Fernando Frías presenting Ya No Estoy Acquí
Ensamble presenting Ca'n Terra
For Freedoms presenting The Wide Awakening
Liam Young presenting Planet City
Prof Anna Tsing, Jennifer Deger, Alder Keleman Saxena and Feifei Zhou presenting Feral Atlas
Ryūe Nshizawa presenting Ochoquebradas House
Onnis Luque, Mariana Ordóñez Grajales + Indignación  | Tipologías. Hábitat y libre determinación.
Alice Rawsthorn presenting Design Emergency
Joar Nango presenting Sámi Architecture Library
Cave Bureau presenting Anthropocene Museum

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The World Around is a new, itinerant non-profit organization dedicated to telling the most impactful and important stories of architectural culture today, making the invisible forces that shape our lives visible.  This year, our annual summit will take place online in residence at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York City. Bringing together some of the world’s the most innovative international practitioners, the 2021 Summit speaks to critical and interconnected issues that face designers today including politics, indigenous rights, racial justice, education, and health. Offering a virtual and live tour of cities and cultural institutions on almost every continent, the 2021 Summit will feature both streamed and local in-person discussions in 14 international cities and sites.  To sign up for our newsletter please click here. 

The World Around is proud to be in residence at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in 2021.


Ryūe Nishizawa

Ochoquebradas House

Ryūe Nishizawa is one of the most important and influential architects working in Japan today. Founder of Office of Ryue Nishizawa and co-founder of SANAA. SANAA is often said to work with a ‘fourth dimension’ in their design of space, and Nishizawa's solo work takes this position to engineering and spatial extremes. Nishizawa will present his recent single-family house on the coast of Chile. Photo credit: Cristobal Palma

Fernando Frías

Ya No Estoy Aquí

Born and raised in Mexico City, director Fernando Frías will present his award-winning film, Ya No Estoy Aquí that is set in the mountains of Monterrey, one of the northernmost cities in Mexico. The film follows Kolombias, a distinctive urban tribe from the violence-plagued regions of the country that once created a countercultural movement around their love for old-fashioned cumbia music. Photo credit: Fernando Frías

Alice Rawsthorn

Design Emergency

Alice Rawsthorn is an award-winning design critic and the author of critically acclaimed books on design, including Hello World: Where Design Meets Life and, most recently, Design as an Attitude. Alice is a co-founder, with Paola Antonelli, of the Design Emergency project to investigate design's response to the Covid-19 crisis and its aftermath. Photo credit: Michael Leckie

For Freedoms / Wide Awakes

For Freedoms is an artist-led organization that models and increases creative civic engagement, discourse and direct action. It works with artists and organizations to center the voices of artists in public discourse, expand what participation in a democracy looks like, and reshape conversations about politics. Photo credit: Jeff Vespa


The Anthropocene Museum

Cave_Bureau was founded in 2014 in Nairobi by Kabage Karanja & Stella Mutegi who steer a diverse range of projects and research studies on the African continent. The bureau of architects and researchers charting explorations into architecture and urbanism within nature. Their work addresses the anthropological and geological context of the African city as a means to confront the challenges of our contemporary rural and urban lives. Image credit: Cave_Bureau

Sir David Adjaye

City of Winter Park Library

Sir David Adjaye OBE is an award-winning Ghanaian-British architect known to infuse his artistic sensibilities and ethos for community-driven projects. His ingenious use of materials, bespoke designs and visionary sensibilities have set him apart as one of the leading architects of his generation. Sir David will be giving a remote tour of an expansive new project currently under construction in Florida. Photo credit: Adjaye Associates


Ca'n Terra

Ensamble Studio is a cross-functional team founded in 2000 and led by architects Antón García-Abril and Débora Mesa. Balancing imagination and reality, art and science, their work innovates typologies, technologies and methodologies to address issues as diverse as the construction of the landscape or the prefabrication of the house. They will be sharing their spectacular new home and studio, Ca'n Terra. Photo credit: Iwan Baan


BlackSpace Manifesto

BlackSpace is an interdisciplinary collective seeking to bridge policy, people, and place, with a mission of equity and justice. Since meeting in 2015, the collective has been working to nurture and support Black people in fields of influence that shape our social and spatial environments while also working to support heritage conservation in Black and marginalized communities. As professionals trained in architecture, urban planning, and design, their work has also involved unlearning traditional modes of urbanism that exclude marginalized voices and creating new modes of work that center equity. To that end, BlackSpace has created a working manifesto to help guide our work as urbanists working in and with communities.

Deanna Van Buren

Designing Justice and Designing Spaces

Designing Justice + Designing Spaces is an Oakland-based architecture and real estate development non-profit co-founded by Deanna Van Buren working to end mass incarceration by building infrastructure that addresses its root causes: poverty, racism, unequal access to resources, and the criminal justice system itself. Their work counters the traditional adversarial and punitive architecture of justice—courthouses, prisons, and jails—by creating spaces and buildings for restorative justice, community building, and housing for people coming out of incarceration. Photo credit: Courtesy of Designing Justice + Designing Spaces.

Joar Nango | ArkDes

Kiruna Forever and Girjegumpi

In collaboration with Stockholm-based museum ArkDes, Sámi architect and Indigenous artist Joar Nango presents a digital manifestation of the Sámi Architecture Library. Nango's work investigates the nomadic conception of space, territories, and ideas around the concept of home, focusing on different ways of dealing with materiality, movement and space. The talk will include a presentation on the museum's recent exhibition Kiruna Forever. Photo credit: Joar Nango, Girjegumpi installed in Jokkmokk during the annual winter-market in February, 2018. Photo: Astrid Fadnes

Liam Young | NGV

Planet City

In collaboration with the National Gallery of Victoria, Liam Young will present his latest short film, Planet City that imagines what a city that contains all the world's human inhabitants would look like. Image credit: Planet City (2020), Directed by Liam Young. Pictured here is the High Altitude Bot Herder. Costume Direction Ane Crabtree, Costume Artist Aneesa Shami, Mask Artist Liam Young. Modelled by David Freeland Jr. Photography by Direly S

Alia Farid

The Space Between Classrooms

Alia Farid is an artist who lives and works in Kuwait and Puerto Rico. She is the curator of The Space Between Classrooms, a forthcoming exhibition at the Swiss Institute in New York. Image: Marco Abarca
Ve!, 2020 Process drawing for digital platform entitled The Axis of Modern Violence Reminds (Gender Based Violence in PR Highschools), a violence landscape visualization with an overlay of a survey created by Olga Casellas and Marco Abarca on the occasion of The Space Between Classrooms
Courtesy of artist



waiwai is a Dubai-based studio formed of architects Wael Al Awar and Kenichi Teramoto. Through scientific experimentation and research, the architects are attempting to create a technological equivalent of Portland cement from the crystalized salt and minerals that form the UAE’s unique Sabkha. The project will form the UAE representation at the 2021 Venice Architecture Biennale. Photo credit: Al Rowais & Jebel Ali

Deborah Berke & Jason Price


NXTHVN is a new national arts model that empowers emerging artists and curators of color through education and access founded by Titus Kaphar, Jason Price, and Jonathan Brand and designed by Deborah Berke Partners. Through intergenerational mentorship, professional development and cross-sector collaboration, NXTHVN accelerates professional careers in the arts. Image credit: Deborah Berke Partners

SO–IL and Philip Tinari


Led by Jing Liu and Florian Idenburg, SO—IL is an award-winning architectural design firm that envisions spaces for culture, learning and innovation. In conversation with Philip Tinari, director of UCCA Center for Contemporary Art SO—IL will present recent and under construction work in Shanghai and New York.

El Futuro Imposible

The Impossible Future

Abuelita is an animation production company located in the Delta, Tigre (Argentina), specialized in projects with social and environmental themes. The goal of El Futuro Imposible/The Impossible Future is to build an optimist vision of our future based on the most important ideas and movements of today. Photo credit: Abuelita

Francis Kéré

National Parliament of Benin

Francis Kéré is regarded as one of the world's most distinguished contemporary architects thanks to his pioneering of a communal approach to design and his commitment to sustainable materials as well as modes of construction. Inspired by a curiosity for the particularities of any given locality and its social tapestry, he has gathered a diverse, agile team at his Berlin-based Kéré Architecture office, to take on projects across four continents.

Feral Atlas

Feral Atlas, a fascinating online experience created by the anthropologists Anna Tsing, (author of The Mushroom at the End of the World), Jennifer Deger, Alder Keleman Saxena and Feifei Zhou, offers an original and playful approach to studying the Anthropocene. Focused on the world's feral reactions to human intervention, the editors explore the structures and qualities that lie at the heart of the feral and make the phenomenon possible.

Onnis Luque, Mariana Ordóñez Grajales + Indignación 

Tipologías. Hábitat y libre determinación

Mariana Ordóñez Grajales, founder of Comunal, photographer Onnis Luque and Indignación A.C., will present a collaborative reflection between the research project "TYPOLOGIES. Current state of traditional housing in Mexico" and the human right to habitat and self-determination.
Photo credit: Onnis Luque


Sumayya Vally is the founder and principal of Counterspace, a Johannesburg-based design studio. Her design, research and pedagogical practice is committed to finding expression for hybrid identity and contested territory. She uses Johannesburg as a laboratory for finding speculative histories, future archaeologies, and design languages; often with the intent to reveal the invisible. She is the lead designer for the Serpentine Pavilion 2020/20 Plus



The World Around is made possible by our global partner, Facebook Open Arts.



The World Around's official partner is Arper.


Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum

The World Around is proud to be in residence at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in 2021.


Nelly Ben Hayoun and Sepake Angima
Harriet Harris and Timothy Morton
Cooking Sections and Maite Borjabad
Kunlé Adeyemi and Beatrice Galilee

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On Wednesday 22nd April, 2020, in collaboration with Facebook and Dezeen, The World Around took part in the first “Virtual Design Festival”, where we presented new content and conversations commissioned from over twenty international voices who are leading a new and exciting global discourse on environmental design. Amid the recent COVID-19 pandemic, The World Around remains committed to uniting and mobilizing the global architecture and design community around the most pressing issues of our time: the now, near and next for architecture, spatial and environmental design.



Studio Ossidiana & Mariana Pestana

Studio Ossidiana is a practice based in Rotterdam that works at the intersection of architecture, visual arts and design, led by Alessandra Covini and Giovanni Bellotti. They will be in conversation with Dr Mariana Pestana, the chief curator of the 2020 Istanbul Design Biennial, ‘Empathy Revisited’. Dr Pestana is an idependent curator interested in critical social practice and the role of fiction in design for an age marked by technological progress and an ecological crisis.

Nelly Ben Hayoun & Sepake Angiama

Curator and educator Sepake Angiama, artistic director of Inava, and curator of the 2019 Chicago Architecture Biennale will be in conversation with French experience designer, director and founder of the University of the Underground, Dr Nelly Ben Hayoun. An award-winning director and experience designer, Dr Ben Hayoun is Designer of Experiences at the SETI (Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence) Institute.

Cooking Sections & Maite Borjabad

Cooking Sections (Daniel Fernández Pascual & Alon Schwabe) is a duo of spatial practitioners based out of London. It was born to explore the systems that organise the world through food. They will be in discussion with architecture writer and curator Maite Borjbad of the Art Institute of Chicago to discuss the way in which their research-based practice explores the overlapping boundaries between visual arts, architecture, ecology and geopolitics.

Harriet Harris & Timothy Morton

Professor Harriet Harris is dean of architecture at Pratt University, Brooklyn as well as an architect and activist and feminist. Dr Harriss will be in conversation with celebrated philosopher professor Timothy Morton, whose academic interests include literature and the environment, ecotheory, philosophy, biology, physical sciences, literary theory, food studies and much more.

Thomas Thwaites & Aric Chen

Thomas Thwaites calls himself "a designer (of a more speculative sort)." His thoughtful projects look deeply at the science behind technology, as in the Toaster Project, which sent spiralling him into the history and techniques of metallurgy and ‘Goatman’, his attempt to escape the world of humanity to become a goat. Thomas will be talking about his work with Shanghai-based design curator and critic Aric Chen, former lead curator of architecture and design at M+ and curatorial director of Design Miami.

Apichatpong Weerasethakul & Andrea Lissoni

Curator and director of Haus der Kunst, Andrea Lissoni will be in conversation with filmmaker Apichatpong Weerasethakul. Working in the space between cinema and contemporary art, and originally trained as an architect, Weerasethakul creates installations, videos, short and feature films that are often non-linear and transmit a strong sense of dislocation and otherworldliness.

Kunlé Adeyemi

Kunlé Adeyemi is a Nigerian architect, urbanist and creative researcher. Adeyemi is founder and principal of NLÉ, an architecture, design and urbanism practice, based in Amsterdam, in the Netherlands. Adeyemi was awarded the Silver Lion at the Venice Biennale in 2018 and has been widely recognised for his project Makoko Floating School, a prototype floating structure, built for the historic water community of Makoko in Lagos, Nigeria.

Andrés Jaque & Ivan. L. Munuera

Andrés Jaque is director of the Advanced Architectural Design Program at Columbia University Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation. In 2003 he founded the Office for Political Innovation (OFFPOLIN), bringing a transectional approach to architectural design; practicing architecture as the intervention on complex composites of relationships, where its agency is negotiated with the agency unfold by other entities. For this project for Earth Day, Jaque collaborates with Ivan L. Munuera, a New York-based scholar, critic, and curator working at the intersection of culture, technology, politics, and bodily practices in the modern period and on the global stage. Since 2015 he is developing his dissertation on the architecture of HIV/AIDS at Princeton University.

Walter Hood

Walter Hood is a landscape and public artist creating urban spaces that resonate with and enrich the lives of current residents while also honoring communal histories. Hood melds architectural and fine arts expertise with a commitment to designing ecologically sustainable public spaces that empower marginalized communities. Over his career, he has transformed traffic islands, vacant lots, and freeway underpasses into spaces that challenge the legacy of neglect of urban neighborhoods.

Cameron Sinclair

Cameron is a trained architect and community leader with 20+ years experience creating and implementing community development programs, educational programs, post-disaster and post-conflict reconstruction and social impact initiatives. Having worked in 58 countries and developed shelter solutions to over two million people his recent activities have included building schools for 4500 refugee children in Jordan, mobile COVID19 health centers and advising on cultural sustainability and preservation projects in Japan and South Africa.

Kalyanee Mam

Kalyanee Mam is an award-winning filmmaker whose work is focused on art and advocacy. Born in Battambang, Cambodia, during the Khmer Rouge regime, Kalyanee immigrated to the United States in 1981 with her family. Her debut documentary feature, A River Changes Course, won the World Cinema Grand Jury Prize for Documentary at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival and the Golden Gate Award for Best Feature Documentary at the San Francisco International Film Festival. She has directed the award-winning shorts Lost World and The Fight for Areng Valley and is currently working on a new feature documentary, The Fire and the Bird’s Nest.

Amanda Williams

Amanda Williams is a visual artist who trained as an architect. Williams’ creative practice employs color as a way to draw attention to the complexities of race, place and value in cities. The landscapes in which she operates are the visual residue of the invisible policies and forces that have misshapen most inner cities. Williams’ installations, paintings and works on paper seek to inspire new ways of looking at the familiar and in the process, raise questions about the state of urban space and citizenship in America.

Design Earth & Carson Chan

Curator and writer Carson Chan will be reflecting with Design Earth, a collaborative practice led by El Hadi Jazairy and Rania Ghosn. The office’s work engages the geographic to open up a range of aesthetic and political concerns for architecture and urbanism.

Mats Rombaut & Karen van Godtsenhoven

Karen van Godtsenhoven, associate curator of The Costume Institute at the Metropolitan Museum of Art will be speaking with Parisian designer Mats Rombaut about radical sustainability in the fashion industry. Rombaut is a multi-disciplinary creative currently based in Paris and founder of ROMBAUT, a vegan accessory brand with sustainability at its core.

Mona Chalabi

Mona Chalabi is a data journalist who lives in New York. Her work has appeared in The New Yorker, The New York Times, The New York Review of Books, New York Magazine, The Guardian and many more. She is also an illustrator whose work has been commended by the Royal Statistical Society. Her work has been exhibited at several galleries including the Tate, The Design Museum and the House of Illustration.

Margaret Stewart


Elizabeth Diller and Catherine Ince
Xu Tiantian, DnA presenting The Songyang Story at The World Around NYC. All photos by Noam Galai, Getty Images
Junya Ishigami
Eva Franch i Gilabert
Caroline Criado Perez
Bruce Mau
Sold-out auditorium at TheTimesCenter

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Dedicated to discovering and sharing the “now, near, and next” of architectural culture, the new global forum The World Around convened its first public gathering on January 25, 2020, to a fully sold-out auditorium at the Renzo Piano-designed TimesCenter in New York City. The day-long conference brought together a truly global field of practitioners and thinkers in architecture and adjacent fields including ecology, performance, sculpture, gender studies, cinema, game design, and urban planning.  Join our mailing list for all our latest event news and updates. 

Our inaugural event was broadcast live on Dezeen and is available to watch now.


Junya Ishigami

Biotop Garden

junya.ishigami+associates is one of the most exciting studios in architecture today. Established by Junya Ishigami in2004, the firm gained international recognition following the competition of the Kanagawa Institute of Technology's KAIT Workshop in 2007. The office was awarded Golden Lion for Best Project of the 12th Biennale in 2010 and just opened the Serpentine Pavilion. Image: Junya Ishigami, Botanical Farm Garden Art Biotop, 2018. Photo by junya.ishigami+associates.

Barozzi Veiga

Zürich Tanzhaus

Founded in Barcelona in 2004 by Alberto Veiga and Fabrizio Barozzi, this impressive young office was awarded Mies van der Rohe Award for European Architecture in 2015 for their Szczecin Philharmonic building, as well as RIBA Award for International Excellence for the FIne art Museum in Chur. Barozzi Veiga will present the latest new project, the Zürich Tanzhaus, completed in 2019. Image: Barozzi Veiga, Tanzhaus Zürich, 2019. Photo by Simon Menges.

Xu Tiantian, DnA

Rural Regeneration of Sonyang Province

Xu Tiantian is the founding principal of Beijing-based studio DnA _Design and Architecture. She has been recognised internationally for her work and was recently awarded the 2019 Moira Gemmill Prize for Emerging Architect. She will be presenting her studio’s extensive recent work in the revitalising process of two rural regions in China, Songyang and Zhejiang Province, an extensive process involving different heritage and regions. Image: Xu Tiantian, DnA, The Songyang Story, 2019. Photo by Wang Ziling.

Emmanuel Pratt

Sweet Water Foundation

Emmanuel Pratt was awarded the MacArthur ‘Genius’ grant in 2019. He is an urban designer creating a model of resident-driven community development in neighborhoods that have suffered the effects of long-term disinvestment. Pratt is co-founder and executive director of the Sweet Water Foundation (SWF), a nonprofit organization based on Chicago’s South Side that engages local residents in the cultivation and regeneration of social, environmental, and economic resources in their neighborhoods. Image: Emmanuel Pratt, Sweet Water Foundation. Photo courtesy John D. & Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation.

Caroline Criado Perez

Invisible Women

Writer, journalist and campaigner Caroline Criado Perez is the author of Invisible Women: Exposing Data Bias in a World Designed for Men. Invisible Women reveals the systematic, and often unconscious bias behind the data and assumptions that construct our everyday life. She examines a world built for men and in particular the increasing reliance in all areas on algorithms which are usually designed by, and using large amounts of data on, men which affects everything from internet search results to job applications. Image: Caroline Criado Perez, Invisible Women, 2019.

David OReilly


David OReilly is a multidisciplinary artist based in Los Angeles. He is the creator of the interactive experience and reality simulation game 'Everything'. Part game, part philosophical experiment, ‘Everything’ allows players to assume the role of almost anything in the universe, from bacteria and to bear, starlings and molecules. The work offers a way to experience our reality as a phenomenon of interdependent systems that can all perceive, think and interact differently while being driven by the same underlying rules. Image: David OReilly, Everything, 2017.

Shumon Basar

The Age of You

Guess what this century’s most valuable resource is? It’s you—and all your online behaviours, enriched data sets and millions of meta-data points. Writer, thinker and cultural critic Shumon Basar presents Age of You, an exhibition about what it means to be an individual today. Curated by Shumon Basar, Douglas Coupland and Hans Ulrich Obrist, with graphic design by Daly & Lyon, it includes over 70 visual contributors from the worlds of art, design, filmmaking, photography, performance and electronic music. Image: Shumon Basar, The Age of You, 2019.

Paola Antonelli

Broken Nature

One of the most influential curators in the design world, Paola Antonelli is Senior Curator of Architecture & Design at The Museum of Modern Art, as well as MoMA’s founding Director of Research & Development. Her expansive and investigative approach to curating combines design, architecture, art, science and technology. She will be presenting her 2019 exhibition Broken Nature shown at the XXII Triennale di Milano. Image: Paola Antonelli, Broken Nature, 2019. Photo by Gianluca Di Ioia.

Josh Begley

Best of Luck with the Wall

Best of Luck with the Wall is a documentary short by US digital artist Josh Begley. The film observes in striking detail of the changing geography and geometries and the expansive, complex landscape that comprises the 2,000-mile long US-Mexico border. The film was made by cutting and collages over 200,000 satellite images downloaded from Google Maps. Image: Josh Begley, Best of Luck with the Wall, 2016.

Bruce Mau

24 Design Principles

One of the most prominent names in design today, Canadian-born Bruce Mau has written and/or designed more than 200 books, including the landmark S,M,L,XL, a seminal collaboration with Rem Koolhaas. His life’s work is dedicated to applying the power of design to transforming the world. His new book, MC24 - The principles for Designing Massive Change in your Life and Work will be published by Phaidon in 2020.

Nick Axel

Are Friends Electric

Nick Axel is an editor, architect, educator and theorist. Head of the Architectural Design department at the Gerrit Rietveld Academie and the deputy editor of e-flux architecture, Nick is positioned to be taking part in all the most relevant conversations in architecture today. In a new editorial project for e-flux ‘Are Friends Electric’, the publication asks: “at moment when we can no longer imagine a world without technology, it is vital to ask how we—the human inhabitants of this planet—imagine the world and its technologies?”

Ibrahim Mahama

A Friend

Living and working in Accra, Kumasi and Tamale, Ghanaian artist Ibrahim Mahama engages in the formation of architectural spaces inspired by the promise and failure of modernity. His installations often use material cues such as worn jute sacks to draw narratives of labour and movement of goods. His work has been shown at 56, 57 and 58 Venice Biennale and documenta14. Image: Ibrahim Mahama, A Friend, 2019.

Cecilia Puga

Palacio Pereira

Based in Santiago, Chile, architect Cecilia Puga has run her practice since 1995. She has undertaken various scales of design projects from her iconic single family houses to social community work and urban planning. She will be presenting the years-long restoration and transformation of the historic 19th century Palacio Pereira into public library and exhibition halls.

Noura Al Sayeh-Holtrop

Muharraq Revitalization Project

Noura Al Sayeh-Holtrop is an architect and curator working at the Bahrain Authority for Culture and Antiquities (BACA) as Head of Architectural Affairs, where she is responsible for overseeing the planning and implementation of cultural institutions, museums and exhibitions. Since 2015, she heads the ‘Pearling, Testimony of an Island Economy’, which received the Aga Khan Award for Architecture for the 2019 cycle as part of the Muharraq Revitalization Project. Image: Noura Al Sayeh-Holtrop, Muharraq Revitalisation Project, Pearling Path Visitor's Centre, Valerio Oligiati, 2019. Photo by Archive Olgiati.

Something & Son

The Manuals

Something & Son explores social and environmental issues via everyday scenarios criss-crossing the boundaries between the visual arts, architecture and activism. They create permanent installations, functional sculptures and spaces for public performance that build communities, create new ecologies and force a reappraisal and understanding of some of the biggest social and environmental issues of our time. The Manuals is their latest long-term project that explores a new culture where humans create rather destroy ecosystems through our everyday actions and infrastructure. Image: Something & Son, The Manuals, 2019.

Eva Franch i Gilabert

Architecture in Translation

Eva Franch i Gilabert is the first female director of Architectural Association (AA) in London. She will be presenting Architecture in Translation, a project that launched this year with the goal of building a multilingual and multicultural approach to architecture today. As a school with more than 81 nationalities, where more than 40 languages are spoken, the project seeks to recognise the value of language in the production of space and ideas. Image: Eva Franch i Gilabert, Architecture in Translation, 2019. Art Direction, Pentagram.

Elizabeth Diller + Catherine Ince

V&A East

Elizabeth Diller is a co-founding partner of Diller Scofidio + Renfro (DS+R). Alongside co-founder Ricardo Scofidio, Liz’s cross-genre work has been distinguished with TIME’s "100 Most Influential People" list and the first MacArthur Foundation fellowship awarded in the field of architecture. Catherine Ince is Chief Curator of V&A East, a new two-site museum and collection research centre due to open in London’s Olympic Park in 2023. The pair will discuss their respective work at the forefront of new critical institutional practice. Image: V&A East. Photo by Diller Scofidio + Renfo, 2018.

Shohei Shigematsu

Extending the Museum

Shohei Shigematsu is a Partner at OMA based in its New York office, an has lead the firm’s diverse portfolio in the Americas for the past decade. Shohei will discuss his engagements within the art world to focus on the changing demands and needs of cultural institutions of different typologies including two forthcoming museum expansion projects, the Albright Knox Art Gallery and the New Museum. Image: Shohei Shigematsu, OMA, New Museum alongside its expansion. Photo courtesy OMA.

Michael Wang

Extinct in New York

For Extinct in New York, an exhibition on Governors Island with the Swiss Institute, artist Michael Wang researched native plant, lichen, and algae species native to NY but which no longer grow naturally in any of the five boroughs. He installed four bespoke greenhouses containing a selection of these organisms and trained a team of caretakers to maintain them. The plants were then reintroduced into parks and gardens in New York City. Image: Michael Wang, Platanthera Ciliaris, 2019.

Julia Watson

Lo—TEK: Design by Radical Indigenism

Designer, academic and author Julia Watson is a leading expert on indigenous technologies, as seen in her monograph Lo—TEK Design by Radical Indigenism, a global exploration of indigenous architectural innovations. Lo—TEK, derived from Traditional Ecological Knowledge, is a cumulative body of multigenerational knowledge, practices, and beliefs, countering the idea that indigenous innovation is primitive and exists isolated from technology. Watson will share this compelling new research arguing that it is sophisticated and designed to sustainably work with complex ecosystems.

Liam Young

Choreographic Camouflage

Liam Young is an Australian born film director and architect who operates in the spaces between design, fiction and futures. The music video Choreographic Camouflage takes place in a near future city that sees everything through sensors and scanners. An underground community has developed strategies to disappear to the eyes of technology. In collaboration with choreographer Jacob Jonas, a new vocabulary of movement has been designed to disguise their bodies from detection algorithms used by the city’s control networks. The animated film prototypes a sub-cultural movement that may soon emerge in response to imminent smart city technologies. Image: Still from Where the City Can’t See: Choreographic Camouflage.

Alexandra Hodkowski

Head Hi

Featuring a selection of vanguard and diverse publications from around the globe including books, magazines and self-published materials specially selected for The World Around visitors, the Head Hi Book Kiosk will be a hub for inspiration and reference. With many of the titles featuring the day's participants, Head Hi welcomes all attendees to learn more about the conference’s key themes. Visitors can purchase the publications or enjoy browsing the selection. Head Hi is a book and coffee shop run by one of The World Around's founding members Alexandra Hodkowski, located in Fort Greene, Brooklyn by the Navy Yard.



The World Around’s mission is to share the work and ideas of visionary architects and designers who are leading their field and transforming our future. We invite visionary corporations and individuals to collaborate with us. To find out more about becoming a partner of The World Around for 2021 and beyond, please contact:


Founder, Diego Marroquin
Founder, Executive Director, Beatrice Galilee

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The World Around was founded in New York in 2020. The online, itinerate global platform seeks to connect and create a diverse and international network of the most exciting and creative designers and thinkers with wider industry professionals through high impact educational initiatives, including our annual conference as well as online events, interactive workshops, residencies, exhibitions, and newsletters.

Diego Marroquin, East Rock Capital

Diego Marroquin, East Rock Capital
Reynold Levy, Robin Hood Foundation
Elizabeth Diller, Diller Scofidio + Renfro
Dean Vishaan Chakrabarti, PAU, CED, UC Berkeley
Dean Harriet Harriss, Pratt School of Architecture

Founder and Executive Director
Beatrice Galilee

Advisory Board
Peter Dillon, Brunswick Arts
Marilyn Hernandez, American Academy in Rome
Ben Rawlingson-Plant, Guggenheim Foundation
Susan Sellers, 2×4
Emily de Vismes, Haldane Fine Art
Dennis Paphitis, founder Aesop