Detail from Mokattam Ridge (Garbage City), Cairo, Egypt, 2009, chromogenic color print © Bas Princen


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Purnell Center for the Arts
5000 Forbes Ave.
Pittsburgh, PA 15213
nfo line: 412.268.3618

HOURS: Tues.-Sun., 12-6pm
Check calendar for
exhibition dates.

ADMISSION: Free + open to the public


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Miller Gallery student assistants + interns gain hands-on experience within an established university art gallery and are an integral part of our visitor experience.

Gallery Assistants
Carnegie Mellon students from all academic departments may apply. Shifts currently available on Tues., Wed. + Thurs. from 11:45am to 6:15pm >>>

Students from any college or university may receive credit towards their school requirements >>>

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Seeking experienced professionals to assist with installations >>>


Miller Gallery has been selected for
The Best of Pittsburgh lists by:
- City Paper (201
0, 2011)
- Post-Gazette (2011)
- Tribune-Review


Help support our adventurous programming and critically acclaimed exhibitions with a tax-deductible donation to the Miller Gallery.

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For details visit our Support page or call 412.268.4754

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The MILLER GALLERY is Carnegie Mellon University's contemporary art gallery.

The Miller Gallery supports experimentation that expands the notions of art and culture, providing a forum for engaged conversations about creativity and innovation. The gallery produces exhibitions, projects, events and publications with a focus on social issues. Learn more.

Imperfect Health
The Medicalization of Architecture
Organized by the Canadian Centre for Architecture, Montréal
On view Sept. 15, 2012 - Feb. 24, 2013

We observe — and suffer daily from — the unforeseen consequences of our actions on the environment. We are anxious about ground pollution, food safety, pollen allergies, smog, asthma, cancer, obesity, epidemics, and ultimately, aging. Now that everything is perceived as a possible source of disease, the health, defense and fortification of our own bodies have become obsessive pursuits. We have begun to think of all aspects of our lives in medical terms.

Architecture, urban design, and landscape design are addressing these fears, incorporating medical issues and related concerns in their projects. Their new ideas and solutions are based on the optimistic premise that design has the capacity to deliver individual and collective well-being. Projects propose allergy-free gardens, more trees, cleaner air, soil remediation, and new quarantine spaces to prevent epidemic outbreaks. On the other hand, in addressing health issues, design also introduces new levels of complexity in projects that test industrial methods for food production, stairs that re-educate the obese and infirm, and the segregation of communities by age.

Imperfect Health is not a comprehensive survey of the relationships between health, architecture, cities and the environment. On the contrary, these projects for buildings, interiors, and open spaces are meant to highlight uncertainties and contradictions present in the ideas of health that are emerging in Western countries today, particularly in Europe and North America.

We are exposed to a lot of solutions, but at what cost?
Is the future of architecture in its medicalization?

- Giovanna Borasi + Mirko Zardini, Curators

Learn more about Imperfect Health.

Support for Imperfect Health at Carnegie Mellon's Miller Gallery is provided in part by The Heinz Endowments.

Imperfect Health installation view with cow by Andy Byers. Photo © Canadian Centre for Architecture, Montréal

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Sept. 14, Friday

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Walking Tour of Imperfect Health with the Curators
Co-presented by the Carnegie Mellon University Lecture Series
Meet on 1st floor.

Get Well Soon Reception
Co-sponsored by the Graduate Student Association
Light refreshments by Wild Purveyors + Rita's Italian Ice.
First 50 families receive a free gift courtesy of Fitwits.

Free + open to the public.


Related Events
All events are located at Carnegie Mellon University (CMU), free of charge,
+ open to the public, unless otherwise indicated.

Sept. 20, Thurs.
1-5pm: Flu Vaccine Clinic
Provided by the University Health Services for the CMU community
Free for CMU students on the student insurance plan, staff and faculty; $17 for spouses/partners and students on other plans.
@ Miller Gallery, Purnell Center for the Arts, CMU

Sept. 21, Fri.
6:30-7:30pm: A Conversation with Photographer
Iwan Baan

Presented by the Heinz Architectural Center
@ Carnegie Museum of Art Theater, 4400 Forbes Ave.
Baan's photographs are on view in both Miller Gallery's Imperfect Health and Heinz Architectural Center's White Cube, Green Maze: New Art Landscapes exhibitions. Followed by a reception, with HAC galleries open until 9pm.

Sept. 26, Wed.
4-6pm: Presentation: Air quality, regional pollution exposure, & the Marcellus Shale by Albert Presto from the Center for Atmospheric Particle Studies
Presented by Steinbrenner Institute for Environmental Education and Research + University Health Services
@ Outside of Miller Gallery entrance, Purnell Center for the Arts, CMU

Oct. 8, Mon.
4:30pm: Lecture: Re-thinking water quality, policy, and health — an elemental approach by Kartik Chandran
(Director, Biomolecular Environmental Sciences + Wastewater Treatment and Climate Change Programs, Columbia University)
Co-presented by the Distinguished Lecture Series in Environmental Science, Technology, and Policy, and the University Lecture Series
@ Porter Hall #100 (on Frew St.), CMU

Oct. 16, Tues.
4:30pm: Panel Discussion: Health, Habitat, and History with Caroline Jean Acker, Jay Aronson, Zachary Falck, Andrea R. Fox, Andrew Simpson, Joel A. Tarr and Lisa Tetrault
Presented by the Department of History
@ Rangos Room 2, University Center 2nd floor, CMU

Feb. 21, Thurs.
9:30am: Lecture: We are what we eat... and what we build: Designing Healthy Communities by Richard J Jackson MD, MPH
(Environmental Health Sciences, Urban Planning, Pediatrics, UCLA)
Presented by the University Lecture Series
@ Magee-Womens Hospital Auditorium, 300 Halket Street. Zero level.

Feb. 22, Fri.
6:30-8:30pm: Film Screening: Danube Hospital
(Directed by Nikolaus Geyrhalter, Germany, 2012)
Presented by the Carnegie Mellon Faces International Film Festival
$5 Seniors + Students, $8 Others.
@ McConomy Auditorium, University Center, CMU

See event details. More to be announced online.

Imperfect Health poster
Imperfect Health
exhibition poster

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Accompanying the exhibition:

- Book extending the research

- Events including lectures, panel discussions, film screenings, flu vaccine clinic, conversations, tours + more

- Online TV channel:

Imperfect Health TV


Featured Item


Edited by Giovanna Borasi + Mirko Zardini.
Essays by Borasi, Margaret Campbell, Nan Ellin, David Gissen, Carla C. Keirns, Linda Pollak, Hilary Sample, Sarah Schrank, Deane Simpson, and Zardini. Published by the CCA
and Lars Műller Publishers.

Imperfect Health takes a critical look at how architects and planners are responding to growing urban health concerns and points to sometimes unforeseen consequences of their built interventions. The book tackles this contemporary issue from a historical and critical perspective, focusing on different themes: epidemics and urban defense systems; architecture combating pollution; environmental and urban challenges, obesity and design strategies; Modernism and tuberculosis; sunbathing and suburbia; aging today and indoor life and toxic materials.

Read an excerpt. Purchase the book.

376 pages, 300 illustrations, hardcover

Imperfect Health is available an an e-book or in print at the Miller Gallery Store.

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Gallery Director Suparak Nominated

"If you're betting on who will make up the next set of influential international curators, this list could make you rich. Today the New York-based non-profit Independent Curators International announces the nominees for this year's Independent Vision Curatorial Award, a prize bestowed on emerging figures in the field by their more established colleagues. ARTINFO got an early look, and here's what to expect.

The second annual prize's 15 nominees include independent curators and major museum staffers working in a dozen different countries. And they've been vetted by some of the biggest names in contemporary art, including Performa founder RoseLee Goldberg, White Columns director Matthew Higgs, Documenta's Chus Martinez, MIT List Visual Arts Center curator João Ribas, LACMA's chief curator of contemporary art Franklin Sirmans, and Guggenheim chief curator Nancy Spector." - ARTINFO

Read the article + view a slideshow.


Award nominees include independent curators and major museum staffers working in a dozen different countries

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ARTINFO: "A First Look at the Curators Nominated for This Year's ICI Independent Vision Curatorial Award," Sept. 7, 2012

The New York Observer, Gallerist NY: "Independent Curators International Announced Nominees for 2012 Independent Vision Curatorial Award," Sept. 7, 2012

Los Angeles Times: "LAXART curator among nominees for Independent Curators award," Sept. 10, 2012

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