neuron and leading brain scientists from the Seung Lab at Princeton University and the Zuckerman Institute at Columbia University present the latest thinking about the brain as both the mechanism of design and a plastic architecture that is redesigned even by thoughts. MOS Architects wrap space with an army of unemployed scale figures. And many more. This array is supplemented by installations on The Unstable Body, Are We Normal?, Homo cellular, and Design in 2 Seconds — prepared by the curatorial team and a joint team of Princeton and Columbia University students.


The overall effect is a kaleidoscope of artistic, technical, philosophical, theoretical, and ethical reflection on the intimate relation between “design” and “human.”
Exhibition participants include Diller Scofidio + Renfro, Eyal Weizman and Forensic Architecture, Hito Steyerl, Marshmallow Laser Feast, MOS Architects, Armin Linke, Philipp Meuser, Galina Balashova, Francois Dallegret, Center for Land Use Interpretation, Laura Kurgan, Orkan Telhan, Lu Yang, Tom Keenan and Sohrab Mohebbi, Lorenzo Pezzani, Common Accounts, Daniel Eisenberg, Juan Herreros, Amy Robinson Sterling, Sebastian Seung, Lucia Allais, Joyce Hsiang and Bimal Mendis, Lydia Kallipoliti and Andreas Theodoridis, Ali Kazma, Axel Kilian, Spyros Papapetros, V. Mitch McEwen, and Universal Space Program.

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    ARE WE HUMAN? : The Design of the Species : 2 seconds, 2 days, 2 years, 200 years, 200,000 years Curated by Beatriz Colomina and Mark Wigley. Designed by Andrés Jaque / Office For Political Innovation(Laura Mora, Roberto González, Paola Pardo, Marta Jarabo, Isabel Sánchez, Danay Kamdar, Pablo Maldonado, Solé Mallol, Valentina Marín). Structural Consultants: Mechanism Princeton University. School of Architecture A galaxy of designers, architects, artists,...

    Project details
    • Year 2018
    • Status Completed works
    • Type Pavilions / Exhibition Design / Exhibitions /Installations
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