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65 5th Ave, Room 411
New York, NY, 10003
United States

Funded by a grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, The Graduate Institute for Design, Ethnography & Social Thought at the New School incubates advanced transdisciplinary research and practice at the intersection of social theory and design and fosters dialogue on related themes across the university.

Mabel O. Wilson


The GIDEST seminar is held on Fridays from 12-1:30pm. All seminars take place in the GIDEST Lab at 411, 63 Fifth Avenue.

Sessions are devoted to discussion of pre-circulated papers that can be downloaded one week in advance by clicking on the presentation title below.


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Mabel O. Wilson

Who Builds Your Architecture? Human Networks of Transnational Architectural Projects

Mabel Wilson is the Nancy and George E. Rupp Professor at Columbia University where she teaches architectural design and architectural theory/history and directs the graduate program in Advanced Architectural Research, the Global Africa Lab, and the Project on Spatial Politics at the Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation.

Professor Wilson’s design experiments, scholarly research, and advocacy projects focus on space, politics, and cultural memory in black America; raciality, technology, and aesthetics; and the globalization of architectural practice. Her practice works on speculative design, multimedia installations, and built projects. Ongoing projects include Who Builds Your Architecture? an advocacy project about design and construction workers’ rights abroad.

Professor Wilson’s essays have appeared in numerous journals and books on critical geography, cultural memory, visual culture, and architecture. Her recent, much-praised book Negro Building: Black Americans and the World of Fairs and Museums (California, 2012) explores how the spaces of world’s fairs, emancipation expositions, and grassroots public museums became sites to imagine Afro-modernity.

Earlier Event: November 7
Shannon Mattern
Later Event: December 5
Fabio Parasecoli