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A Queer Query

Organized by David Eskenazi

An event on queerness around architecture today.

Watch live:

December 05, 2020 at 10:00am
December 05, 2020 at 8:00pm

Queer culture reflects a deep love for uplifting the marginalized, for standing up for visibility, and for making its own space. It’s inclusive and particular, genre-defying, painful yet hopeful. The term “queer” is a reclaimed word, transformed from an insult to badge of honor, a word that has metamorphosized and grown to broadly encapsulate a group of people who feel an identity with queerness’s accumulation of gender, sexuality, class, race, and bodily histories, and the politics of life that flow from identities that are more complex, more vague, more outside, than things that aren’t queer. Every examination of queer people, of queer culture, is also an examination of how dominant systems subjugate all people.

That’s what makes talking about queerness so tricky: the term is hard to pin down and it’s hard to make claims about its entirety. Can queer art, queer culture, and queer people construct independent discourses? And can architecture’s entanglements in commerce ever allow it to queer, albeit briefly?

A Queer Query

Watch while isolating at home: A Queer Query is a day-long performance, presentation, and discussion event that invites you to tune in, keep the video feed open, and take it in. Architects, artists, theorists, and critics examine the urban and the rural, digital privacy and gathering spaces, the art object and the building, and the avatar and the body. Eschewing definitive positions, A Queer Query invites questions and pauses on uncertainty. Reports from the city comingle with performances that imagine other worlds, while films that examine the layers beneath sexual surveillance apps complement live lectures that cast architects as material scavengers.

With Aaron Betsky, Adrian Silva, Andrés Jaque, Andrew Holder, b.gosse, Enrique Agudo, Jack Halberstam, Jaffer Kolb, Jerome Haferd, Laida Aguirre, Leah Wulfman, Mimi Zeiger, Nancy Nguyen, Patrick Staff, Richard Mapes, Riley Hooker, V. Mitch McEwen, and Victor Jones.

Schedule (all times in PST)




David Eskenazi

A Queer Query



Doing It Exactly Wrong

V. Mitch McEwen & Jerome Haferd

Junky Systems

Laida Aguirre & Patrick Staff


Jack Halberstam

Coming Undone




Andrew Holder

Untitled (House in Los Angeles 5)

Andrés Jaque

Intimate Strangers, Pornified Homes



Out Here

Jaffer Kolb & Adrian Silva

X-ing the Rural

Victor Jones & Mimi Zeiger


Nancy Nguyen

Frat House



Feeling Ourselves

Richard Mapes

Perfect Boyfriend Builder

Enrique Agudo & b.gosse





Leah Wulfman

Deep Sea Dredging


Enrique Agudo’s (b. Madrid 1989) work explores the limits of digital media. Contemporary culture is infused with digital imagery, and Agudo’s work focuses on the pattern recognition of these digital indexes and shedding light on how they affect the way we behave. This feedback loop is never ending and constantly evolving, we see the world through digital interfaces and by extension, that is how we unavoidably understand ourselves. Agudo is the Creative Director behind The Pantheon of Queer Mythology, a VR Short Film that had its world premiere at Tribeca Film Festival 2020. @enagudo

Laida Aguirre is an architectural designer and director of stock-a-studio. Interested in the recirculation of materials and commodities, their research focuses on the way our built environment is affected by matters of resources, aesthetics and digital cultures. Laida is currently an assistant professor of architecture at the University of Michigan’s Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning, where they were the 2017-18 William Muschenheim Fellow. They hold a BA from Northeastern University in Political Science and a Master’s of Architecture from California State Polytechnic Pomona, where they were awarded the Richard Neutra Award for Best Graduate Thesis. Their work has been commissioned by CTM festival, Berghain club, Storefront for art and architecture, A+D museum, Queer camps, Berlin art week, Milan architecture week, Oya music festival and has been published in E-flux, Pin-up magazine, Pool and Art papers. @laidaagui @stock_a_studio

Aaron Betsky is Director of the School of Architecture and Design at Virginia Tech. Previously, he was President of the School of Architecture at Taliesin. A critic of art, architecture, and design, Mr. Betsky is the author of over a dozen books on those subjects, including forthcoming volumes on Frank Lloyd Wright, and the landscape architecture firm Turenscape. He writes a twice-weekly blog for, Beyond Buildings. Trained as an architect and in the humanities at Yale University, Mr. Betsky has served as the Director of the Cincinnati Art Museum (2006-2014) and the Netherlands Architecture Institute (2001-2006), as well as Curator of Architecture and Design at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (1995-2001). In 2008, he also directed the 11th Venice International Biennale of Architecture. His latest books, Making It Modern and Architecture Matters, were published last year. @aaronbetsky

David Eskenazi leads d.esk in Los Angeles and he was recently awarded the League Prize from the Architectural League of New York and a MacDowell Fellowship. David currently teaches at SCI-Arc. @d.esk

B Gosse is a transfeminine, nonbinary movement artist based in LA. Their work focuses on fostering communities and environments where dance can be used a form of expression and healing, gently dismantling elite dance culture, and increasing access to physical education. @hello.bgosse

Jerome Haferd is an architect and educator based in Harlem, NY. He co-founder of the design and research practice BRANDT : HAFERD. Jerome’s work focuses on how architecture establishes a dialogue between contemporary phenomena and non-hegemonic histories, users and spaces. His writing on archaeology, blackness, and speculation has recently been published in Log and Project journals. His collaborative studio, BRANDT : HAFERD, were winners of the first annual 2012 Folly competition held by The Architectural League of NY. The practice was awarded the grand prize for the 2019 ZeroThreshold competition with a multi-abled, intergenerational housing prototype. The studio is one of the 2020 winners of the AIA New Practices New York award. Jerome is currently an adjunct professor at CCNY SSA, Columbia GSAPP and Barnard B+C/A. @jhaferd @ jerome_w_haferd_arch_studios

Jack Halberstam is Professor of Gender Studies and English at Columbia University. Halberstam is the author of seven books including: Skin Shows: Gothic Horror and the Technology of Monsters (Duke UP, 1995), Female Masculinity (Duke UP, 1998), In A Queer Time and Place (NYU Press, 2005), The Queer Art of Failure (Duke UP, 2011), Gaga Feminism: Sex, Gender, and the End of Normal (Beacon Press, 2012) and, a short book titled Trans*: A Quick and Quirky Account of Gender Variance (University of California Press). Halberstam’s latest book, forthcoming in October 2020 from Duke UP is titled Wild Things: The Disorder of Desire. Places Journal awarded Halberstam its Arcus/Places Prize in 2018 for innovative public scholarship on the relationship between gender, sexuality and the built environment. Halberstam is now finishing a second volume on wildness titled: The Wild Beyond: Music, Architecture and Anarchy. @jackhalberstam

Andrew Holder is an educator, occasional author, and co-Principal of the The LADG. His research interests include the construction of architecture as an inanimate subject as well as novel methods of engaging historical precedent and the production of complex form in a post-digital discipline. Andrew’s recent work has been published in Young Architects 16, Log, Pidgin, and Project. He is a frequent lecturer and guest critic at institutions across the United States and has held teaching appointments at the University of Michigan, the University of Queensland, the University of California, Los Angeles, Sci-Arc, and Otis College of Art and design. His design work has received numerous awards including the 2014 League Prize from the Architectural League of New York, multiple citations from the American Institute of Architects Los Angeles Chapter, and the Boston Society of Architects Unbuilt Architecture award. Andrew was previously a Harry S. Truman Scholar, an Oberdick Fellow at the University of Michigan, and a Robert B. Pamplin Jr. Fellow at Lewis & Clark College. He received a Master of Architecture with distinction from the University of California, Los Angeles and a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from Lewis & Clark College. @andrewjamesholder @the_ladg

Riley Hooker Façadomy is an intersectional publishing platform based in New York. The project is rooted in paradox, and the belief that holding contradictory ideas is a necessary practice. The project has a particular focus on forms of desire in the 21st c., and the ways in which they manifest through art, architecture and waking life. Façadomy was founded by artist and designer Riley Hooker in 2015 with the launch of Gender Talents and has since released a steady drip of thoughtful and subversive work including printed publications, artist editions, digital content, DJ mixes, and events. @designerhooker

Andrés Jaque is an architect, writer, and curator internationally known as one of the initiators of interscalar and transmedium approaches to urban and territorial studies. His work explores architecture as the entanglement of life, bodies, technologies, and environments. He holds a PhD from UPM and has been a Heinrich Tessenow Stipendiat (Alfred Toepfer Stiftung FVS) and Graham Foundation grantee. He is the founder of the Office for Political Innovation, a New York/Madrid-based agency working at the intersection of research, critical environmental practices, and design. The office is the author of awarded projects including Plasencia Clergy House, Cosmo MoMA PS1, Escaravox, the Thyssen-Bornmisza Ocean Space, Reggio School, House in Never Never Land, and the Transvector for Lafayette Anticipations.

He has been awarded the Frederick Kiesler Prize, the Silver Lion for Best Project of the 14 Mostra Internazionale di Architettura della Biennale di Venezia, and the Dionisio Hernández Gil Prize for his intervention on historical enclaves. He is chief curator of the 13th Shanghai Biennial for 2020. In 2018 he co-curated Manifesta 12 in Palermo, The Planetary Garden Cultivating Coexistence, an inquiry into the ecological, technological, and political role Palermo plays as a site and actor of border violence and cross-pollination.

His work IKEA Disobedients is the first architectural performance ever included in the MoMA Collection, and his work PHANTOM. Mies as Rendered Society is part of the permanent collection and exhibition of the Art Institute of Chicago. His work has been exhibited in international biennales including Venice, Seoul, Sao Paulo, Oslo, Gwanju, Santiago de Chile, and Lisbon; and he has developed projects with many of the most important cultural organizations around the world, including Victoria & Albert Museum, MAK Museum, Het Nieuwe Instituut, CA2M, London Design Museum, MoMA PS1, Tel Aviv Museum of Art, ZKM, Whitechapel Gallery, Cal Arts Contemporary Art Center, Columbia University, Princeton University, and Z33.

Andrés Jaque is the director of Columbia University’s Advanced Architectural Design Program, a legendary architectural innovation lab that has helped shape the evolution of architecture in the last three decades. He previously taught at Princeton University and ETSAM. His publications include Superpowers of Scale (2019), Transmaterial Politics (2017), PHANTOM. Mies as Rendered Society (2013), Transmaterial/Calculable (2017), Different Kinds of Water Pouring into a Swimming Pool (2013), Melnikov. Car-park for 1000 vehicles, (2004) and Everyday Politics (2011). The work of the Office has been published in both general and architectural media including A+U, Bauwelt, Domus, El Croquis, The Architectural Review, the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, the Guardian, and El País. @andres_jaque

Victor Jones is a designer, writer, and cultural activist. His creative and intellectual work stands at the intersection of architecture, community engagement, and the urban experience. Infrastructure as a social, political, and spatial instrument is central to his scholarship, design research, and teaching. Jones’s written works include "New Orleans - Ecological Urbanism" in Shaping the City: Studies in History, Theory, and Urban Design (Routledge, 2013); (IN)FORMAL L.A.: The Space of Politics (eVolo Press, 2014); and Un pont à part | A Distant Bridge (MétisPresses, 2016). In addition, Jones is design principal of Fièvre + Jones Inc. Projects include Bywater Houses (2015), Watt House Project Platform (2011), and a skate park in New Orleans (2009). Jones has taught design studios and seminars at Tulane University, the University of California at Los Angeles, and the University of Southern California. He lives and works in Los Angeles with his spouse Alain Fièvre. @latoire

Jaffer Kolb is co-founder of New York-based New Affiliates. His work explores how architecture is shaped by, and shapes, local economies and political systems through its practice and its form. In 2020, he was awarded both the Architectural League Prize and the AIA’s New York New Practices award. His work has been featured in Wired Magazine, T Magazine, Metropolis, Dwell, Die Zeit, and Architect Magazine among many others. In 2018, Jaffer guest edited a special section of Log called “Working Queer,” an exploration of how alternative methodologies to design and research might locate new forms of agency in discipline and practice. @jafferkolb

Richard Mapes is a designer, researcher and writer based in the United States. His current interests revolve around reconceptualizing how cultural narratives manifest in architecture by posturing spatial environments as artforms, modes of representation, and platforms for building shared stories. Richard received his Master’s Degree in Architecture from The Southern California Institute of Architecture (SCI Arc), where he was awarded The Bertha and Frank Gehry Graduate Thesis Prize. Prior to his time at SCI Arc, Richard conducted research as a Fulbright Fellow, which focused on the role of aesthetics in urban renewal efforts in Haifa, Israel. Richard is currently using his experience with research, architecture, and exhibit design / curation ("Time, Space, Existence" Venice 2018) to build a career focused on teaching and designing cultural projects in art, architecture and performance. @richardmapes

V. Mitch McEwen is Director of Princeton's Black Box Research Group and Principal of Atelier Office. @therealmitchmcewen

Nancy Nguyen is a filmmaker from Garden Grove, California. She explores queer spaces and the Vietnamese diaspora with a focus in archival research. FRAT HOUSE, her documentary short about the last remaining gay bar in her hometown, was covered by The Advocate and the LA Times. In 2019, she was a recipient of an international documentary scholarship from UC Irvine’s DigiFilm program and the Blum Center for Poverty Alleviation to shoot a film in Paraguay with Fundación Paraguaya. She recently graduated from UC Irvine with a bachelor degree in Biological Sciences and a minor in Digital Filmmaking. Currently, Nancy is a research and post production assistant on the feature documentary NEW WAVE. @realnancygrace

Adrian Silva is a M.Arch student at Princeton SOA. He has worked primarily in Nebraska where he gained an interest in objects, infrastructures, materials, and space. He’s had work featured at the A+D Museum, Fast Company, and the Joslyn Museum of Art. He completed his B.S in design at the University of Nebraska - Lincoln. @a.drian.s

Patrick Staff lives and works in Los Angeles, USA and London, UK. Their work combines video installation, performance and publishing to interrogate notions of discipline, dissent, labor and the queer body. They have exhibited extensively, gaining significant recognition and awards for their work which is held in private and public collections internationally. Staff received their BA in Fine Art and Contemporary Critical Studies from Goldsmiths University of London in 2009. They completed the LUX Associate Artists Programme and studied Contemporary Dance at The Place in London, in 2011. Their work has been exhibited at Serpentine Galleries, London (2019); Dundee Contemporary Arts, Scotland (2019); the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles (2017); New Museum of Contemporary Art, New York (2017); Contemporary Art Gallery, Vancouver (2016); Chisenhale Gallery, London (2015); Tate Liverpool, England (2014); Tate Modern, London (2012), among others.

Leah Wulfman is a Carrier Bag architect, educator, digital puppeteer, and occasional writer based in Los Angeles. They are currently the Visiting Teaching Fellow at the School of Architecture at Taliesin teaching both a Design Studio TWITCH PLAYS HOMESTEADING and a Seminar Supply Chain Detailing. Leah is also adjunct faculty at SCI-Arc and ArtCenter's Media Design Practices (MDP) Program, and recently taught the Summer Design Studio and Technology Seminar at UCLA Architecture and Urban Design (AUD) IDEAS. Trained as an architect, Wulfman has been assembling hybrid virtual and physical spaces in order to prototype new relationships to technology and nature, as well as challenge normative ideologies so often reinforced by technology and architecture. In addition to mixed-reality installations that play with and emphasize the physical, material basis of everything digital, they have been working on a writing and livestreaming series Living off the Land—traversing a variety of themes like ‘Deep Unlearning,’ Stone Soupercomputers, GamerGirl Bath Water, and our potential interactions with a Jacaranda Tree in full bloom witnessed through Google Earth. @leahlippp

Mimi Zeiger is a Los Angeles-based critic, editor, and curator. She was co-curator of the U.S. Pavilion for the 2018 Venice Architecture Biennale and curator of Soft Schindler at the MAK Center for Art and Architecture. Currently, she is the co-curator of 2020-2021 Exhibit Columbus. She has written for the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, Architectural Review, Metropolis, and Architect and is an opinion columnist for Dezeen. Zeiger is the 2015 recipient of the Bradford Williams Medal for excellence in writing about landscape architecture. She is visiting faculty at SCI-Arc and teaches in the Media Design Practices MFA program at Art Center College of Design. @mimizeiger