Control Societies Speaker Series: V. Mitch McEwen, Princeton University

"Experimental Life"
Logo of the Control Societies speaker series
07 Oct 2019 - 4:00pm to 5:30pm
Annenberg School, Room 500

Share Facebook Twitter

About the Talk

Within An Office, our architecture and urban design work is largely sited in majority black cities and/or immigrant contexts. In this work, we attempt to expand architecture’s relationship to social codes and material facts, disregarding the augmented reality of type. Projects, at different scales, deploy algorithms for designing a hunch of what might exist, what might remain of patterns built into the city, rather than a definite object. Design becomes a way of seeing what already exists, not only a means to master or shape something.

About V. Mitch McEwen

V. Mitch McEwen joined the Princeton University School of Architecture faculty in fall 2017 from the University of Michigan’s Taubman College of Architecture & Urban Planning, where she had been an assistant professor since 2014. She is principal of McEwen Studio and co-founder of A(n) Office, an architecture collaborative of studios in Detroit, Los Angeles, and Brooklyn.

V. Mitch McEwenMcEwen's design work has been awarded grants from the Graham Foundation, Knight Foundation, and New York State Council on the Arts. A(n) Office and McEwen Studio projects have been commissioned by the US Pavilion at the Venice Architecture Biennale, the Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit, and the Istanbul Design Biennial. McEwen Studio projects in Detroit have produced a series of operations on houses previously owned by the Detroit Land Bank Authority. These include a combined residence and flower incubator for an engineer at 3M, a strategy for 100 houses selected by the City of Detroit to densify the neighborhood of Fitzgerald, and an award-winning repurposing of a balloon-frame house titled House Opera.

Her work in urban design and architecture began at Bernard Tschumi Architects and the New York City Department of City Planning, as well as founding the Brooklyn-based non-profit SUPERFRONT. McEwen earned her M.Arch. at Columbia and B.A. at Harvard.

About Control Societies Speaker Series

Control Societies was started as part of the School of Social Policy & Practice’s initiative on Culture, Society, and Critical Policy Studies in order to feature and engage cutting edge scholarship on the enumerating acts of governmentality in computational culture and the incalculable possibilities of justice. For the 2019/2020 academic year, the School of Social Policy & Practice will continue its speaker series in partnership with the Annenberg School for Communication, which produces scholarship on the social, cultural, economic, and political implications of digital information and communication technologies, networks, and systems. Through the speaker series, the organizers aim to explore the philosophical foundations of algorithms, data, and their intersections with governmentality, surveillance, social policy, and the reconfiguring of power relations.

Future lectures include:

  • October 14: Meredith Broussard, New York University
  • December 9: Ruha Benjamin, Princeton University
  • January 27: Kara Keeling, University of Chicago
  • February 17: Stephanie Dinkins, Stony Brook University
  • March 23: Denise Ferreira da Silva, University of British Columbia
  • March 30: Jasbir Puar, Rutgers University

For more information, visit

Additional funding is provided by the Provost's Excellence Through Diversity Fund.

This event may be photographed and/or video recorded for archival, educational, and related promotional purposes. We also video stream many of these video recordings through the Annenberg web site. By attending or participating in this event, you are giving your consent to be photographed and/or video recorded and you are waiving any and all claims regarding the use of your image by the Annenberg School for Communication. The Annenberg School for Communication, at its discretion, may provide a copy of the photos/footage upon written request.