Norden Fund 2020 info session

A video presentation by past grantee Caitlin Blanchfield.

March 10, 2020

Recorded on March 10, 2020.

The Deborah J. Norden Fund, a program of The Architectural League of New York, was established in 1995 in memory of architect and arts administrator Deborah Norden. The competition awards up to $5,000 annually in travel grants to students and recent graduates in the fields of architecture, architectural history, and urban studies.

On March 10, Caitlin Blanchfield recorded a video of her presentation on surveillance infrastructure on the Tohono O’odham Nation, the project she and Nina Kolowratnik developed with the support of the Norden Fund.

In this video, Blanchfield presents “Persistent Surveillance,” an advocacy project that discusses surveillance infrastructure on the Tohono O’odham Nation within a history of settler colonialism and militarization in the borderlands. With the support of the Norden Fund, Blanchfield and Nina Kolowratnik, in collaboration with tribal elders, produced a Counter Environmental Assessment that documents and describes the impact that Integrated Fixed Surveillance towers currently being built by Customs and Border Protection—as well as the systems of border militarization they bring with them—will have on Tohono O’odham culture and daily life. Through mapping, spatial analysis, interviews, and oral histories, this research project challenges the ways environmental review processes understand terms like landscape and its relationship to people, land use, material and immaterial culture, sovereignty, and the environment itself.

Blanchfield is a Ph.D. candidate in Architectural History at Columbia University’s Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation, where she also teaches. Her work examines architectural and territorial formations of settler colonialism in North America. She is a founding editor of the Avery Review, and her recent book Modern Management Methods: Architecture, Historical Value, and the Electromagnetic Image, co-authored with Farzin Lotfi-Jam, was published by Columbia Books on Architecture and the City in 2019. Her work has been shown in the Oslo Architecture Triennale, the Venice Architecture Biennale, Akademie Schloss Solitude, and elsewhere. She holds an MS CCCP in Architecture from Columbia University.

Learn more about the 2020 Deborah J. Norden Fund competition.

The application deadline for this year’s Norden Fund competition is Sunday, April 19, 2020, at 11:59 P.M. EDT.