• A Certain Kind of Life
    Jimmy Carter, Abigail Chang, Francesco Marullo, and Agata Siemionow
    Cartuxa de Laveiras, Lisbon Architecture Triennale, Lisbon
    Oct 03, 2019 to Dec 02, 2019
    University of Illinois at Chicago-College of Architecture, Design, and the Arts

"Cell for a Certain Individual," collage, 2019.

A Certain Kind of Life explores the typology of the Carthusian monastery as an architecture of absolute rationality, wherein the form of life cannot be detached from the space and rituals of the liturgy it shelters. Drawing from nine centuries of monastic architecture, the project reconsiders asceticism as a way to critically meditate upon the present living and working conditions: a necessary estrangement to look closely at reality, its daily gestures and rituals. In a contemporary condition wherein maximum integration generates maximum alienation, rudimental practices of asceticism offer a strategy of resistance and an antidote against collective hypnosis, social bonds, constructed farces and behaviors: a form of productive rationalism, to conduct life under constant thought by dispelling anxieties of endless competition, consumerism, and the consequential illusions of promise. Taking place at the Cartuxa de Laveiras as associated project to the 2019 Lisbon Architecture Triennale, interventions across the site include: the cell for a certain individual or, the architectural evocation of a worldly asceticism; an atlas detailing the Charterhouse typology; an exhibition of prototypes for contemporary living, distilling the rationalism of daily rituals into architectural forms through specific procedures in space.

Jimmy Carter is an architect and writer whose practice delves into the breadth of architectural dissemination. Currently a licensed architect and a visiting assistant professor at University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC), his work is split between locations and characters for the architectural practice JAMES+JIMMY. In 2014, he cofounded DIS-cour.se, an organization aimed at promoting critical architectural discussion in Melbourne, Australia. Subsequently working with groups such as MPavilion, Office of Strategic Spaces, and the Robin Boyd Foundation, his work has spanned building, curation, film, and audio exploration. Since relocating to Chicago in 2016, he has been awarded with the 2017 Schiff Foundation Critical Architectural Writing Fellowship by the Art Institute of Chicago, and has been published in journals such as Pidgin Magazine, Flat-Out, MAS Context, and PLAT.

Abigail Chang is an adjunct assistant professor at UIC. She has worked internationally in Los Angeles, New York, Chicago, Basel, and Tokyo for landscape architecture and architecture firms including Herzog & de Meuron, SO–IL and Norman Kelley. She also contributed to the Chicago Architecture Biennial’s Make New History as well as …and other such stories. Chang completed a master’s in architecture from the Harvard University’s Graduate School of Design, where she was awarded the Takenaka Fellowship. She received a bachelor’s of arts in architectural studies with distinction and two minors in Asian languages and Spanish from the University of California, Los Angeles cum laude.

Francesco Marullo holds a PhD in the history and theory of architecture from the Delft University of Technology and currently teaches at the UIC School of Architecture. A founding member of the research collective The City as a Project, his work focuses on the relations between architecture, labor, and the space of production. He previously taught at TU Delft, The Berlage Center, the Rotterdam Architecture Academy, and worked with the Office for Metropolitan Architecture, the Urban Planning Department of RomaTre University, Matteo Mannini, and DOGMA. His research has been widely published (Log, Volume, OASE, San Rocco, Domus, Flatout, Journal of Architectural Education) and featured at the Venice Biennale 2014 and the Oslo Triennale 2016. He coedited The Architecture of Logistics (Jap Sam Books, 2018), coauthored Tehran: Life within Walls (Hatje Cantz, 2018), and contributed to the recent volumes Into the Wide Open (dpr-barcelona, 2017), Counter-Signals (Other Forms, 2018), and Work, Body, Leisure (Hatje Cantz, 2018).

Agata Siemionow is a practicing architect and educator. She is a principal of solo practice, a single-handed practice, but many of her projects are developed in collaboration with various architects across Europe (Belgium, Italy, Israel, Switzerland, and the Netherlands) and the Americas. Her built work includes single and multifamily houses and interior renovations. Her designs have received recognition, among them second prize at Europan 8 and honorable mention at Europan 9. Her work has been published in Project Russia and Bauwelt, among other publications, and exhibited in Venice (at the 2006 Biennale), Berlin, Moscow, and Warsaw. She collaborated on the publication Brussels a Manifesto. Towards the Capital of Europe (NAi, 2007) and is an editor of Crown Hall Dean’s Dialogues 2012–2017 (Actar, 2017).

Established in 1965, the School of Architecture at University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) promotes architecture as a cultural practice of organizing information, of intelligently identifying and deploying patterns—conceptual, visual, structural, behavioral, and material—in the world. The program prepares its graduates to project all scales of these spatial and organizational patterns through the systematic development of an aesthetic attitude, a technical confidence, and a theoretical opportunism.