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Essay: Chris Reed & Nina-Marie Lister

Ecology and Design: Parallel Genealogies

Ecology and Design: Parallel Genealogies The word “ecology” has been co-opted so widely that it has lost real meaning, yet ecological thinking remains a powerful lens for understanding complex adaptive systems. In this rigorous overview of the term's origins and evolution, Chris Reed and Nina-Marie Lister explain how contemporary ecological models of “open-endedness, flexibility, resilience and adaptation” can inform design thinking.

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Essay: Sandy Isenstadt

Good Night

Good Night A century ago, electric light revolutionized the experience of city life. Today the development of remarkable new technologies, from solid-state LEDs to sophisticated controls, is producing nothing less than another renaissance of urban lighting. As Sandy Isenstadt says, "The past two decades have seen staggering innovations in lighting design and technology — entirely new ways of thinking about cities at night. The Edison bulb remained nearly unchanged for more than a century; today new sources and new controls appear one after another."

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Essay: Kenny Cupers

The Social Project

The Social Project In the mid-20th century, France, like many nations, sponsored an ambitious program of public housing. Kenny Cupers assesses the complex architectural and political legacy of this agenda, and argues that we too often accept simplistic interpretations of postwar public projects. As he says, "Never before — and not since — were modernization and modernism so pervasive and so closely allied. Never before was modern architecture built on such a massive scale, and never before was the regional landscape reshaped so definitively."

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Gallery: Anna Harris & Thomas Fuller

The Night-Side of Hospitals

The Night-Side of Hospitals Inside a Melbourne hospital, ethnographer Anna Harris and photographer Thomas Fuller trace the blurry line between public and private space. Here, migrant doctors gather to study for exams, use the coffee machines and photocopiers, and try to hold on to a professional identity on the fringes of a medical system that does not acknowledge their presence.

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Essay: Wendy Rawlings

Food and Worker Safety Across the Globe: A Nervous and Incomplete Case Study

Food and Worker Safety Across the Globe: A Nervous and Incomplete Case Study “So basically we are talking about commerce. Commerce in lettuce, spinach, and iPads. Also, at some point, there should be a conversation about knockoff Prada bags and prescription drugs that one can buy over the Internet. But before that, I want to talk about a product called n-hexane.” As her niece lies dying of kidney failure, Wendy Rawlings traces the effects of neoliberalism from Salinas to Shenzhen.

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Essay: Richard Campanella

Hating Bourbon Street

Hating Bourbon Street “The street is named Bourbon, the city is New Orleans, and the story is fundamentally American.” It’s also roundly dismissed by the cultural elite. But geographer Richard Campanella thinks we have much to learn by studying how Bourbon Street has thrived “without the benefit of a corporate structure, a team of experts, a board of directors or a marketing branch.” Never mind the politics of authenticity, Campanella says; Bourbonites “measure success the old-fashioned way: by the millions.”

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Review: Jonathan Massey

“The Spectacle of Growth”

“The Spectacle of Growth” When Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva was running for Brazil’s presidency, more than a decade ago, he promised to cultivate a “spectacle of growth.” Now Brazil is swept up in a massive wave of development, capped by preparations for hosting the World Cup and Olympic Games. In a review of the São Paulo Architecture Biennial, Jonathan Massey considers architectural and artistic responses to the rapid urbanization: “Who is benefiting, and who is being displaced or excluded? What can architects and citizens do to exert leverage on processes at once local and global?”

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Gallery: Sasha Bezzubov & Aaron Rothman

Landscape Forensics

Landscape Forensics Landscape photographers are always grappling with the problem of representation. “How do we visualize climate change, or politically disputed claims on land and resources?” writes Places photo editor Aaron Rothman. In this gallery, he takes a retrospective look at four series by photographer Sasha Bezzubov that document material traces of invisible phenomena underlying contemporary landscapes.

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Essay: Pedro Levi Bismarck

Architecture and the Aestheticization of Politics

Architecture and the Aestheticization of Politics Within a few years, rapidly growing Istanbul will overtake London and Moscow as Europe’s largest metropolis. Not coincidentally, Turkey is undergoing a profound shift toward privatization, as seen in the government's plan to redevelop Taksim Gezi Park into a shopping mall with a nostalgic Ottoman facade. Architect Pedro Levi Bismarck examines the plan as a reflection of a larger democratic crisis, following Siegfried Kracauer’s observation: “Wherever the hieroglyphics of any spatial image are deciphered, there the basis of social reality presents itself.”

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Partner News: UC Berkeley

UC Berkeley to Host The City + Water Conference

UC Berkeley to Host The City + Water ConferenceThe conference will be held on February 28.

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Event: Places Editors

Mextrópoli: 1st International Festival of Architecture and the City

Mextrópoli: 1st International Festival of Architecture and the CityMextrópoli, the First International Festival of Architecture and the City, sponsored by Arquine, will take place March 22 - 26, 2014 in Mexico City.

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Partner News: MIT

Jennifer Pahlka Receives the Kevin Lynch Award

Jennifer Pahlka Receives the Kevin Lynch AwardJennifer Pahlka, the founder of Code for America, receives the Kevin Lynch award from the MIT School of Architecture + Planning.

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Partner News: Aarhus School of Architecture

Aarhus School of Architecture Appoints New Prorector

Aarhus School of Architecture Appoints New ProrectorTrine Berthold will focus on international cooperation and strengthening the school's ties to practice.

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Sponsor News: Holcim Foundation

The 4th International Holcim Award Entry Process is Now Open

The 4th International Holcim Award Entry Process is Now OpenThe Holcim Foundation seeks projects and visions that contribute to a more sustainable built environment.

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Partner News: University of Washington

John Schaufelberger Appointed Dean of UW College of Built Environments

John Schaufelberger Appointed Dean of UW College of Built EnvironmentsProfessor Schaufelberger, who has been with the University of Washington since 1994, assumed the deanship on November 1.

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News: Places Editors

We’re Launching a New Site: Places Wire

We’re Launching a New Site: Places WirePlaces Journal is pleased to announce the launch of Places Wire, a companion site that will round up leading news and commentary on architecture, landscape and urbanism.

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Remembrance: Places Editors

Samina Quraeshi, 1944 – 2013

Samina Quraeshi, 1944 – 2013Samina Quraeshi, an influential artist, designer, author and educator, who dedicated her career to encouraging greater awareness and understanding of her native Pakistan, and who was for many years a valued member of Places Journal's board of directors, died earlier this fall.

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Partner News: University of Maryland

Conflict and Convergence Symposium

Conflict and Convergence SymposiumThe symposium on October 4–5 will explore how recent experiences in Latin American cities can serve as examples for models of urban and social revitalization in other parts of the world.

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