Loading Events
  • Authors Series | The Form of Politics / The Politics of Form

    << All Events

    Authors Series | The Form of Politics / The Politics of Form

    Tuesday, March 5, 2024 @ 6:00 pm - 7:30 pm PST

    2024 Center for Architecture + Design Authors Series


    $10, AIA Member // $15, General // $5, Student

    In partnership with California College of the Arts

    Irene Cheng and Neeraj Bhatia will present their respective books, "The Shape of Utopia" and "New Investigations in Collective Form."

    Books will be available for purchase onsite at the program; be sure to indicate at the end of registration form if you would like to reserve a book for purchase onsite.

    How can issues such as economic inequality and climate change be addressed through reforming the shape of society through fostering collectivity? In this event, Irene Cheng and Neeraj Bhatia will present their respective books, The Shape of Utopia and New Investigations in Collective Form, which each unpack issues related to how people gather and form a collective set of agendas to produce an alternative vision of how we can live. After their presentations they will be joined in conversation by James Graham.

    Irene Cheng’s The Shape of Utopia (University of Minnesota Press, 2023) documents a pivotal moment in American history when ordinary people ardently believed in the potential to reshape society. Highlighting the inherent political capacity of architecture, Irene Cheng showcases how visionary utopian planners in the mid-nineteenth century used their blueprints as persuasive visual rhetoric that could mobilize others to share in their aspirations for a better world.

    Neeraj Bhatia’s New Investigations in Collective Form (AR+D, 2023) presents a group of design experiments by the design-research office THE OPEN WORKSHOP, that test how architecture can empower the diverse voices that make up the public realm and the environments in which they exist. Today, society continues to face urban challenges—from economic inequality to a progressively fragile natural environment—that, in order to be addressed, require us to come together in a moment when what we collectively value is increasingly difficult to locate.

    Neeraj Bhatia is an architect, urban designer, and educator whose work resides at the intersection of politics, infrastructure, and urbanism. He is the founder of the design practice THE OPEN WORKSHOP and an Associate Professor at the California College of the Arts where he directs the Urban Works Agency, an urbanism research lab in the Architecture Division. Select honors include the Architectural League Young Architects Prize, Emerging Leaders Award from Design Intelligence, and the Canadian Prix de Rome. THE OPEN WORKSHOP’s design-research has been commissioned by the Seoul Biennale, Venice Biennale, Chicago Architecture Biennial, and the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, among other venues. Neeraj is author of the book, New Investigations in Collective Form, and co-editor of Bracket [Takes Action], Bracket [On Sharing], and the Petropolis of Tomorrow.

    Irene Cheng is an architectural historian, critic, and educator whose work explores the relationship of architecture to culture, politics, and society. Recent books include The Shape of Utopia: The Architecture of Radical Reform in Nineteenth-Century America, Race and Modern Architecture: A Critical History from the Enlightenment to the Present, and The State of Architecture at the Beginning of the 21st Century. Cheng is also a founding principal of Cheng+Snyder, a multidisciplinary design practice that seeks to instigate critical debates about architecture, politics, and the city. At CCA she is the chair of the graduate Architecture programs and co-director of the History Theory Experiments lab.

    James Graham is an architect, historian, and assistant professor at the California College of the Arts where he co-directs the History Theory Experiments lab. James’ research and teaching interests include the intersections of architectural modernism with applied psychology and occupational therapy, climatic imaginaries and environmental thinking, and the dynamics of global modernization. His work has been published widely in scholarly journals, online platforms, and edited volumes. In 2019–20 he was a fellow at Columbia University's Institute of Ideas and Imagination in Paris.

    Share This Event


    Tuesday, March 5, 2024
    6:00 pm - 7:30 pm PST
    Event Categories:
    , , , , ,


    Center for Architecture + Design
    140 Sutter Street
    San Francisco, CA 94108 United States


    Center for Architecture + Design
    View Organizer Website