2:00pm EDT April 8, 2022

Harry der Boghosian Fellowship Online Symposium: Debris, Constellations, and Counter-Histories

Throughout the academic year, Leen Katrib, the school’s sixth Boghosian Fellow, has been teaching an architecture studio and two professional electives focusing on her research to deconstruct the myths surrounding Mies van der Rohe’s proposal for IIT’s post-WWII modernist campus expansion. In collecting and reconstructing materials that are often discounted from official histories on Mies’s legacy in the US, Katrib seeks to contribute to a counter-historiography that highlights Miesian modernism’s entanglement in social, racial, and bureaucratic realities that not only shaped discursive and pedagogical agendas in architecture, but arguably commenced a pattern of post-WWII university campus expansions into vulnerable neighborhoods that continue to this day to influence and shape the American university and landscape.

Organized as a live, roundtable discussion, the symposium convenes a cross-disciplinary group of scholars and practices whose work deconstructs “official” historical narratives and reconstructs counter-histories by engaging a constellational practice of grouping, arranging, or positioning seemingly disparate collections of discounted detritus to retell one possible permutation of history among infinite potential assemblages and meanings.

Michael Speaks, dean of the Syracuse University School of Architecture, along with Katrib, will moderate the discussion.


Azra Akšamija
Artist, architectural historian, Associate Professor, MIT Department of Architecture; Director of MIT Future Heritage Lab

Gastón Gordillo
Professor, Department of Anthropology, University of British Columbia, Vancouver

Sylvia Lavin
Professor of History and Theory of Architecture, Co-Director of the Program in Media and Modernity, Princeton University; historian and curator

Jorge Otero-Pailos
Artist, preservationist, and Professor and Director of Historic Preservation, Columbia University GSAPP

Salvage Art Institute (SAI)
Elka Krajewska and Matthew Wagstaffe

Registration for this event is now closed.