V. Proposals

John Umbanhowar / hughesumbanhowar architects


Our proposal for Schindler Lab involves a crowd-sourced curation process to produce a photographic catalog of the Schindler House, utilizing visitor smart phones or iPod touch cameras provided by the MAK Center. Instead of the singular curatorial eye of an artist or architect, this mechanism of co-curation will encourage and enable visitors to intimately explore, circulate, observe, and record their visits, creating a subjective record as they occupy the house. The visitors will be given a list of important features of the Schindler House, which they will be encouraged to document.

At the outset it will be a photographic monologue, but over the course of the exhibition more visitors will come to participate in the conversation. The language of photography will serve as a framing, contextualizing, and subjectifying device. By the end of the exhibition, familiar and unfamiliar characteristics of the house will begin to reveal themselves in these images.

The exhibition will have a powerful online presence via Instagram, attracting local visitors, as well as those who could not physically visit Los Angeles. Using both the social outreach of the MAK Center as well as the open loop of social media networks, this project will allow the Schindler House to reach and inform a new audience.


Instructions will be posted at the Schindler House’s entrance to use #schindlerhousegram to identify the collaborative curatorial effort online.

Visitors will be encouraged to take as many photos as they like on the camera using the prompts provided, but will select a handful to upload to the MAK Center Instagram account. Through the Instagram account, the photographer/visitor will be able to see what photos others have uploaded. Users with previous familiarity with the application will also be able to invite friends to participate and view from their own account. Each time the iPod touch is returned, the photo gallery will be cleared to create a clean slate for the next user. A computer in the house with online access to the MAK Center Instagram account will be available to view the overall Instagram photo gallery with hashtags on a larger screen.

The #schindlerhousegram account will be setup and monitored by hughesumbanhower Studio (HUUM) in conjunction with the MAK Center. With the use of hashtags, specific words can be marked to come up in searches for “Schindler,” “architecture,” etc. that will get the information to interested account holders. Following the exhibition, the photographs will continue to be archived on Instagram. They will also be downloaded by HUUM and cataloged for online viewing on the MAK Center website as well as a printed book.


  • Visitor smart phones
  • 5–6 iPod touch cameras
  • Computer with online access
  • WIFI network for Internet access
  • Printed instruction cards

House Characteristics to Photograph and Hashtag

  • Light
  • Shadow
  • Shine
  • Texture
  • Wood
  • Concrete
  • Metal
  • Inside/Outside
  • Transition
  • Thick
  • Thin
  • Detail
  • Structure
  • Corner
  • Window
  • Procession
  • Contraction
  • Expansion
  • Reflection
  • Patina
  • Cantilever

John Umbanhowar is a Los Angeles-based architect.

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