Rafi Segal and Marisa Jahn’s Architecture for New Collectives

2020-21 CAST International Exhibition and Performance Fund

Marisa Morán Jahn and Rafi Segal, Open Collectives station structure, Venice Biennale Architettura, 2021. Photo: Marisa Morán Jahn.
Marisa Morán Jahn and Rafi Segal, Open Collectives station structure, Venice Biennale Architettura, 2021. Photo: Marisa Morán Jahn.
Marisa Morán Jahn and Rafi Segal, Open Collectives station structure, Venice Biennale Architettura, 2021. Photo: Marisa Morán Jahn.

About the Project

Architecture for New Collectives is an immersive installation featuring digital, urban, and architectural platforms seeking to leverage the power of solidarity to strengthen economic sovereignty, housing affordability, communal self-determination, and mutual aid. 

Led by MIT’s Future Urban Collectives Lab, founded and directed by architect Rafi Segal and artist Marisa Morán Jahn with MIT Civic Data Design Lab Director Sarah Williams, Architecture for New Collectives asks how communities can be formed, organized, and strengthened through both the digital and physical design of space. 

Through various visual strategies—film, prints, interactive screens, and physical architecture models, the Architecture for New Collectives exhibition describes designs for collectivism across different sites, scales, and programs, such as living, care, labor, and economics.   

The exhibition includes a short film by artist Marisa Morán Jahn that weaves together architectural design components, archival photographs, and interviews with community partners and leading contemporary thinkers who contextualize the urgency of open collectives and what’s at stake today.

Open Collectives is on view in the Arsenale at the Biennale Architettura 2021 (Venice Architecture Biennale 2021) May 22-November 21, 2021.


Upcoming Events

Architecture for New Collectives
Ostrava House of Art
Ostrava, Czech Republic
Details to be announced

Past Events

Biennale Architettura 2021 (Venice Architecture Biennale 2021)
How do we live together?
Arsenale, Venice, Italy
May 22 – November 21, 2021

ANCB: The Aedes Metropolitan Laboratory, Berlin, Germany
January 16 – May 13, 2021

A group exhibition and symposium featuring Carehaus: An intergenerational co-housing project, part of the Open Collectives project
Learn more

About the Artists

Rafi Segal is an award-winning designer and Associate Professor of Architecture and Urbanism at MIT. His practice engages in design and research on both the architectural and urban scale. Segal’s projects include Villa 003 of the ORDOS 100 Project, the Kitgum Peace Museum in Uganda, the Ashdod Museum of Art, and, more recently, the winning proposal for the National Library of Israel in Jerusalem.

Segal is co-editor of Cities of Dispersal (2008), Territories — Islands, Camps and Other States of Utopia (2003), and A Civilian Occupation (2003). He has exhibited his work widely, most notably at Storefront for Art and Architecture; KW Institute of Contemporary Art (Kunst-Werk), Berlin; FKA Witte de With, Rotterdam; Venice Architecture Biennale; MoMA in New York; and the Bi-City Biennale of Urbanism\Architecture (Hong Kong & Shenzhen). His writings and exhibitions have provided a critical contribution to architecture’s role in the peripheries of our cities.

Segal holds a PhD from Princeton University and an MSc and a BArch from Technion–Israel Institute of Technology. Prior to MIT, he taught architecture and urbanism at various institutions, including Harvard University’s Graduate School of Design, Columbia University’s Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation, the Cooper Union’s Irwin S. Chanin School of Architecture, and Princeton University’s School of Architecture.

Biography: MIT Architecture Department

An artist, filmmaker, and creative technologist of Ecuadorian and Chinese descent, Marisa Morán Jahn’s artworks redistribute power, “exemplifying the possibilities of art as social practice” (Artforum). She is the founder of Studio REV-, a non-profit organization that co-designs public art and creative media with low-wage workers, immigrants, and women. 

Key projects include El Bibliobandido (a masked, story-eating bandit who terrorizes little kids until they offer him stories they’ve written), Video Slink Uganda (experimental films slipped or “slinked” into Uganda’s bootleg cinemas), Contratados (a Yelp! for migrant workers), and a set of projects that amplify the voices of America’s fastest-growing workforce, caregivers: two mobile studios (NannyVan, CareForce One); a Tribeca Film Institute-supported app for domestic workers that CNN named as “one of 5 apps to change the world”; and “CareForce One Travelogues,” a film series for PBS/ITVS co-produced with Oscar- and Emmy-winning filmmaker Yael Melamede. 

Jahn’s work has been featured at venues ranging from worker centers and the White House to museums and festivals (Museum of Modern Art, Walker Art Center, Tribeca Film Festival, Asian Art Museum, New Museum, Art Brussels). Her work has been widely covered by The New York Times, Artforum, Art in America, BBC, CNN, Univision, The Los Angeles Times, The Wall Street Journal, Hyperallergic, and more. Jahn is an awardee of Creative Capital, Anonymous Was a Woman, and Sundance and has taught in MIT’s Program in Art, Culture and Technology (her alma mater); at Columbia University; and at The New School.

MIT Program in Art, Culture, and Technology
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