Trained in photography and architectural history and theory, Esther Choi’s work adopts different formats: from photographs and videos to installations, books and texts. Bridging disciplines, her unique practice has focused on the social architectures of everyday life, often retooling ordinary spaces, images and rituals as opportunities to advance more equitable social and environmental frameworks. Informed by cultural theory, critical theory and intersectional feminist perspectives, history and photography are regarded in her practice not only as ways to simply record facts, but rather as complex practices of description that can reveal the prevailing ideas, assumptions and experiences of an era.
Esther is the creator of Le Corbuffet (Prestel, 2019), an artist’s book that appropriates the networks of cookbook publishing to subversively explore ideas about privatization and cultural consumption. The project has been profiled extensively in publications including Saveur, Epicurious, T: The New York Times Style Magazine, Vogue, and more. Her photographs have been published in T: The New York Times Style Magazine and Dazed and Confused.
Esther's essays on topics ranging from social practice, political ecology and the image economy have appeared in Artforum, Art Papers, Journal for Architectural Education and PIN-UP, and in publications for the Walker Art Center and ETH Zürich. She coedited the books Architecture at the Edge of Everything Else (MIT Press, 2010) and Architecture Is All Over (Columbia Books on Architecture, 2017). Esther's PhD dissertation at Princeton University examined the influence of evolutionary biology on projects devised collaboratively by modern architects, artists and biologists, which sought to "redesign" nature –and by extension, human nature– in interwar Britain.
She received a joint PhD from Princeton University between the Dept. of Architecture and the Interdisciplinary Doctoral Program in the Humanities in 2019. She holds a Master in Design Studies (History/ Theory) from Harvard University Graduate School of Design, an MFA in Photography from Concordia University and a BFA in Photography from Ryerson University.
Since 2008, she has taught courses on photography, criticism and curatorial practice, and architecture at OCAD University, The Cooper Union and The New School. Her work has received support from institutions such as the Graham Foundation for Advanced Studies in the Fine Arts, Canadian Centre for Architecture, Richard Rogers Fellowship, and the Social Sciences Humanities Research Council of Canada.