The City of 7 Billion


Thursday, September 3, 2015 to Saturday, November 14, 2015


Paul Rudolph Hall See map
180 York St.
New Haven, CT 06511


We live in the City of 7 Billion.

No matter which peak, plain, or recess of the earth you inhabit, it is urban – beholden to cultivation, extraction, quantification, industrialization, surveillance, and contamination.

If any space you occupy is the city, then the epoch you witness is the Anthropocene – when the world is profoundly, perhaps irrevocably, transformed by human activity. All seven billion of us, and the billions before us, are the earth’s designers and constructors.

Our city has spread. It defies political boundaries and fault lines as a continuous, thickening stratum over the earth’s surface, plunging into oceans and reaching toward outer space. The city is at once totalizing and infinitely splintered.

The City of 7 Billion is not a proposition. It is an unrelenting reality.

City of 7 Billion: A Constructed World tests the potential of architectural methods, often used to build the city, to confront and reconsider this inescapable condition. The exhibition sets six stages to take measure of our overwhelming creation: Figures & Ground, Urban Cores, Sphere of the Unknown, Scenes from the Horizon, Drawing Set, and Models of the World.

The world is now cast as the ultimate design problem, not because our wit has empowered us to do so but because our collective hubris, now challenged, has brought us to the task.


Joyce Hsiang and Bimal Mendis,
Plan B Architecture & Urbanism

Research & Exhibition Design:
Robert Cannavino, Andrew Ruff, and Miroslava Brooks
with Brent Sturlaugson, Christian Nakarado, Melody Song, Maggie Tsang, Anne Householder, Dima Srouji, Daniel Markiewicz, Henry Ng, Ryan Welch, and Justine Yan

Todd Reisz

Production & Fabrication:
Hugo Fenaux, Ethan Fischer, Ariel Flotte, Mengran Li, Daniel Marty, Rashid Muydinov, and Robert Scott
with Lisa Albaugh, Luke Anderson, Cori Cannavino, Anny Chang, Katie Colford, Elif Erez, Dov Feinmesser, Cat Garcia-Menocal, John Holden, Yanu Jang, Jingwen Li, David Langdon, Christopher Leung, Yanbo Li, Paul Lorenz, Kate McMillan, Andrea Moreno, Anna Nasonova, Juan Pablo Ponce de Leon, Paul Rasmussen, Nasim Rowshanabadi, Caitlin Thissen, Alexandra Thompson, Georgia Todd, and Edward Wang

Robert A.M. Stern, Michelle Addington, Phillip Bernstein, Dana Tomlin, Thomas Fisher, Keller Easterling, Brian Butterfield, Elijah Huge, Timothy Newton, John Eberhart, Luke Bulman, Erik Herrmann, and the AIA College of Fellows Executive Committee

Models of the World Contributors:
Lucia Allais, Pierre Bélanger, Phillip Bernstein, Benjamin H. Bratton, Neil Brenner & the Urban Theory Lab GSD, Keller Easterling, Ariane Lourie Harrison, Tim Ingold, Clara Irazábal, Adrian Lahoud, Adam Lowe, Nicholas de Monchaux, William Nordhaus, Aihwa Ong, John Palmesino, William Rankin, Todd Reisz, Elihu Rubin, Hashim Sarkis, Peter Sloterdijk, Kathryn Sullivan, Dana Tomlin, Annabel Wharton, Mark Wigley, Mark Williams, and Liam Young

Exhibition Organization:
Alfie Koetter, Director of Exhibitions
Alison Walsh, Exhibitions Coordinator

City of 7 Billion is an ongoing research project that reframes the world as one city. The exhibition presents new models, drawings and animations that investigate urbanization at a global scale. It is the recipient of the 2013 Latrobe Prize and is supported in part by the AIA College of Fellows, the Hines Research Fund for Advanced Sustainability in Architecture, a grant from the Graham Foundation for Advanced Studies in the Fine Arts, Thomas & Beryl Hsiang, Pelli Clarke Pelli Architects, and Gina Tso.

The Yale School of Architecture’s exhibition program is supported in part by the James Wilder Green Dean’s Resource Fund, the Kibel Foundation Fund, The Nitkin Family Dean's Discretionary Fund in Architecture, the Pickard Chilton Dean’s Resource Fund, the Paul Rudolph Publication Fund, the Robert A.M. Stern Fund, and the Rutherford Trowbridge Memorial Publication Fund.