Visit » 2013 Events » Big City Forum - What I talk about when I talk about community: reframing practice in the public sphere


Big City Forum - What I talk about when I talk about community: reframing practice in the public sphere

Big City Forum -  What I talk about when I talk about community: reframing practice in the public sphere

Big City Forum in residence at Armory

What I talk about when I talk about community:
reframing practice in the public sphere

Panel Discussion
Wednesday, May 1, 2013
Armory Center for the Arts, 145 North Raymond Ave, Pasadena

This panel discussion brings together four practitioners from the fields of art and architecture to discuss the complexity of social engagement. Speakers will investigate the agency of art and design when shaping spaces for a public. What I Talk About When I Talk About Community asks for more refined understanding of community, in order to reveal the politics, pitfalls, and pleasures of these practices.


Victor Jones, principal of Los Angeles-based Fievre Jones, cultural activist, and writer, whose research lies at the intersection of architecture, urban design, and community building within cities. Recent design projects include the Platform for Watts House Project (2011) and a skate park for New Orleans' City Park (2009). His design work has been supported by numerous grants, including the Graham Foundation, Artplaces, and the Nathan Cummings Foundation. He is currently Assistant Professor of Architecture at the University of Southern California.

Jennifer Su and Cynthia Su, co-owners of Thank You for Coming, a communal restaurant/residency program that “aims to give people with varying experiences and backgrounds an opportunity to explore and execute ideas around sharing food. Residents are invited to utilize our restaurant space as a platform for public engagement and creative experimentation.”

James Michael Tate received his Masters of Architecture from Yale University and Bachelors of Environmental Design from Texas A&M University. He has previously worked for MOS, Peter Eisenman, and Samuel Mockbee. Tate co-taught a studio with Michael Maltzan at Rice University this past spring; the experience motivated him to move to Los Angeles. Tate designs, makes, writes, and participates in a variety of architectural affairs. His current affinities include narratives, oppositional dialectic blends, seeking refuge in unsettled territories between art and architecture, the latent potentialities of history in contemporary experiments, and the Korean taco food-truck.


Mimi Zeiger, editor and publisher of loud paper, a 'zine and blog dedicated to increasing the volume of architectural discourse. As writer and critic she covers art, architecture, urbanism, and design for the New York Times, Domus, Dwell, and Architect, where she is a contributing editor. Zeiger is author of New Museums: Contemporary Museum Architecture Around the World; Tiny Houses; and Micro Green: Tiny Houses in Nature.

Big City Forum returns for a second annual residency at Armory Center for the Arts with a new series, entitled Transforming the Social, which features six panel conversations that recognize and celebrate the ability to create transformative moments within the scope of the built environment and social space. Armory is pleased to have been hosting Big City Forum in residence since 2012, which saw the launch of Mapping LA, a series of four events exploring current creative practices that inform the landscape and geography of Los Angeles. Through its residency at Armory, Big City Forum is deepening its ongoing investigation of social and civic space within the built environment of the Los Angeles region. The residency builds upon a shared interest between the Armory and Big City Forum in advancing public discourse on the notion of social and civic engagement.


Big City Forum is an interdisciplinary project that encourages cross-disciplinary explorations and exchanges between various creative disciplines. Through symposiums, forums, exhibitions, and special events it provides access to forward-thinking creative projects that are situated at the intersection of creative knowledge making and social engagement. It promotes the arts, design, architecture, and urbanism as powerful tools for community and civic transformation by bringing together creative visionaries that are actively engaged in social change and engagement. Big City Forum aims to build a platform for collaboration and partnership that brings together the creative community around a shared sense of cultural vitality and transformation.

Armory Center for the Arts in Pasadena, California, builds on the power of art to transform lives and communities through presenting, creating, teaching, and discussing contemporary visual art. The organization’s Department of Exhibitions presents over 25 exhibitions and events each year at its main facility and in numerous off-site locations. In addition, Armory offers studio art classes and a variety of educational outreach programs to more than 50 schools and community sites. Armory believes that an understanding and appreciation of the arts is essential for a well-rounded human experience and a healthy civic community.

Park on the street or in the Marriott garage directly north of Armory for free for 90 minutes OR take the Gold Line to Memorial Park and walk one half block east to Raymond and one half block north to Armory.


Wednesday, May 1, 2013
7:00 pm - 9:00 pm

Armory Center for the Arts
145 N Raymond Ave, Pasadena, CA 91103