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EXHIBIT: Unmaking the Bed, Unmaking New Orleans

  • Center for Architecture and Design 1000 Saint Charles Avenue New Orleans, LA, 70130 United States (map)

Unmaking the Bed is a research studio which focuses on the medicalization and domestication of everyday spaces. Unmaking the Bed proposes the analysis of a city by individuating the strategies that, informed by medical discourses, were deployed and instituted as the actual techniques of its reification. The site for this analysis is the city of New Orleans. Unmaking the Bed, Unmaking New Orleans is an exhibition of 10 architectural projects by students of Rice Architecture during the 2018 spring semester.

Presented by Rice Architecture in collaboration with AIA New Orleans. Supported by the Evans family and Rice Architecture. Organized by Piergianna Mazzocca, Gus Wortham Fellow at Rice Architecture, and Patrick Daurio, designer at OJT.


About the Studio

This exhibition collects the work of 10 undergraduate architecture students from Rice School of Architecture during the 2018 spring semester.

Being the result of a research studio notwithstanding, these projects ask more questions than they provide concrete answers. Contrary to a more pragmatic approach, our methods consist of investigating and problematizing instead of proposing solutions. We present no masterplans, no grandiose gestures. As stated in the title of the studio, we are more interested in unmaking things. But what are the objects of this unmaking, exactly?

Entitled Unmaking the Bed, the studio focuses on the medicalization and domestication of everyday spaces by interrogating the bed as the device and site of intersection for health, technology, hygiene, nurturing, servitude, repression, intimacy, modernity and domesticity, among other things. Our work surveys, in very broad terms, the spaces—beyond the hospital and the home—occupied by beds as a means of mapping the organization of welfare and public assistance.

The site for this analysis is the city of New Orleans. Students were encouraged to respond to this collective site by questioning the architectural types that have, historically, allowed for a reading of domestic life as it is separated from sickness, death, strangers, nature, and the other (i.e. The Hospital, The Cemetery, The Garden, The Hotel, and The Townhouse). Then, by taking these types as a given, students had to project strategies that reexamined their established arrangement of space and the expected interactions these have in our everyday life. Therefore, each project is first a collective effort to define a city by its architectural types and then an individual contribution that puts forward a personal architectural agenda. Each project, within their own particular contingencies, sought to unmake the premises upon which a good architecture is one that normalizes, standardizes, and sanitizes the spaces we inhabit.



Curatorial Team: Piergianna Mazzocca, Patrick Daurio, David Costanza and Emma Scott

Studio Instructor: Piergianna Mazzocca

Research Assistant: Yixin Zhou

Students: Andrew Bertics, Samantha Ding, Lara Hansmann, Rachel Kim, Sarah Lumelsky, Kristi Maulding, Madeleine Pelzel, Ilya Rakhlin, John Rudd, and Huidi Xiang

Featured Image by Huidi Xiang