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Texts + Textures: A Writing Workshop

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Texts + Textures: A Writing Workshop | Session 1: Mimi Zeiger (loud paper) 

The introductory session of Texts + Textures explores the built environment through literature, philosophy, and narrative nonfiction. Even in our image-saturated era, evocative writing is still an effective tool to describe, document, and reframe our understanding of the city. Throughout his writings, French sociologist Henri Lefebvre describes the city as oeuvre; a work of art created by its inhabitants and a collective result of human relations. As such, the urban fabric is both a text to read and to write. 

In this session, Mimi Zeiger (loud paper) will help us explore our perceptions of the city through a series of writing exercises and a short walk. In order to prepare for this session, please read the following:

“The Street”, Georges Perec in Species of Spaces and Other Pieces 
“Ruckus Flatbush”, Jonathan Lethem in Brooklyn Was Mine 
“A Windstorm in Downtown Brooklyn”, Robert Sullivan in Brooklyn Was Mine 
“City of Glass”, Paul Auster in The New York Trilogy, chapter 8 

Optional Readings:

“Speak, Hoyt-Schermerhorn”, Jonathan Lethem in The Disappointment Artist 
“The White Train”, J. Malcolm Garcia from Virginia Quarterly Review in The Best American Non-Required Reading 2008 
“Growing Up in A Beaux Arts World”, Ada Louise Huxtable in On Architecture: Collected Reflections on a Century of Change 

Mimi Zeiger founded loud paper, an architecture zine and now blog, in 1997. A Brooklyn-based freelancer, she writes on art, architecture, and design for a variety of publications including The New York Times, Dwell, Azure, and Architect, where she is a contributing editor. Zeiger is author of New Museums: Contemporary Museum Architecture Around the World and Tiny Houses.


Texts + Textures: A Writing Workshop is a series of classes that will explore writing as social practice. The site of exploration will be the New York metropolitan area. For our investigations, we will apply methods of research and inquiry from fields such as literature, anthropology, sociology, philosophy, art, architecture, and design. Theory from the various disciplines will be used to help frame our narratives. Issues that may be examined include agency/authority (e.g. writing in the city vs. writing about the city), community, participation, collaboration, and social change. All participants are encouraged to use different literary genres via multiple platforms. The workshop will take a multimedia approach which may include the combination of text, drawings, still images, video, and sound.

Facilitators wanted. If interested, please contact us via the comments section below.


  • Mimi Zeiger


Thanks to Mimi. And everyone else too. The strategy of "observing" for both writing the text and talking about the next sparked lots of ideas. I signed up for v2. Looking forward to it.

solidk's picture

This class was indeed fantastic. Thank you, Mimi, for jump-starting the inner writer in all of us and thank you to all who participated. I look forward to our next session which is now being organized. Please go to to sign up and post ideas. Newcomers welcome!

Hi all,

Fantastic class today. Thank you all for sharing your writing and observations. Really great stuff.

This is just a reminder to post your "dispatch" here so that we can send it to Berlin. Also, I had a thought that we could use Google Maps to geo-locate key spots in your narratives, so that there is a real map to go along with the texts.


Hope it's not to late to RSVP. Really looking forward to this class. Thanks!

Hi all,

I'm looking forward to tomorrow's class. Just a reminder to bring a notebook/pen, ipad, laptop, or any other device you'd like to use to for in-class writing exercises and observations.

We will be walking, rain or shine, so bring an umbrella.


solidk's picture

Hi Boramici,

Just confirming that you are signed up for Saturday’s class with Mimi.

I am having the same issue as Erica. I am not sure if my registration has gone through.

my own laptop, that is.

great. I plan to bring mine anyway.

solidk's picture

We do have a projector for the space so all we need is a laptop. Thanks, isobelroe!



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