• Sick Architecture
    Beatriz Colomina with Nick Axel and Guillermo S. Arsuaga
    Emily Apter, Guillermo S. Arsuaga, Victoria Bergbauer, Xhulio Binjaku, Gideon Boie, Edna Bonhomme, Ibiayi Briggs, Angela H. Brown, Holly Bushman, Beatriz Colomina, Clemens Finkelstein, Dante Furioso, David Gissen, Samia Henni, NIkolaus Hirsch, Brooke Holmes, Patrick Jaojoco, Angelika Ellen Joseph, Rebecca Kellawan, Johan Lagae, Fabiola López-Durán, Iván López Munuera, Simon De Nys-Ketels, Kara M. Plaxa, Elizabeth A. Povinelli, Karel Proot, Giuseppina Scavuzzo, Nicholas Shapiro, Shivani Shedde, Maxwell Smith-Holmes, Iason Stathatos, An Tairan, Meredith TenHoor, Marie de Testa, Mark Wigley, Jeremy Lee Wolin, and Chenchen Yan
    MIT Press, 2025
    Guillermo S. Arsuaga, Nick Axel & Beatriz Colomina

Hans Hollein, “Non-physical Environment,” 1967 (detail). Pill on paper, 8 ¼ inches x 6 ¾ in. Private archive Hollein

Sick Architecture is an interdisciplinary research effort, launched by Beatriz Colomina at Princeton University and developed as a publication in collaboration with e-flux Architecture, that brings together a wide range of investigations into how health and sickness have shaped architectural practices and discourses from ancient civilizations to the COVID-19 pandemic. Sick Architecture is not simply the architecture of medical emergency; it is the architecture of normality. Health crises are inscribed into the everyday. Architecture carries the traces of prior diseases and has been completely shaped by them. Each medical event activates deep histories of architecture and illness, along with all the associated fears, misunderstandings, prejudices, inequities, and innovations. Each architecture tries to erase the memory of the sickness that gave birth to it. Sick Architecture tries to reverse this forgetting. It does not seek to rationalize recent global health events or speculate about their consequences. Instead, it offers a wider, historical, and more complex discourse with which we may think about the present.

Beatriz Colomina is the Howard Crosby Butler Professor of the History of Architecture and the founding director of the Media and Modernity program at Princeton University. Her books include Sexuality and Space (1992), Privacy and Publicity: Modern Architecture as Mass Media (1994), Domesticity at War (2007), and X-Ray Architecture (Lars Muller, 2019). She is coauthor of Are We Human? Notes on an Archaeology of Design (2016), and coeditor of Clip/Stamp/Fold (2010) and Radical Pedagogies (MIT Press, 2022). Her exhibitions include Clip/Stamp/Fold (2006), Playboy Architecture (2012), Radical Pedagogies (2014), and Sick Architecture (2022). In 2016, she was cocurator of the 3rd Istanbul Design Biennial.

Nick Axel is an architect, editor, educator, and curator. As deputy editor of e-flux Architecture, he has overseen the development of the platform since its founding in 2016 and edited over fifty publications in collaboration with biennials, museums, universities, and other cultural institutions around the world. Axel is also head of the Architectural Design department at the Gerrit Rietveld Academie, Amsterdam. From 2020–22 he was curator of architecture and chair of the Architectural Advisory Board at the Babyn Yar Holocaust Memorial Center, Kyiv, where he commissioned architectural projects including the Babyn Yar Synagogue by Manuel Herz Architects. He has edited numerous books, including Accumulation: The Art, Architecture, and Media of Climate Change(University of Minnesota Press, 2022) with Daniel A. Barber, Nikolaus Hirsch, and Anton Vidokle, and Babyn Yar: Past/Present/Future (Spector Books, 2021) with Nicholas Korody, winner of the 2022 Most Beautiful German Book Award.

Guillermo S. Arsuaga is an architect and PhD candidate at the Princeton University School of Architecture. He serves as the Mellon-Marron Fellow at The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Arsuaga’s research has been published in journals such as e-flux Architecture and Drawing Matter; and exhibited at the 15th International Architecture Exhibition—La Biennale di Venezia, Venice; and the Museum of Contemporary Art, Skopje, North Macedonia. His work is supported by the Swedish Committee for Contemporary Art, the Princeton Institute for International and Regional Studies, and the Princeton Center for Digital Humanities.