i/van/able is imaginary. founded and led by ife salema vanable, i/van/able does not actually exist, but is nonetheless Old Hand at synthesis, interrogation, and speculation. a supposed architectural workshop and think tank, i/van/able has never existed and yet has always been in the works. i/van/able is a fantasy and a fiction, a desire. longing and digging in on Tall Tales: State Looks, Black Desire(s), Housing Schemes, which began in part with DEEP SEGREGATION. thinking on the sky, groundlessness, and blackness as swarm. STILL, KEPTbreakfront and sofa set, on the way. see ife’s curriculum vitae and/or get in touch.

Ife Salema Vanable is an architect, historian, and theorist who directs i/van/able, a Bronx-founded, Bristol, CT-based (but always Bronx-flavored) architectural workshop and think tank that produces theoretical, speculative, and physical interventions that defy prevailing notions of type, taste and form. This work has been supported by the New York State Council on the Arts (NYSCA), recognized by the New York Foundation for the Arts (NYFA), and exhibited at the 2021 Venice Architecture Biennale.  

Ife is an assistant professor of architecture at the Yale School of Architecture and was the inaugural KPF Visiting Scholar (2021), as well as a Presidential Visiting Fellow (2022), also at Yale University’s School of Architecture (YSoA).

Ife is also a PhD candidate in architectural history and theory at Columbia University’s Graduate School of Architecture, Planning, and Preservation (GSAPP). Her scholarly work asks questions of and seeks to unearth complex and seemingly banal relationships between the design of architecture (especially high-rise residential towers), legal rhetoric, and public policy, the performance of domesticity and respectability, and the politics, aesthetics, and materiality of the making of home. She has received numerous awards, prizes, and fellowships, including a History and Theory Prize from Princeton University, a Columbia University Buell Center Fellowship, and an inaugural Black Reconstruction Collective (BRC) Prize.

Ife holds professional and post-professional degrees in architecture from Cornell and Princeton Universities and has studied at the Architectural Association in London and the University College of Lands and Architectural Studies (now Ardhi University) in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.

Ife’s writing has been published in the Avery Review and she is co-editor of the forthcoming volume Black Production and the Space of the University to be published by Columbia Books on Architecture and the City.

Ife has been a guest critic at Harvard University’s Graduate School of Design (GSD), Rhode Island School of Design (RISD), Parsons School of Constructed Environments, Cornell University College of Architecture, Art and Planning (AAP), University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee School of Architecture & Urban Planning, and The City College of New York’s Spitzer School of Architecture (SSA), among others, and has previously taught seminars and design studios at The Irwin S. Chanin School of Architecture of The Cooper Union and Columbia University’s Graduate School of Architecture, Planning, and Preservation (GSAPP).