Studio&: A Black Study with Mabel O. Wilson

March 2, 2021 

6:30 pm – 7:45 pm ET 

Mabel O. Wilson

Professor Mabel O. Wilson will give an online public talk titled, Studio&: A Black Study on Tuesday, March 2, at 6:30 pm ET. Everyone is invited. 


It is the fourth event in the Azrieli School of Architecture & Urbanism’s 2021 Forum Lecture Series.  It is also the 2021 Charles Gordon Lecture on Society and Design.

Memorial to Enslaved Laborers at the University of Virginia (2020), photo: Alan Karchmer courtesy of Howeler + Yoon

“Modernity builds its superior “culture,” with its forms, aesthetics, and practices, above and beyond the primitive, savage, barbarous, backward, folk, and the racial other,” she says.


Wilson observes that the history and forms of prevailing architecture have emerged concurrently with European colonial misadventures in Asia, Africa, and the Americas.


Wilson uses her work to ask the question: How can the practice of architecture become a “Black study?” 


She explores this potential with her trans-disciplinary practice Studio&, writing, exhibitions, performances, and architectural projects.

“Marching On” photographer: Jenica Heintzelman

Mabel O. Wilson is the Nancy and George E. Rupp Professor in Architecture, Planning and Preservation and a professor in African American and African Diaspora Studies at Columbia University. 


She holds a Master of Architecture from Columbia University and a PhD in American Studies from New York University.  


Wilson serves as the Director of the Institute for Research in African American Studies and co-directs Global Africa Lab. 


With her practice Studio&, she is a collaborator in the architectural team that recently completed the Memorial to Enslaved African American Laborers at the University of Virginia.


She’s a founding member of Who Builds Your Architecture? (WBYA?), a collective that advocates for fair labour practices on building sites worldwide.  


She is the author of Begin with the Past: Building the National Museum of African American History and Culture (2017) and Negro Building: African Americans in the World of Fairs and Museums (2012). 


She also co-edited with Irene Cheng and Charles Davis the recently published volume Race and Modern Architecture: From the Enlightenment to Today (2020).   


For MoMA, she is co-curator of the exhibition Reconstructions: Architecture and Blackness in America (February 2021).  



Instagram: studio_and

Twitter: mabelowilson @NegroBuilding

detail “Shroud of Memory”