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Designing for A Future of Care

with Giovanna Borasi, Marisa Moran Jahn, Paty Rios, Rafi Segal, and Natalicia Tracy
Conversation, in English, Paul Desmarais Theatre and streamed live on Youtube, 3 December, 6:30pm

Care is on our minds. We’re still in a pandemic, the severity of which is increasingly felt unevenly around the world. Yet even before the pandemic, industrialized countries faced growing economic inequality and precarity, spiraling housing costs, and aging populations—who will live longer than ever. The so-called care crisis demands major shifts in policy, housing, labour, and how we think about social isolation.

Presented in conjunction with the exhibition A Section of Now: Social Norms and Rituals as Sites of Architectural Interventions, which explores architecture’s relationships to congoing social change, the event features architect Rafi Segal and artist Marisa Morán Jahn as they reflect on their joint project, Carehaus, the United States’ first intergenerational, care-based co-housing project that will open in Baltimore in 2023. At the invitation of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Washington, Jahn and Segal identify key infrastructure-oriented policy recommendations to support the integration of housing and care. Both Carehaus and the strategy they refer to as “care-based co-housing” aim to support the needs of older adults living with a disability, working families, and caregivers. But beyond transforming the empirical, material, and urban conditions of care, Jahn and Segal harness the power of symbols to shift how we value care. Their collaboration asks, “What would it look like to celebrate care on a civic and architectural level?”

Carehaus draws on CareForce, Jahn’s decade-long collaboration co-designing art, policy toolkits, and creative media with the National Domestic Workers Alliance. One key collaborator who has helped champion Carehaus is Natalicia Tracy. A Brazilian-born immigrant to the United States, Tracy is a former nanny and survivor of labour trafficking who has helped build a movement for domestic workers rights that has spread nationally. In Fall 2021, Tracy was elected to serve as a senior advisor on labour to the President Joe Biden and Vice-President Kamala Harris. Tracy’s leadership is honoured in Jahn’s artwork, which is on view in the exhibition Souriez! Les émotions au travail/Smile! Emotions at Work at Musée d’art de Joliette until 9 January 2022.

In addition to the presenters above, the event will be introduced by Giovanna Borasi, CCA Director, with remarks by Dr. Paty Rios, Executive Director of NewCities. Respondents include Lev Bratishenko, CCA Curator Public, and Anne-Marie St-Jean Aubre, Curator at Musée d’art de Joliette. Following the presentations, Greg Lindsay, Director of Applied Research, NewCities, will moderate a discussion with in-person as well as virtual audience members.

The event is free and open to the public. To register, click here.

Presented by the CCA in collaboration with NewCities, MIT Future Urban Collectives, and Musée d’art de Joliette.

The conversation will be primarily in English, but we are happy to facilitate conversation in French.

Masks and vaccine passports (for visitors 13+) are both mandatory.

Of Ecuadorian and Chinese descent, Marisa Morán Jahn’s artworks redistribute power, “exemplifying the possibilities of art as social practice” (ArtForum). Jahn’s works have been presented at Tribeca Film Festival, The New Museum, The United Nations, and Obama’s White House. She has taught at Columbia University, MIT (her alma mater), and The New School as Associated Director of Integrated Design. She is a 2021–2022 Sundance Fellow.

Paty Rios is Executive Director of NewCities, with experience working on multi-unit housing that promotes wellbeing and social connectedness, including leading research and creating the Happy Homes toolkit. Paty is an adjunct professor at the School of Architecture and Landscape Architecture, University of British Columbia.

An Associate Professor of Architecture at MIT and Director of Future Urban Collectives Lab at MIT, Rafi Segal’s designs examine architecture and urban-scale collectivity. His work has been exhibited at KunstWerk, Berlin; Witte de With, Rotterdam; Venice Biennale of Architecture; MoMA, New York City; The Seoul Architecture Biennale; and the Hong Kong/Shenzhen Urbanism Biennale.

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