M+ / Design Trust Research Fellowship

Auto Pilot Cities, Computational Urbanism in Southeast Asia

M+, West Kowloon Cultural District, Design Trust

2020 M+ / Design Trust Research Fellows Farzin Lotfi-Jam and Mark Wasiuta, of the Columbia University Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation (GSAPP) in New York, will investigate the intensifying urban development pressures in Southeast Asia, with a focus on computational and data-driven planning. Increased reliance on technology has fundamentally changed the way in which urban planning is carried out, and this tendency is often positioned as a way for developing cities to skirt traditional planning and move effortlessly into a computationally organised future. By studying selected cities across Southeast Asia, Lotfi-Jam and Wasiuta will explore the deep implications of computational development and ‘smart’ urban futures for the region.

The M+ / Design Trust Research Fellowship programme consists of two separate fellowships investigating issues related to architecture and design. One supports research projects focused on Hong Kong and the Greater Bay Area in an Asian or global context, and the second supports research projects related to Asia more broadly, closely in line with the curatorial position of M+, the Hong Kong museum dedicated to visual culture of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. Past fellows include: Ling Fan (2015); Joseph Grima (2016); the team of Daniel Cooper and Juliana Kei (2016); Thomas Daniell (2017); Hugh Davies (2018); the team of Fan Lok Yi and Sampson Wong (2018); Yasmin Tri Aryani (2019) and Oliver Elser (2019).

About the Partnering Institution:

Farzin Lotfi-Jam is director of Farzin Farzin, a multidisciplinary studio that designs spaces, software, and media, and an Adjunct Assistant Professor of Architecture at GSAPP. His research investigates how architecture and cities are transformed by digital technologies and their attendant power relations, looking at scales from the corporeal to the planetary. His work has been exhibited at Storefront for Art and Architecture, MAXXI, the Oslo Architecture Triennale, the Istanbul Design Biennial, the Venice Architecture Biennale, and elsewhere.

Mark Wasiuta is a Lecturer in Architecture and the Co-director of the Critical, Curatorial, and Conceptual Practices in Architecture programme at GSAPP. He is the recipient of recent grants from the Asian Cultural Council, the New York State Council on the Arts, and the Graham Foundation, where he is currently an inaugural Graham Foundation Fellow. His research exhibition practice focuses on archives and under-examined projects of the post-war period.