Architecture and sickness are tightly intertwined. Architectural discourse always weaves itself through theories of body and brain, constructing the architect as a kind of doctor and the client as patient. Architecture has been portrayed as both a form of prevention and cure for thousands of years. With Sick Architecture, CIVA and guest curator Beatriz Colomina (Princeton University) highlight a topic that has shaped our lives since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The exhibition offers a wider historical and conceptual frame for such conversations, with materials ranging from the historic quarantine architecture at Ellis Island and the old lazzaretto in Venice to modern architecture by Aino and Alvar Aalto and Henri Lacoste, 1960’s experiments by Hans Hollein and Coop Himmelb(l)au, as well as contemporary work by architects 51N4E, Elizabeth Diller, architecten jan de vylder inge vinck, Andrés Jaque, artists Sammy Baloji, Mohammed Bourouissa, Vivian Caccuri, Goldin+Senneby and Ahmet Öğüt.
The exhibition is accompanied by an online publication series on e-flux Architecture whose first part was published in 2020 and whose second part will be published to coincide with the opening of the exhibition in May 2022. The essays include authors such as Gideon Boie, Edna Bonhomme, David Gissen, Brooke Holmes, Fabiola Lopez-Duran, Elizabeth Povinelli, Meredith TenHoor and Mark Wigley, as well as numerous Ph.D. students from Princeton University who have participated in Beatriz Colomina ́s seminars on architecture and illness since 2019.