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Visual Culture Program

Friday, April 19, 2019
12:00pm to 1:30pm
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Avery Dining Hall
Natural Features: Artists, Architects, and Scientists Imagine Space
Lize Mogel, Artist and Counter-Cartographer,
Jeff Stuart, Mission Design & Navigation Systems Engineer, JPL,
Dilip da Cunha, Architect and Planner; Co-Director, Risk and Resilience Master in Design Studies, Graduate School of Design, Harvard University; Adjunct Professor, GSAPP, Columbia University,

How can artists, architects, and scientists inspire each other to imagine space in radical new ways? In architect Dilip da Cunha's beautifully illustrated book, The Invention of Rivers, he shows that what we take to be natural features of the earth's surface are products of human design and a particular way of seeing. Spacecraft trajectory designer Jeffrey Stuart's swirling maps of mass, motion, and stars aren't only beautiful, they are used to visualize and plan NASA's celestial voyages. Artist and counter-cartographer Lize Mogel's influential book, An Atlas of Radical Cartography, challenges map conventions and prompts map makers of all kinds to consider more diverse factors before defining what we see. This interdisciplinary three-person panel aims to inspire new ways of imagining what we consider when we consider spatial dimensions.

Complementary lunch starting at 11:45 a.m. - RSVP to [email protected]


Dilip da Cunha, architect and planner, Co-Director, Risk and Resilience Master in Design Studies at the Graduate School of Design, Harvard University, and Adjunct Professor at the GSAPP, Columbia University

Dilip da Cunha is an architect and planner based in Philadelphia and Bangalore. He is co-director of the Risk and Resilience program at the Graduate School of Design, Harvard University, and Adjunct Professor at the GSAPP, Columbia University. He is author with Anuradha Mathur of Mississippi Floods: Designing a Shifting Landscape (2001); Deccan Traverses: The Making of Bangalore's Terrain (2006); Soak: Mumbai in an Estuary (2009); and Design in the Terrain of Water (2014). His new book, The Invention of Rivers: Alexander's Eye and Ganga's Descent, was just published by the University of Pennsylvania Press. In 2017, da Cunha along with Anuradha Mathur received a Pew Fellowship Grant in recognition of their collaborative work. They are currently working on a multimedia exhibition titled The Ocean of Rain.

Lize Mogel, Artist and counter-cartographer

Lize Mogel is an interdisciplinary artist and counter-cartographer. Her work intersects the fields of popular education, cultural production, public policy, and mapping. She creates maps and mappings that produce new understandings of social and political issues. Her work connects the real history and collective imaginary about specific places to larger narratives of global economies. She has mapped public parks in Los Angeles; future territorial disputes in the Arctic; and wastewater economies in New York City. She is co-editor of the book/map collection "An Atlas of Radical Cartography," a project that significantly influenced the conversation and production around mapping and activism.

Exhibitions include the Sharjah (U.A.E.), Gwangju (South Korea) and Pittsburgh Biennials, "Greater New York" at PS1, and "ExperimentalGeography". She has lectured extensively about her work nationally and internationally, including at the 2013 Creative Time Summit. Lize has received grants from the Graham Foundation, the New York Foundation for the Arts, the Jerome Foundation, and the Danish Arts Council. She has been an artist in residence at Headlands Center for the Arts and a Fellow at the STUDIO for Creative Inquiry at Carnegie-Mellon University.

Jeffrey Stuart, JPL Mission Design & Navigation Systems Engineer

Jeffrey Stuart is a member of Mission Design and Navigation Section at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory. He is a proud Boilermaker, having received his Ph.D , M.S., and B.S. from the School of Aeronautics and Astronautics at Purdue University. Jeff is interested in a wide range of aerospace research topics, including interactive visualization methods, automated trajectory design, advanced navigation techniques, combinatorial optimization, and formation flying. While at JPL, he has worked on a variety of projects, including the recent New Horizons flyby of Ultima Thule, the SunRISE formation flying mission, concept studies for the Innovation Foundry, and multiple research tasks.

About the Visual Culture Program
Caltech's visual culture program, which is funded by a grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and based in the Division of the Humanities and Social Sciences (HSS), features new undergraduate course offerings, guest lecturers, and other programming to foster conversations between humanists and scientists. Its activities are organized by HSS and other Caltech faculty in collaboration with scholars at The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens.

For more information, please contact Caroline Murphy by phone at 626-395-2084 or by email at [email protected].