Visiting Lecture and Book Launch | Matthew Soules — Icebergs, Zombies, and the Ultra Thin: Architecture and Capitalism in the Twenty-First Century

Thursday, September 23, 2021, 6:30 - 8:30pm

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Aerial image, taken in 2015, of the incomplete Ascaya development in metropolitan Las Vegas. Photograph by Matthew Soules

Aerial image, taken in 2015, of the incomplete Ascaya development in metropolitan Las Vegas. Photograph by Matthew Soules

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

This lecture presents work from the newly-released book Icebergs, Zombies, and the Ultra Thin: Architecture and Capitalism in the Twenty-First Century (Princeton Architectural Press, 2021), which examines the rise of finance capitalism and its effect on architecture. From the cav­ernous underground “iceberg” homes of the superrich in London to Paris’s owned-but-empty “zombie” housing to the ultra-thin luxury “pencil towers” sprouting in Manhattan, the book demonstrates how investment imperatives shape what and how we build on a global scale.

Matthew Soules is an associate professor of architecture at the University of British Columbia and a graduate of the Harvard University Graduate School of Design (GSD). Soules has been visiting faculty at the Southern California Institute of Architecture, a visiting associate professor at the GSD, and a guest critic at institutions throughout Canada and the United States. He is the founder and director of Matthew Soules Architecture and the author of Icebergs, Zombies, and the Ultra Thin: Architecture and Capitalism in the Twenty-First Century (Princeton Architectural Press, 2021).

The presentation will be followed by a conversation with Peggy Deamer and Jack Self moderated by Anna Bokov.

Peggy Deamer is Professor Emerita of Yale University’s School of Architecture and principal in the firm of Deamer, Studio.  She is the founding member of the Architecture Lobby, a group advocating for the value of architectural design and labor. She is the editor of Architecture and Capitalism: 1845 to the Present and The Architect as Worker: Immaterial Labor, the Creative Class, and the Politics of Design and the forthcoming Architecture and Labor. Her theory work explores the relationship between subjectivity, design, and labor. She received the Architectural Record 2018 Women in Architecture Activist Award and the 2021 John Q. Hejduk award.

Jack Self (1987) is an architect based in London. He is Director of REAL, Editor-in-Chief of Real Review and Cofounder of REAL homes. Jack's architectural work is focussed on domestic space and the pursuit of social equality through housing. He is an expert in experimental models of communitarian life. He specialises in financial design and alternative models of ownership. In the early 2010s, Jack popularised the phrase "form follows finance".

Anna Bokov is a faculty member at The Cooper Union and the City College. She has taught at Parsons, Cornell University, Yale School of Architecture, Northeastern University, and Harvard Graduate School of Design. Anna is a fellow at the Center for Advanced Studies in Architecture at the ETH Zurich and is a former member of the School of Historical Studies at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton. Anna worked as an architect and urban designer at OMA, NBBJ, Ennead, and the City of Somerville. Her recent book Avant-Garde as Method: Vkhutemas and the Pedagogy of Space, 1920–1930 (Park Books, 2020) is dedicated to the Russian counterpart of the Bauhaus. She is currently working on the exhibition on Vkhutemas at The Cooper Union, scheduled to open in the Spring of 2022.

This event is free and accessible to the public.

View the full Fall 2021 Lectures and Events List.

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