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Visiting Research Fellow

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Dr Etienne Turpin

Biography

Dr Etienne Turpin is a philosopher studying, designing, curating, and writing about complex urban systems, political economies of data and infrastructure, art and visual culture, and Southeast Asian colonial-scientific history. He is a Research Scientist at the MIT Urban Risk Lab and coordinator of their Humanitarian Infrastructures Group; Founding Director of anexact office in Jakarta, Indonesia; and Founding coordinator of the Urban Lab Network Asia.  As a member of the SYNAPSE International Curators’ Network of the Haus der Kulturen der Welt in Berlin, he is also co-editor of the intercalations: paginated exhibition series, published as part of Das Anthropozän-Projekt. Dr Turpin has been awarded research fellowships at the SMART Infrastructure Facility and the Australian Center for Cultural Environmental Research, University of Wollongong, and the Center for Southeast Asian Studies, University of Michigan. He has also taught advanced design research at the University of Toronto, the University of Michigan, and the University of California, Berkeley. Dr Turpin is the editor of Architecture in the Anthropocene (Open Humanities Press, 2013) and co-editor of Fantasies of the Library (MIT Press, 2016) Art in the Anthropocene (Open Humanities Press, 2015), and Jakarta: Architecture + Adaptation (Universitas Indonesia Press, 2013).

Research focus

Fellowship period: 1 June – 31 December 2016

During his residency, Dr Etienne Turpin will be researching the role of urban labs, maker spaces, and hacker collectives, in the context of South and Southeast Asian urbanisation. His work will help to develop the Urban Lab Network Asia, simultaneously investigating the work of urban labs through ethnographic research and inviting organisations to participate in the platform which enables the network. With the support of his design practice—anexact office—Dr Turpin will further the work of “making the multiple” by documenting encounters with activists, organisers, and community groups who are experimenting with urbanisation processes through various types of design-led inquiry and applied research. The outcome of this research, a film titled “Is the City a Laboratory?” and a working-documentary process assembled as “The Multiple Must Be Made,” will be included in the forthcoming NTU CCA Singapore exhibition Incomplete Urbanism: Attempts of Critical Spatial Practice, and will help to develop the web-based platform labnet.asia.