i/van/able is imaginary. nonetheless, through writing, works of art, architecture, design, and narrative, with ife salema vanable at the helm, i/van/able is Old Hand at producing theoretical, speculative, and physical interventions rooted in uncommon and seemingly incompatible scenarios of use, programmatic organization, and occupation that defy prevailing notions of type, taste and form. 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. get in touch.     

In the Works 

1 July 2023
Ife begins an appointment as tenure-track assistant professor of architecture at Yale School of Architecture.

Summer 2023

Fall 2022

15 March 2022
Thrillingly, Ife contributed to SSENSE Magazine editorial, Unmeasurables: a Conversation About Architecture. One of “Four Experts on the Intimacy of Space,” the interview among Ife, Diana Jean Sandoval Martinez, Omar Gandhi, and Zeina Koreitem was conducted by Oana Stănescu and includes llustrations by Gavin Park. Online now and print edition out soon.

10 March 2022
Organized by California College of the Arts (CCA) and co-presented by the San Francisco Museum of the African Diaspora (MoAD), Ife participates in [Un]commoning Architectural Language that convened “a panel of interdisciplinary scholars and practitioners to discuss ways in which cultural movements like Afrofuturism and Afrosurrealism can reveal new languages of spatial imagination to tackle questions of representation, appropriation, intersectionality and authenticity within an aesthetics of spatial (in)justice.” Featuring Lonny Brooks, Nyame Brown, Bz (Brenda) Zhang, and Ife Salema Vanable.

25 February 2022
Ife participates in Princeton University’s sixth annual Womxn in Design (WDA) conference, June Jordan: Pleasures of Perspectives, sitting on a dynamic panel, Intersectionality and Space with Charles L. Davis II, Associate Professor of Architectural History and Criticism, University at Buffalo and Mecca Jamilah Sullivan, author and artist; Associate Professor of English, Georgetown University. Panel Introduction and Moderation WDA Member Shoshana Torn and SoA Doctoral Student Ibiayi Briggs.  

January 2022
Ife starts the year joining the editorial team of the Avery Review as a Contributing Editor.

12 October 2021
Ife presents on the framing and positioning of her scholarly and architectural design work at the RISD Thesis + Directed Research Colloquium, alongside Jaffer Kolb.

7 October 2021
As Inaugural KPF Visiting Scholar at the Yale University School of Architecture for the 2021-2022 acadeemic year, Ife shares Tall Tales:...Up, Up, to the Sky!, a public lecture in Hastings Hall.

28 September 2021
For Episode 01, Lost Rituals: Storytelling PAST of the Yale Paprika! podcast, In the Pit!, Ife joins host Sosa Erhabor and guest host N'Dos Onochie, sitting in conversation with Mabel O. Wilson and Charis Armstrong, discussing black architectural historicities, erasure, exposure, and fetishization within the architectural field.

23 September 2021
Ife opens the first panel of the 2021 Penn State Stuckeman School Research Symposium,Design Consequences: Taking Responsibility for Our Ideas organized by Alexandra Staub, sharing “State Looks, Black Desire(s), Housing Schemes,” and joins Rayne Laborde, Lily Song and Euneika Rogers-Sipp in a dynamic roundtable thereafter. 

June 2021
Ife appointed Inaugural KPF Visiting Scholar at the Yale University School of Architecture for the 2021-2022 acadeemic year. Ife is teaching an elective graduate seminar, Tall Tales, based on her emergent dissertation project and sharing a public lecture in October. 

April 2021
Ife recieves a 2021 Buell Center Fellowship supporting historical research on the built environment within or between the fields of architecture, urban history, and landscape for her dissertation project, Tall Tales: State Looks, Black Desire(s), Housing Schemes.

April 2021
Ife’s models, depicting NYC Mitchell-Lama housing developments, are on their way to Venice as part of her ongoing research, DEEP SEGREGATION; presented at the Biennale Architettura 2021, Co-Habitats, representing and sponsored by The Irwin S. Chanin School of Architecture of Cooper Union, alongside Nora Akawi, Hayley Eber, Lydia Kallipoliti and Lauren Kogod for the collaborative exhibition, Microcosms and Schisms

Sincere thanks to Nienying Lin for being a true phenom in completing these models and for your tremendous effort, thought, and production alongside Sally Chen since 2020, two incredible Cooper Union post-professional Master of Architecture degree recipients. 

30 April 2021
See work from guns and butter, the Advanaced Architecture VI studio Ife led alongside Amanda Williams as the Columbia GSAPP End of Year Show goes live.

3 April 2021
Ife moderates Notes from Within, an exchange with and for prospective and admitted students who identify as black to the Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation at Columbia University, in collaboration with the Black Student Alliance [BSA+GSAPP]. 

Black folks have historically and perhaps will always have a troubled, fraught relation to institutions. Vexed and vexing, arguably, the only way to exist within and in relation to institutions—whether they be those of the academy, the state, or both—is antagonistically. Notes from Within invited potential prospective and already accepted students to sit in fellowship and exchange with members of the Black Student Alliance at the Graduate School of Architecture, Planning, and Preservation at Columbia University [BSA+GSAPP]. In this candid engagement, with representation from a host of GSAPP programs, we shared insight, experiences, and various tales of the lives of students who identify as black and study at GSAPP and in allied fields whose work engages the built domain, interrogating space, geography, urbanity, and domesticity. Foremost, our aim was to respond to questions from students, who with eyes wide open, seek to enter or are considering entry into this particular space of the academy.

11 December 2020
For HOUSINGS: UNAUTHORIZED EPISTEMOLOGIES, Ife in collaboration with Daisy Ames is awarded a pedagogy developmeent research grant from the Cooper Union Grant Program

This work explicitly confronts histories and practices of architecture, and specifically the development of urban housing, as the work of culture, inherently political. Through various innovative modes of representation, this project’s goal is to lay bare to analysis, the seemingly difficult-to-see, ignored and invisibilized aspects of how and why multi-family housing in New York City exists where and in the forms it does today. Our goal is to forge a critical, generous space to study multiple territories of containment, accommodation, protection, enclosure, and dwelling (conceptual, theoretical, material, bodily, and sensorial). This project asks rigorous questions of how value is and has been determined in terms of what is worth being known (seen, drawn, and made) and where value lies in terms of which lives are made to live and which are meant to let die in the ways that housing is proliferated across the urban domain. This, we hope, may be achieved by paying careful attention to otherwise (unauthorized) cartographies. This work will establish a set of approaches, questions, and themes that will undergird a Fall 2021 design research seminar, ultimately enabling a framework for continued exploration and analysis.

09 December 2020
Ife moderates HOUSE & HOME, a panel discussion between architecturally trained visual artist Amanda Williams and architect, educator, and author, Professor Hansy Better Barraza, joing by BSA+GSAPP members, Malcolm Rio and Skylar Royal, exploring forms of cultural production in which “house” and “home,” mobilized as architectural allegory and material object (“thing,” with its attendant systems of construction, finance, land, and labor), advance and/or refute claims on agency, authorship and normativity.

25 November 2020
Ife joins the faculty at the Columbia University Graduate School of Architecture, Planning, and Preservation, teaching the spring 2021 advanced architecture studio vi, guns and butter, alongside visual artist Amanda Williams.

23 September 2020
Ife joins members of the Black Student Alliance at Columbia GSAPP [BSA+GSAPP] moderating and contributing a response to the Black Reconstructive Collective (BRC) presentation response to the queston, What is the Architecture of Reparations? 

23 September 2020
Ife preesnts Nothing Even Matters, a public sharing of ongoing study of Mitchell-Lama houisng, blackness, and the construction of racial differnce at the University of Maryland School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation (UMD) for its fall lecture series, “Under Construciton.”

25 July 2020
Ife joins Afican Mobilities curator, Mpho Matsipa and members of the Black Student Alliance at Columbia GSAPP [BSA+GSAPP], including Elleza Kelley (moderator), Farouk Kwaning, Ochuko Okor, and Malcolm Rio, in the roundtable discussion, Surrounds: The City, The University, and Insurgency, to respond to the latest episode of AfricanMobilities 2.0 Podcast on enclosure featuring GSAPP faculty members Justin Garrett Moore and Global Africa Lab co-directors Mabel O. Wilson and Mario Gooden. 

This discussion comes four weeks after the public release of BSA+GSAPP’s statement “On the Futility of Listening,” which addressed a persistent lack of vision, awareness, and imagination from the Dean, faculty and administration of Columbia GSAPP, particularly in response to institutional and anti-black racism within the school. Against the backdrop of two global pandemics—COVID-19 and state-sanctioned anti-black violence—we hope to provide a space to interrogate our position within the university, and elaborate on our call for deliberate, careful, and shared modes of study within the university, and to explore forms of exchange beyond the institution.

05 March 2020

Ife joins a distinguished panel as a juror at the Yale School of Architecture for the midterm review of the Spring 2020 Advanced Studio led by the Diana Balmori Visiting Professor, Walter Hood, CULTURAL DREAMING…..alternative futures for urban renewal memories.

30 September 2019
Ife (Bronx, USA, 1981) is set to contribute DEEP SEGREGATION, representing The Irwin S. Chanin School of Architecture of Cooper Union at La Biennale di Venezia, Biennale Architettura 2021, Co-Habitats, alongside Nora Akawi (Israel, 1985), Hayley Eber (South Africa, 1976), Lydia Kallipoliti (Greece, 1976) and Lauren Kogod (USA, 1961) for the collaborative exhibition, Microcosms and Schisms.

03 September 2019
Ife joins the faculty at the Irwin S. Chanin School of Architecture of the Cooper Union as a Visiting Professor, for the 2019-2020 academic year. Fall 2019 Ife teaches the Design II archietcture studio, CHARGED TYPES / SEAMLESS RITUALS / TROUBLED ADJACENCIES, alongside Nima Javidi, Stephanie Lin, and Julian Palacio. Spring 2020, Ife teaches the Design III integrated architecture studio, Urban Housing: The Materiality of Dwelling with Stephen Rustow and Mersiha Veledar. For Spring 2020, Ife is also faculty advisor for the graduate M.Arch II studio, Microcosms and Schisms: How will we live together, advising team, DEEP SEGREGATION. View student work at the Cooper Union End of Year Show (EOYS).

Ife is a New York Foundation for the Arts (NYFA) Artists’ Fellowship recipient in the category of Architecture/Environmental Structures/Design. 

Ife is an Architectural League of New York-sponsored recipeint of an Independent Project Grant from the New York State Council on the Arts Architecture + Design Program for Working the Middle - A Revival.