Student Lecture Series | Brenda Zhang (Bz): The Master's Concerns

Friday, April 9, 2021, 6:30 - 8:30pm

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Brenda Zhang (Bz) holding up a model.

This presentation will be conducted through Zoom. Zoom account registration is required, please register in advance here.

Brenda Zhang (Bz) is a designer, artist, organizer, and educator based on Tongva land (Los Angeles, USA). They are a founding member of SPACE INDUSTRIES and an organizer with the Design As Protest Collective and Dark Matter University.

In their art practice, they are interested in sincerity as armor, physical and cultural construction as entangled processes, and the ongoing practice of translation as a deep inquiry into how power and narrative shape one another. As a queer femme Chinese-diasporic artist, they construct new narratives through intentional misreading, misalignment, hiding in plain sight, and an extreme attachment to certain objects.

In their design and research practice, they are interested in how disciplinary tools of architecture can be used to imagine futures beyond settler colonialism, racial capitalism, and cisheteropatriarchy. In particular, they investigate hybrid spaces—domestic and industrial, urban and hinterland, familiar and planetary—as found conditions of the Capitalocene and potential sites for new understandings of Place.

Currently, they are an adjunct professor at the California College of Arts and a lecturer at the University of Michigan and the University at Buffalo. As an artist, they showed recent paintings at the ONE Archives at the USC Libraries and was in residence at Gray Area Foundation’s 2019—2020 Experiential Space Research Lab. As a design professional, they have worked with contractors in Philadelphia, architects and nonprofits in the San Francisco Bay Area, and artists in Los Angeles.

Bz received a Master of Architecture from the University of California, Berkeley, and a Bachelor of Arts with Honors in Visual Arts from Brown University. In their free time, they look for birds and trash in the Los Angeles River.

This event is free and accessible to the public. 

View the full Spring 2021 Lectures and Events List.

  • Founded by inventor, industrialist and philanthropist Peter Cooper in 1859, The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art offers education in art, architecture and engineering, as well as courses in the humanities and social sciences.

  • “My feelings, my desires, my hopes, embrace humanity throughout the world,” Peter Cooper proclaimed in a speech in 1853. He looked forward to a time when, “knowledge shall cover the earth as waters cover the great deep.”

  • From its beginnings, Cooper Union was a unique institution, dedicated to founder Peter Cooper's proposition that education is the key not only to personal prosperity but to civic virtue and harmony.

  • Peter Cooper wanted his graduates to acquire the technical mastery and entrepreneurial skills, enrich their intellects and spark their creativity, and develop a sense of social justice that would translate into action.