A(n) Office/McEwen Studio, view of Methexis: The Algorithmic Recitative at MOCAD, 2016, Detroit. Courtesy of the artists.
This collaboration digitally connects two exhibitions occurring simultaneously on two different continents featuring work by the Detroit-based A(n) Office—one at the US Pavilion at the 2016 Venice Architecture Biennale titled The Architectural Imagination, and the other at the Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit (MoCAD) called Methexis. Both exhibitions present recent design work sited in Detroit: the Venice exhibition displays the firm's speculative project for a ten-acre site in Detroit's Mexicantown, exploring architecture's capacity to re-form the adjacency between industry and the urban core; similarly, the MoCAD exhibition offers a series of design studies that reimagine processes of demolition and preservation, specifically focusing on the tens of thousands of vacant houses in Detroit built in the early twentieth century. Driven by a shared interest in projects that query the impact of digital technology on the body and the built environment, McEwen's and Lotfi-Jam's interactive virtual reality experience stages a virtual Venice and a virtually reimagined Detroit. Kinetic, immersive display techniques operate as perceptual devices on the body, guiding visitors on multiple routes through the virtual world and the gallery floor.
Farzin Lotfi-Jam is principal of Farzin Farzin, a multidisciplinary studio engaged in the design of spaces, software, and media. Lotfi-Jam is an adjunct professor in architecture at Columbia University and holds advanced degrees from Columbia University and RMIT University in Melbourne, Australia. He is a 2015–17 fellow of the Akademie Schloss Solitude in Stuttgart and was a 2013–14 Sanders Fellow at the University of Michigan. His work investigates the means by which objects, sites, and systems acquire cultural value, and examines the representation of value in architectural form.
As partner at A(n) Office and principal of McEwen Studio, V. Mitch McEwen works in architectural and urban design, focused particularly on the intersection of urban culture and global forces. Led by McEwen with design partner Marcelo Lopez-Dinardi, A(n) Office is one of twelve US firms selected for the US Pavilion exhibition at the 2016 Venice Architecture Biennale. In 2016, the Museum of Contemporary Art in Detroit will host McEwen for a three-month residency. Before cofounding A(n) Office, McEwen worked as an urban designer for the office of Bernard Tschumi Architects and New York City's Department of City Planning. In 2011, ArtNews named her a “Designer to Watch.” Since 2014, she has served as assistant professor of architecture at Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning at University of Michigan. McEwen holds an MArch from Columbia University’s GSAPP and BA in social studies from Harvard University.