Language of Architecture and Trauma Symposium

Peggy Deamer and Quilian Riano will be participants in the Language of Architecture and Trauma at the Pratt Institute on Saturday, April 11, 2015.

A transdisciplinary initiative of the School of Architecture and School of Liberal Arts and Sciences.

Youmna Chlala, Jeffrey Hogrefe, and presenters. If the trauma resists enclosure, what is its relationship to architecture?

The question is revisited at this critical time to examine contemporary responses to trauma such as disaster relief, a “crisis culture” where writing in addressing trauma.

Contemporary positions on the language of architecture and trauma will be considered by a range of scholars, writers, artists, poets, activists, and architects so as to continue to explore the productive relationship of language and architecture. Open to the public.


  • Dena Al-Adeeb
  • Peggy Deamer
  • Ricardo de Ostos
  • Bhanu Kapil
  • Quilian Riano
  • Scott Ruff
  • Anooradha Iyer Siddiqi
  • Jill Stoner

Peggy Deamer will be presenting on trauma in the Marx/ zizek Freud way – in relation to capitalism, primitive accumulation symptom and repetition. Then relate it to architecture as a symbolic language using one building in particular.

Quilian Riano will discuss ongoing design projects and research into the specific policy instruments that are leading to increased privatization of urban spaces. The projects are trans-national, beginning in Facatativa, Colombia going through Manhattan and finishing in North Corona and Jackson Heights, Queens. Each project helps visualize the laws and processes that lead to privatization in each of those cities/neighborhoods — from Privately Own Public Spaces to Business Improvement Districts. The projects also question local power dynamics to track who benefits from such laws and, finally, each project proposes alternatives that take into account political, economic and social processes native to the areas of action. Trauma in the case studies presented has often manifested as diminished collective political agency in urban/spatial production.