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Trans-Scalar Lecture: Zelig Fok, Leah Wulfman, and Joseph Algieri

Monday, March 20, 2023

6:00 pm -

About Zelig Fok
Zelig Fok is an architectural practitioner, photographer, educator. Zelig’s research focuses on the tenuous relationship between the built environment and its photographic representations, and continues to investigate the relevance of photography within architecture’s disciplinary boundaries and their broader implications within contemporary image culture.

Zelig holds an M.Arch from Yale University, a BFA in Architecture from Savannah College of Art & Design, and Associate Diplomas from The Royal Conservatory of Canada in Music Pedagogy and Trinity College London in Speech and Drama. Zelig has accumulated professional experience as a project manager for Supermatic Studio in production and exhibition design, as a freelance architectural photographer, as a collaborator with fine-art photographer Mitch Epstein, and as design faculty at Kent State University College of Architecture & Environmental Design. Zelig was the 2021-22 Howard E. LeFevre Fellow at The Ohio State University Knowlton School of Architecture.

Currently, Zelig is serving as a Visiting Assistant Professor at The Ohio State University Knowlton School of Architecture.


About Leah Wulfman
Leah Wulfman is a Carrier Bag architect, educator, game designer, digital puppeteer, and occasional writer. Trained as an architect, Wulfman has been assembling hybrid virtual and physical spaces in order to prototype new relationships to technology and nature, as well as challenge normative ideologies so often reinforced by technology and architecture.

In addition to mixed reality installations that play with and emphasize the physical, material basis of everything digital, they are presently working on a research series focusing on gamified environments, interactions and materials—traversing a variety of themes like ‘Deep Unlearning,’ Stone Soupercomputers, GamerGirl Bath Water, and our potential interactions with a Jacaranda Tree in full bloom witnessed through Google Earth.

Wulfman holds a Bachelors of Architecture degree from Carnegie Mellon University, as well as a Masters of Arts in Liam Young’s Fiction and Entertainment program at SCI-Arc. They have taught at numerous institutions in the United States, including ArtCenter’s Media Design Practices Graduate Program, IDEAS Program at UCLA Architecture and Urban Design, SCI-Arc and The School of Architecture at Taliesin, where they have developed youth programming and mixed reality coursework. Wulfman’s work experience can be likened to playing musical chairs, with collaborative projects presently underway with Studio Elana Schlenker, painter Florian Meisenberg as well as the LA-based artist Lauren Halsey.

Their research and design work has been supported by numerous residencies and publications, and has been shown as part of various exhibitions and festivals, including Tbilisi Architecture Biennial, The FiDi Arsenale, Space Saloon Design and Build Festival, Open Engagement, VIA Festival for Electronic Art and Music, A Queer Query, and The Wrong Biennale for New Digital Art. Leah is now at the University of Michigan, where they are currently the Walter B. Sanders Fellow at the Taubman College School of Architecture.


About Joseph Algieri
Joseph Algieri is a ceramicist, lighting and home designer. Based in New York, his practice has spanned several different types of media, notably expandable foams and clay. Joseph’s work relies heavily on deconstructing and dissolving form, repetition, and expanding upon materials to their limit in a comedic fashion. His work has gained recognition from T Magazine to Architectural Digest, along with a growing audience of art lovers and designers combined.


About the TRANS-SCALAR Lecture Series
Historically, design disciplines have been attached to specific scale spectrums -the scales of Industrial Design, Interior Architecture, Architecture, Urbanism, or Territory- However, the objects we design are not inert assemblies of material forms. In every design decision we make, we mobilize, increase pressure, and transform the Earth’s system, including within human and non-human life forms. Every design decision can provoke ecological tension, inequality, and disruptions that lead the planet to amplified natural catastrophes for which no one can quite be blamed. Design is trans-scalar if we realize simple equations: every pile produces a whole, and every material form has its equivalent negative somewhere else.

How do we think and practice design ethically when acknowledging the objects we design are not innocent, but the intractability washes the responsibilities of natural catastrophe? The way of displaying the complex reality of design is by disclosing its trans-scalar powers. Objects of design are assemblages of many layers -the ecological, political, social, formal, material, technological, and environmental-combined in ethical and aesthetic forms. When these layers come together in exemplary works, they disseminate knowledge by becoming paradigms.

In this new era of ecological consciousness, design becomes an embassy, a cross-section, of all these layers representing the myriads of scales in which every design decision operates from the molecular to the cosmic scales. This program series posits the question of trans-scalar design via the social, cultural, historical, and environmental realms and how designers respond to the responsibilities of trans-scalar materiality.

Learn more about the TRANS-SCALAR Lecture Series.

Zelig Fok, Leah Wulfman, and Joseph Algieri
UH College of Architecture and Design Theater