I Would Prefer Not To
A Collective No
    Conceived and produced by MIT’s Critical Broadcasting Lab and presented with The Architectural League, I Would Prefer Not To tackles a usually unexamined subject: the refusal of an architectural commission. Why do architects make the decision to forfeit the possibility of work? At what point is a commission not worth it? When in one’s career is it necessary to make such a decision? Whether concealed out of politeness or deliberately shielded from public scrutiny, architects’ refusals usually go unrecorded by history, making them difficult to analyze or learn from. In this series of recorded interviews, I Would Prefer Not To aims to shed light on the complex matrix of agents, stakeholders, and circumstances implicated in every piece of architecture.  
    Click Here to listen to I Would Prefer Not To
    See Us Seesaw

    Imagine a field of shiny large collective seesaws. We first gather to inflate them and then we play. When you sit, I bob up. When our friend to the left lands on her portion of the seesaw, from a bit higher than she would drop onto a chair, we all bob up and laugh. In the era of Covid, these blow-up seesaws will acknowledge the 6-foot distance, but allow for an embodied comprehension of another’s presence and cooperation. This spring, we deployed a prototype family of collective seesaws on MIT’s campus at an event co-hosted by student-run WhatAreWeDoing? Radio. We hope that this reciprocal game of feeling each other’s presence—seeing us all seesaw—will enable both a physical and a visual confirmation of togetherness.

    A collaboration between CBL and Pneu.haus

    Supertall Tetris is a critical game of stacking tetrominos of New York’s super tall buildings into a 2 dimensional width of Manhattan at 57th street.

    You can rotate, speed up, as well as flip facades of a series of 19 buildings developed in New York since 2000, ten of then over 1000 feet tall. We included BIG’s Via 57 West because it seemed to follow some of the same financial logics, even if not all the now widespread supertall machinations with air rights. We also included buildings from Trump’s empire as precursors of the pencil towers, and of course New York’s original (1931) supertall: the Empire State building. With each new building tetromino descending, the game lists basic information on its architect, developer, engineers, contractors (where available), building height, as well as the financial information we were able to comb from different property renting and selling websites. The profit line here is indeed an absurd(ist) approximation of rent/sq foot sum, sometimes based on exact data other times interpolated from values we found in the area, and our ability to assess the square footage of the buildings.

    Following the logic of tetris, the game asks its players to eliminate lines, though “the house”—developers’ bottom line—inevitably wins as the New York Skyline fills up impossibly. Still, we hope you enjoy playing CBL’s Supertall Tetris, and get a little more curious (or madder) about it all every time you do.

    Developed by Ous Abou Ras

    Mpho Matsipa (10/14/21)

      Mpho Matsipa is a design educator, researcher and curator based at WiSER, at the University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa. She is the founder and curator of African Mobilities, an itinerant multi-media, multi-year , curatorial and experimental research and teaching platform, podcast series and pan-African network for African designers, artists, and urban theorists. As a curator of exhibitions and discursive platforms, she has been responsible for Studio-X Johannesburg (GSAPP) and the South African Pavilion at the XI International Architecture Exhibition, Venice Biennale (2008). Working both within and outside of formal institutions, she has cultivated spaces that promote the discursive mobility and creative exchanges between artists, urban researchers within African and the global diaspora.

      Mpho is currently a Loeb Fellow (2022) at the GSD, Harvard University.

      Petrotopia, a sonic experiment done in collaboration with Olalekan Jeyifous, Wale Lawal and Dani Kyengo O’Neill. Presented as a companion piece to Liquid Geographies, Liquid Borders at the 17th International Venice Architecture Biennale.

      Click here for more Conversations on Care

      Play Room invites its guests and participants to embrace the youthful abandon that accompanies play, though it is, at the same time, a space of protocol. Its gaming tables follow in a long lineage of furniture that has defined the military encampment, the Victorian-era pastime, and the corporate board room. This somewhat inconspicuous stage-setter — the table — invites, levels, ‘civilizes’, or entraps. In Play Room, the table delivers board- and card-games, whose rules and mechanics are designed to examine a series of contemporary topics in architecture: starchitects, gentrifcation, and urban development” violence and the abstractions with which historical complexity is sanitized and made palatable” markets for architecture portfolio prep schools” the entangled and multifarious identity of the contemporary global subject” and experiments with collectivity and control. Come engage in these games with us. In Play Room we will contemplate their topics together through play.

      Identity Gamble
      Allegiances revealed, divergences divulged at the Keller Gallery, Spring 2020 
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      • Game creators
        Ryan Clement
        Trevor Herman Hilker
        Ana McIntosh
        Jie Wu
        Cloe Yun Wang
        Daisy Ziyan Zhang
        Rodrigo Escandón Cesarman
        Ingrid Roede
        Melissa Gutierrez Soto
        Nof Nathansohn
        Nitzan Zilberman
        Sydney Cinalli
        Stratton Coffman
        Sarah Wagner
        Nare Filiposyan
        Katharine Kettner
        Jinyoung Sim

      • Exhibition support
        MIT CAST
        Arts at MIT
        MIT Department of Architecture

        Exhibition team
        Trevor Herman Hilker
        Jeffrey Landman
        Ana Miljacki
        Jie Wu
        Ana McIntosh

      • Special thanks
        Jung Seo
        James Harrington
        Jennifer O’Brien
        Jayson Kim
        Amanda Moore

      David Brown (03/12/21)

        David Brown is the Artistic Director of the 2021 Chicago Architecture Biennial. Brown is a Chicago-based designer, researcher, and educator. His project The Available City has had a few iterations since he first began working on it for the Venice Biennale in 2012, it has been exhibited at the Chicago Cultural Center’s Expo 72 (2013), the Chicago Architecture Biennial (2015), received a grant from the Graham Foundation in 2011. He is the author of Noise Orders: Jazz, Improvisation, and Architecture with the University of Minnesota Press, 2006, and of a number of other articles on improvisation and the “ available city.” David has taught at Florida A&M, at Rice University and is currently a Professor in the School of Architecture at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC).

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        Object Lessons in Collective Repair
        The Bench by Catalina Bascuñán 

        Object Lessons in Collective Repair with and at MARQ, School of Architecture at Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile. At the invitation of Alejandra Celedón Forester Director of MARQ, Ana Miljački worked with Alejandra Celedón, Patricio Mardones, Bárbara Rozas, Nicolás Navarrete to deliver a four week-long workshop.

        Workshop Works

        The 20 Liter Bucket by Francisco Galindo

        The Bus Stop by Josefina Caram

        The Pot by Florencia Villalón

        The Door by Francisca Kassis


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        Story Boards
        Object Lessons

        Lonely Together by Christopher Caro, Damián Castro, Nicolás Chekal, Sergio Fuenzalida, Tomás Gonzáles

        Repair, Reuse and Resignify: an Endless Cycle by  Valentina Valdebenito, Catalina Saavedra, Catherine López, Francisca Torres

        Infinite Table by Florencia García, Francisca Kassis, Antonia Ocares, Cristián Valdés, Rodrigo Vesperinas


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        • Inaugural Studio Local Team
          Teachers: Alejandra Celedón, Patricio Mardones
          TAs: Bárbara Rozas, Nicolás Navarrete
          Invited Critics: Enrique Walker (GSAPP), Nicolás Maturana (Arcada), Cristián Izquierdo (MARQ)

        • Student Participants
          Damián Castro
          Sergio Fuenzalida
          Christopher Caro
          Nicolás Chekal
          Tomás Gonzáles
          Danae Sillard
          Montserrat Martínez
          Matías Reyes
          Victoria Arancibia
          Vicente Osorio
          Daniel Saenz

        • Florencia Noguera
          Hernan Sanchez
          Juan Concha
          Enrique Meñique
          Valentina Valdebenito
          Catalina Saavedra
          Catherine López
          Francisca Torres
          José Meza
          Florencia García
          Antonia Ocares
          Rodrigo Vesperinas
          Francisca Kassis

        • Cristián Valdés
          Isidora Elton
          Josefina Caram
          Rocio Marin
          Jose Pedro Ramirez
          Hugo Galvez
          Constanza Arenas
          Catalina Bascuñán
          Rodrigo del Campo
          Francisco Galindo
          Florencia Villalón
          Florencia De la Maza


        is a space and a platform for the production of discursive interventions in architecture culture. Its key medium is the architectural exhibition, broadened to include experiments with the entire contemporary ecology of broadcasting media. Its aim is to critique the contemporary, expose its deep histories, and mount a form of a strategic preparation for the possibility of seeing and thinking a better and more just future for, and through, architecture.