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OCTOBER 16, 2020

3-5pm ET ︎ 2-4pm CT ︎ 1-3pm MT  ︎ 12-2pm PT

Laboratory for Suburbia launches with the first in a series of online “Sprawl Sessions”—public exchanges considering strategies for site-specific art and tactical design in the complex spaces of 21st-century suburbia.

The  first event, Sprawl Session 1: White Suburbias, will interrogate the possibilities and challenges for interventionist art and design practice in predominantly white suburban spaces. Featured discussants include architects Keith Krumwiede and Bryony Roberts, artists Eric Gottesman (For Freedoms), Sarah Paulsen, Dread Scott and lauren woods, historian Walter Johnson, and Gavin Kroeber, instigator and lead organizer for Laboratory for Suburbia.

More details will be announced in early October. Please RSVP to receive updates and the stream link.

Video will be archived online for asynchronous viewing and comment.


Laboratory for Suburbia is a paradigm-shifting art and design project addressing the political possibilities of American suburbs.

In the last decade, suburbia has emerged as an urgent site of cultural, political, and spatial contestation. Now, at the conjuncture of a pandemic, racial justice uprisings, and a presidential election, suburbia has become legible as a defining national geography. The fields of art and design, however, have largely failed to engage this critical space, remaining oriented instead toward cosmopolitan destination sites and inner-city creative placemaking. Laboratory for Suburbia invites artists and architects to step into this gap.

What modes of artistic intervention are possible in landscapes of privatization and dispersal? What publics can be assembled in the complex spaces of 21st-century suburbia? How do anti-suburban cultural tropes and disciplinary biases impede the critical imagination? How has a century of suburbanization recomposed not only space, but also politics and subjectivity?

A think tank for critical suburban practice, Laboratory for Suburbia is planned to unfold over the course of two years, moving from a phase of discussion and public research in 2021 toward culminating projects in 2022.


Laboratory for Suburbia is organized by
Gavin Kroeber

Curatorial Assistant
Maeve Elder

The Luminary Team
James McAnally & Kalaija Mallery

Divided City Grant Team
Derek Hoeferlin, Patty Heyda & Ila Sheren

Website Design
Maddy Angstreich & Natalia Oledzka

Special thanks to Richard McCoy, Katherine Simóne Reynolds, Rebecca Uchill, Mimi Zeiger, Michael Allen, Haley Evans

Laboratory for Suburbia is a project of the Luminary and presented by PNC Arts Alive!, The Crawford Taylor Foundation, Haus der Kulturen der Welt (HKW), and The Divided City, an urban humanities initiative funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, a joint project of the Center for the Humanities and the Sam Fox School, College of Architecture and Urban Design at Washington University in St. Louis.

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