• Revisiting the i press Series on the Human Environment by Mary Otis Stevens
    Thomas F. McNulty and Mary Otis Stevens
    i press and Weiss Publications, 2024
    i press

Architect Mary Otis Stevens cofounded i press in 1968 with architect and partner Thomas F. McNulty. With publisher George Braziller they created the i press series on the human environment. Between 1968–74 they published five books using architecture and urban design as tools to envision alternative social and cultural practices, questioning existing hierarchies and their underlying assumptions. The Revisiting i press project aims to initiate not only the republication of these out-of-print works but also to revisit the issues, architectural concepts, and urban arguments presented by the authors in these books. Two of five, World of Variation and The Ideal Communist City, were republished in new, updated editions in 2022 by an international consortium headed by NTU CCA Publications in Singapore.

Mary Otis Stevens (b. 1928) is a pioneering American architect/urbanist. Her architectural practice and conceptual designs are linked to her ability to radically envision human relationships in visual/verbal contexts. Graduating with an undergraduate major in philosophy from Smith College in 1949, Stevens received her professional degree in architecture from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in 1956. After graduating from MIT, Stevens worked for a short time under Walter Gropius at The Architects Collaborative (TAC) in Cambridge, MA. She was then drawn into civic and political activities, before joining Thomas McNulty, also an MIT graduate and former faculty member. In 1968 Stevens and McNulty, founded i press, in association with the New York Publisher George Braziler, an important publisher of books on architecture. From 1969–74 they brought out five publications in the i press series On the Human Environment. Stevens’ architectural work reflected her foundational training and her commitment to ecological thinking. Growing up in a farming community in New York, Stevens was also very influenced by the nearby Shaker communities. For the 2022 opening of the new MIT museum, Stevens, McNulty, and i press were featured in a year-long exhibit presenting their past, present, and projected pursuits.

Pelin Tan is the sixth recipient of the Keith Haring Fellowship in Art and Activism at the Center at Bard College. She is a Turkish art historian and sociologist and currently professor and head of the film department at the Faculty of Fine Arts, University of Batman based in Mardin, Turkey. Tan is also senior research fellow of the Center for Arts Design and Social Research, Boston. For more than two decades, she has focused on urban and territorial conflict, commons, labor conditions, alternative pedagogies, and methodologies in art and architecture. She contributed to several publications such as Climates: Architecture and The Planetary Imaginary (Columbia, 2017); Refugee Heritage (e-flux, 2021); Radical Pedagogies (MIT Press, 2022); Designing Modernity: Architecture in the Arab World 1945-1973 (Jovis, 2021); and From Public to Commons (Routledge, 2023). She curated Gardentopia Matera, Italy and cocurated Urgent Pedagogies (IASPIS). Tan was a postdoc at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT); a fellow of The Japan Foundation, Hong Kong Design Trust, DAAD, and others. She codirected several short films with artist Anton Vidokle and received the Sharjah Film prize for their film, Gılgamesh: She, Who Saw the Deep. Her short documentary, Landscapes as Archives, about the production of architecture of Palestine was included in an exhibition at Qattan Foundation, Ramallah. Tan is an editor of i press.

Karin Oen is senior lecturer and head of art history in the School of Humanities, Nanyang Technological University (NTU) Singapore. She was principal research fellow at the Centre for Asian Art and Design in the School of Art, Design, and Media, Nanyang Technological University. From 2019–21 she served as deputy director of curatorial program for NTU Centre for Contemporary Art Singapore. Prior to that, Oen was associate curator of contemporary art at the Asian Art Museum in San Francisco. As the Asian Art Museum’s first full-time curator of contemporary art, Oen was a pivotal figure in the growth of the museum’s contemporary collection and exhibition program—especially in new media and works by Asian diaspora artists. Oen holds a PhD in history, theory, and criticism of art and architecture from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, a master’s degree in modern art history, connoisseurship and art-market history from Christie’s Education, and a bachelor’s of art with honors in urban studies, with an art history minor from Stanford University. Oen is an editor of i press.

Ute Meta Bauer is the founding director of the Nanyang Technological University (NTU) Centre for Contemporary Art (CCA) Singapore, a national research center for contemporary art, and since 2013 is a tenured professor at the School of Art, Design and Media. At the NTU CCA Singapore, Bauer has curated and cocurated The Posthuman City: Climates. Habitats. Environments (2019–20); Trees of Life: Knowledge in Material (2018); The Oceanic (2017–18); Tarek Atoui: The Ground: From the Land to the Sea (2018); Charles Lim Li Yong: SEA STATE (2016); and Allan Sekula: Fish Story, to be continued (2015). In 2015, she and Paul Ha, director of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) List Centre for Visual Art, cocurated Joan Jonas’ works for the US Pavilion at the 56th Venice Biennale; the exhibition received a special mention in the juried awards for national pavilions. Bauer has edited numerous publications, including The Impossibility of Mapping (Urban Asia) (NTU CCA Singapore and World Scientific Publishing, 2020); Place.Labour.Capital. (NTU CCA Singapore and Mousse Publishing, 2018); and Tomás Saraceno: Arachnid Orchestra. Jam Sessions (NTU CCA Singapore, 2017). Bauer is an editor of i press.

Kirsten Weiss is the founder of Weiss Publications, an independent publisher based in Berlin and New York. Weiss Publications produces accessible books on art, architecture, and cultural practice. Publications include Faith Ringgold: Politics / Power (2022); Helga Paris: Women at Work (2022); SEA: Contemporary Art Practices in Southeast Asia (2022);as well as World of Variation (2022) and The Ideal Communist City (2022) from Mary Otis Stevens’ i press series on the human environment. Weiss has worked with the Harvard Art Museums; the Smithsonian, Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum; the ETH Zurich, the University of the Arts Berlin; as well as the Goethe Institut. Weiss graduated with degrees in art history receiving her master’s from Goethe University Frankfurt her PhD from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Weiss is publisher of i press.

Aliza Leventhal is the cofounder and cochair of the Society of American Archivists’ (SAA) Design Records Section’s Digital Design Records Committee. Leventhal is dedicated to expanding visual and technical literacy for archival professionals working with design and architectural records, and actively works to lower the barriers to engage with born-digital design records and raise awareness within the design industry of the significance of the records produced. She has written and presented extensively in a variety of forums including Society of American Archivists (SAA), the Visual Resources Association, International Confederation of Architectural Museums, and the Library of Congress. Notable recent publications she coauthored include the Digital Preservation Coalition's Preserving Born-Digital Design and Construction Records Technology Watch Report, the SAA three-Module series on Born-Digital Design Records, and the article “Of Grasshoppers and Rhinos: A Visual Literacy Approach to Born-Digital Design Records” for SAA's journal American Archivist. Prior to coming to the Library of Congress, Aliza was the corporate librarian and archivist for the Boston-based interdisciplinary design firm, Sasaki. She holds an MLIS and an MA in history from Simmons University’s Archives Management Program, and a BA in economics and American studies from Smith College. Leventhal is an advisor of i press.

i press was founded in 1968 in association with distributor George Braziller, the New York publisher. Global in its scope and purpose to express abstract ideas, ideals, and societal concepts in visual/verbal essays, five books were brought out in the i press series on the human environment (1970–74). Over more than five decades since its founding i press has expanded and deepened its objectives. Working locally, focused internationally. i press representatives have become lecturers and faculty members at educational and professional institutions, and have published and edited books and articles. The mission of i press is to develop its series on the human environment and focus on the production of space and livable urban spaces.