Graduate Student Talk: Soala Lolia Ajienka

February 22, 2024
Event Types
Talk / Lecture
On a low pedestal in the foreground, seven standing lamps are conjoined by a single ring-shaped lampshade. A neat coil of pale cord sits near the base of each lamp. Behind it, small glass sculptures sit on a shelf, indistinct from the white wall behind them. A chevron-shaped wall piece is affixed to the wall nearby.

Exhibition view: Carlos Reyes: 18, MIT List Visual Arts Center, Cambridge, 2023. Photo: Dario Lasagni


For more information, contact:

cwestj01 [at] (Cassidy Westjohn)

Join Soala Lolia Ajienka, a Master of Architecture candidate in the Department of Architecture at MIT for a conversation around Carlos Reyes: 18.

In this talk, Soala Lolia Ajienka will discuss ‘sleight of human touch,’ a design method predicated on imbuing artifact creation and the design process with the human hand. This method of working will then be discussed in relation to Carlos Reyes’ works, which “leaves the resulting forms with the residues of time and the embodied energies of breath and touch” exerted on an object. Through the lens of specific pieces of work from tapestry to painting and electronics, Ajienka will explore her approach to this design method.

This will be a hybrid event with a live video that can be streamed here at 5:30 PM.

About the Speaker

 Soala Lolia Ajienka is a Master of Architecture (M.Arch Candidate) at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. She holds a BA in Architecture from the University of Cambridge, where she completed an extensive body of research titled “where fires go out: Challenging the enclave narrative of the Global Crude Oil Industry in the Nigerian Niger Delta.” A pivotal piece of work that took upon the physiological and place negating ramifications of a world tethered to crude oil within a regional context. Working across contexts of Nigeria and the UK, and now the US, has been seminal in defining her design practice of fusing material vernaculars across different media with practices of artisanship and placemaking. Material then is the protagonist through which to unpack narratives relating to energy, power, and its relationships.  This multiplicity of contexts necessitates a sensitivity towards lived experiences and the stratified nature of collective historical memory.   

Graduate Student Talks

MIT graduate students explore current exhibitions at the List Center through the lens of their own research, background, and interests. Join us for this interdisciplinary lecture series where we dive into how art and research are overlapping on MIT’s campus.