Peter Del Tredici
The Flora of the Future
On Places, botanist Peter Del Tredici presents a photo survey of urban ecological niches and the wild plants making their home in the city.
04.14.14: Chris Reed & Nina-Marie Lister
Ecology and Design: Parallel Genealogies
On Places, Chris Reed and Nina-Marie Lister recover a critical sense of the term “ecology” and explain how contemporary ecological models of “open-endedness, flexibility, resilience and adaptation” can inform design thinking.
On Places, Sandy Isenstadt explores our remarkable new era of urban lighting design and technology, which is inspiring "entirely new ways of thinking about the city at night."
The Social Project
On Places, Kenny Cupers explores the complex architectural and social legacy of postwar public housing in the banlieues
that ring contemporary Paris.
Food and Worker Safety Across the Globe: A Nervous and Incomplete Case Study
As her niece lies dying of kidney failure, Wendy Rawlings traces the effects of neoliberalism from Salinas to Shenzhen.
Hating Bourbon Street
On Places, Richard Campanella upbraids the Bourbon Street haters and scrutinizes the politics of authenticity in New Orleans.
Pedro Levi Bismarck
Architecture and the Aestheticization of Politics
On Places, Pedro Levi Bismarck deciphers the Turkish government plan to transform the vital public space of Taksim Gezi Park into a shopping mall with a nostalgic Ottoman facade.
TEDification versus Edification
On Places, Simon Sadler explores the magical thinking and many contradictions of the TED Talks.
A Tower in Manhattan
On Places, editor/writer Owen Edwards remembers living in — lucking into — a tower in Manhattan in the '70s, back when the city was less rich and more open.
Dallas Is a Story I Tell
On Places, Jim Williamson remembers growing up in Dallas, and explores the oddity of memory, the blurring of shared national tragedy with the personal and ordinary.
Methodolatry and the Art of Measure
On Places, Shannon Mattern surveys the new wave of urban data science projects and argues that practitioners are trending toward an obsession with data-for-data’s-sake and an idolization of method.
When Buildings Kill
On Places, Keith Eggener takes us on a tour of evil architecture in book and movies — just in time for Halloween.
The Village Against the World
On Places, Dan Hancox tells the story of a village in Andalusia that for the past three decades has been working — successfully — to create a communist utopia.
On Places, Barbara Penner recounts mid-20th-century efforts to radically reform the design of the American bathroom — and the assorted inhibitions and taboos that got in the way.
Resilience in Red Hook
On Places, Alexandros Washburn, chief urban designer for New York, describes the frightening onset and complicated aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, which devastated the city last October.
On Places, urban forecaster Anthony Townsend considers the vulnerability of smart cities to power failures, hackers and software bugs.
Print and Pixel
On Places, Nancy Levinson explores the challenges of moving from a print-centric to digital-dominant world — in particular the difficulty of sustaining ambitious journalism and serious literature.
Building Data: Field Notes on the Future of the Past
On Places, Gabrielle Esperdy explores the development of an online encyclopedia of American architecture — and argues that metadata is a crucial tool for future historians.
The Highway Not Taken: Tony Smith and the Suburban Sublime
On Places, David Salomon explores the life and work of the artist and architect Tony Smith — including his mid-career epiphany on the New Jersey Turnpike.
Walking the Darkness Home
On Places, Adelheid Fischer recounts a journey to the Grand Canyon — to a dangerous and redemptive place that by turns epitomizes and defies the expectations (and clichés) of the famous landscape.
The Future of Mobility: Greening the Airport
On Places, Clare Lyster explores the new generation of green airport terminals, and argues that the next generation of sustainable design will encompass the larger environs of the entire airfield.
Corrections and Collections
On Places, Joe Day examines American prison and museum design and compares how the two institutional architectures have responded to cultural movements from Minimalism to post-Millenialism.
On Places, Shannon Mattern explores how media scholars and environmental artists are working to reveal the material and immaterial infrastructures that shape our lives, from the Interstate to the Internet.
Who's Your Data?
On Places, Carl Skelton argues that the public needs new tools of citizenship to participate fully in the digital cities of the near future.
Eat the City
On Places, Richard Ingersoll makes the case for "civic agriculture" — for reconceptualizing cities as networks of agricultural zones, from parks to allotments, with the ultimate goal of enriching the public realm.
Building Hyperdensity and Civic Delight
On Places, Vishaan Chakrabarti argues that the hyperdense city is more prosperous, equitable, ecological and delightful — and vital to America's strength as a nation.
Eric W. Sanderson
Roads to Rails
On Places, Eric W. Sanderson lays out his plan for a modern streetcar revival, supported by municipal investment in urban rail.
The City and the Sea
On Places, Tom Vanderbilt surveys the landscape and politics of New York City after Hurricane Sandy, focusing on both early response and long-range planning.
Daniel A. Barber
Hubbert’s Peak, Eneropa, and the Visualization of Renewable Energy
On Places, Daniel Barber traces the energy debates back to the postwar era, when leading scientists argued that shifting from fossil fuels to renewables was not just technically feasible but also ethically necessary.
On Places, Belmont Freeman argues it's time to grapple with the artistic and professional consequences — and ethical dilemmas — of today's ever more powerful digital rendering technologies.
On Places, Naomi Stead examines the cultural perception of architecture as not simply a creative profession but also a kind of child's play — an uber-kindergarten legitimated for academic credit and professional reputation.
04.15.13: Lawrence Vale & Annemarie Gray
The Displacement Decathlon
On Places, Lawrence Vale and Annemarie Gray compare the cases of communities displaced by the Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, where plans for the 2016 Games are unfolding, and Atlanta, 20 years ago.
Seagram: Union of Building and Landscape
On Places, Phyllis Lambert explores the evolution of the Seagram Building, focusing on Mies van der Rohe's profound concern for the relationship between building and nature.
The Irrational Exuberance of Rem Koolhaas
On Places, Ellen Dunham-Jones assesses the protean career of Rem Koolhaas and his provocative efforts to marry art and capitalism, radicalism and pragmatism, icon-making and city-making.
My Backyard Jungle
On Places, James Barilla writes about the process of turning his backyard in Columbia, South Carolina, into certified wildlife habitat.
Steve Jobs: Architect
On Places, Simon Sadler finds provocative common ground in the extraordinary careers of Steve Jobs and Rem Koolhaas, both driven "to learn about the world through the attempt to change it."
Housing and Hope
On Places, Arjun Appadurai explores the global challenges of housing in megacities, and argues for the relationship of secure housing to human dignity and full citizenship.
Founding Mother: Mariana Van Rensselaer and the Rise of Criticism
On Places, Alexandra Lange explores the ongoing relevance of the late 19th-century writings of Mariana Van Rensselaer, one of the pioneers of architecture criticism in America.
Head of the Dragon: The Rise of New Shanghai
On Places, Daniel recounts the fast-forward and often ruthless reinvention of Shanghai — its transformation from moth-balled relic of Maoism to one of the world's most dynamic and contradictory cities.
The Emergence of Container Urbanism
On Places, Mitchell Schwarzer charts the rise of container urbanism from the mid 20th century to now, focusing especially on the dynamic potential of repurposed shipping containers to shape a new kind of city life.
01.31.13: Kristi Dykema Cheramie & Michael Pasquier
The Lost Graves of the Morganza Floodway
On Places, Kristi Dykema Cheramie and Michael Pasquier tell the story of a small Louisiana church relocated by Mississippi River engineers so the area could be designated as floodable territory.
Beneficial Use: Toward Balancing America's (Sediment) Budget
On Places, Richard Campanella argues that the promethean geo-engineering of our river systems has resulted in the catastrophic erosion of our coasts — and proposes one potential solution.
Public and Common(s)
On Places, Reinhold Martin explores the philosophical understandings of the terms public
, from the 20th-century treatises of Arendt and Habermas to recent books by Michael Hardt and Antonio Negri.
Paju Bookcity: The Next Chapter
On Places, Shannon Mattern visits Paju Bookcity in South Korea— a special economic zone dedicated to books —and high-style architecture — now being remade for the digital era.
What Falls to Hand
On Places, Adelheid Fischer examines the potential of jugaad
— the Indian practice of doing more with less — to "frame a global philosophy of sustainable innovation,"
On Places, Naomi Stead explores the presentation of architecture in children's literature, with a special focus on stories about houses and the meaning of home.
The Unreal Estate Guide to Detroit
On Places, Andrew Herscher challenges the usual view of Detroit's decline: "What if Detroit has not only fallen apart and emptied out but also become a new sort of urban formation that only appears depleted through the lens of conventional urbanism?"
The Land Up North
On Places, an essay for Thanksgiving week, by Nicola Waldron, about the cycles of life and land.
“We shall deal here with humble things”
On Places, Barbara Penner considers the design, culture and politics of the bathroom — and how "this smallest of domestic rooms is linked to the larger worlds of engineering and infrastructure."
Past Perfect: Four Freedoms Park
On Places, Belmont Freeman reviews the controversial politics of presidential memorials, focusing especially on Four Freedoms Park in New York City, the memorial to FDR designed 40 years by Louis Kahn.
The Demolition and Afterlife of Baltimore Memorial Stadium
On Places, just in time for the World Series, Keith Eggener recounts the saga of Baltimore Memorial Stadium, and explores the relationship between civic building and collective memory.
On Places, Robert Macfarlane recounts his journey to the "formidably difficult" Minya Konka, in western China, which has long attracted devout Buddhists and intrepid mountaineers.
What the Nation’s Best-Educated Amateur Planners Learned from Hurricane Isaac. And Gustav. And Rita and Katrina. And Cindy, Ivan, Lili, Isidore, and Georges.
On Places, geographer Richard Campanella analyzes the many lessons that New Orleanians have learned from weathering powerful hurricanes — and he argues that the toughest test is yet to come.
Scarcity contra Austerity
On Places, Jeremy Till explores the distinction between the political ideology of austerity and the physical condition of scarcity — and argues that a sharper understanding of scarcity will enable designers to operate more creatively.
Lafayette Park: Living in Ordered Exhibition
On Places, Melissa Dittmer describes the experience of living in Mies van der Rohe's Lafayette Park in Detroit, where the glass-and-steel architecture encourages "a sense of intimacy that fosters community."
Factory of the World: Scenes from Guangdong
On Places, journalist Hsiao-Hung Pai investigates the living and working conditions of migrant laborers in Guandgong, and what she sees as the increasing ruthlessness of Chinese urbanism.
Beyond Zuccotti Park: Making the Public
On Places, in the wake of Occupy Wall Street, Jeffrey Hou argues that we need to focus not only on ensuring the right to public space but also on the "making of the public
as an engaged citizenry."
Why Architects Need Feminism
On Places, Despina Stratigakos makes the case for the next wave of feminism in architecture — and for a more sustainable and inclusive professional culture.
The Incredible True Adventures of the Architectress in America
On Places, Gabrielle Esperdy revisits "the amazing adventures" of the architect-feminists who fought for gender equality back in the '70s — and sees a powerful model for next-wave activism.
The Vernacular of Disaster
On Places, in the midst of storm season, James Barilla explores the links between place, weather and disaster, and the increasingly global language of environmental catastrophe.
Journey’s End: Wim Wenders in Texas
On Places, Enrique Ramirez explores the making of Wim Wenders's Paris, Texas,
and how the strange and atmospheric film captures the elusive essence of Houston.
Steven Boyd Saum
Accidents Will Happen: Lessons on Honey, Smoked Pig Fat, Atomic Disaster and the Half-Life of Truth
On Places, an essay by an American who is hiking in a Ukrainian forest when he hears about an accident at a nearby nuclear power plant. In the land of Chernobyl — ten years after the explosion — nothing is quite as it seems.
Revolution of the Thirsty
On Places, Karen Piper argues that the ongoing Egyptian Revolution is about not only political freedom but also the right to water: it is a "revolution of the thirsty."
Territory Jam: Tehran
On Places, Rudabeh Pakravan analyzes the rise of illegal satellite TV in Tehran, which allows residents to watch state-banned shows — and which has made the private home "the true public realm" in the Iranian capital.
A New Belle-Lettrism and the Future of Criticism
On Places, Naomi Stead makes the case for a radical rethinking of architecture criticism — a "new belle-lettrism" — prompted by the potential of online media.
Zone: The Spatial Softwares of Extrastatecraft
On Places, Keller Easterling explores the phenomenal rise of the free zone — an opportunistic urban hybrid that's powered the rise of glittering world cities like Singapore and Dubai.
The Shape of Green: Aesthetic Imperatives
On Places, Lance Hosey explores the relationship of sustainability to technology and aesthetics.
An Un-flushable Urinal: The Aesthetic Potential of Sustainability
On Places, David Heymann explores the unmet challenge of developing the "radical aesthetic potential" of sustainability in architecture.
On Places, as the summer season starts, writer Rolf Potts recollects scenes from his life as a traveler with a camera, from a 9th-grade civics class trip to Washington to later journeys around the world.
Marginalia: Little Libraries in the Urban Margins
On Places, Shannon Mattern surveys
the rise of the little library, of the myriad pop-up, guerrilla and ad-hoc libraries that build on the DIY energy and political edge of tactical urbanism.
The Uses of Daylight
On Places, Keith Eggener casts new light on the little-known Boley Building in Kansas City, by Louis Curtiss, which featured one of the first glass curtain walls in America.
An Xiao Mina
Art Village: A Year in Caochangdi
On Places, An Xiao Mina describes her volatile year in the Beijing arts district of Caochangdi, which was being threatened with demolition.
Visualizing the Ends of Oil
On Places, Mark Feldman looks closely at how the photographers Edward Burtynsky and Chris Jordan have each struggled to visualize and critique the effects of our dependence on oil.
Design’s Invisible Century
On Places, Tom Fisher explores the emerging "invisible century" of design — it's time, he argues, for designers to grapple not just with physical objects but also with the underlying processes that influence our buildings and landscapes.
20 Years Later: Legacies of the Los Angeles Riots
On Places, California historian Josh Sides assesses the dynamic changes in South Los Angeles in the 20 years since the riots of 1992.
04.16.12: Aaron Paley & Amanda Berman
CicLAvia: Reimagining the Streets of Los Angeles
On Places, Aaron Paley and Amanda Berman argue that the semi-annual CicLAvia — which bans cars from parts of L.A. — is inspiring Angelenos to imagine a new urban future.
The Last Pedestrians
On Places, Jerry Herron traces the intersecting lives of architect Albert Kahn, artist Diego Rivera and industrialist Edsel Ford — and how they all shaped the visioin of Detroit as industrial powerhouse.
Shaking Hands with a Sloth
On Places, Adelheid Fischer examines the links between biomimicry and design education, and argues that "the very act of looking to nature is conducive to creativity."
The Interventionist’s Toolkit: Project, Map, Occupy
On Places, Mimi Zeiger explores the unfolding dynamic — and tension — between the grassroots tactics of activist designers and the institutional strategies of New York's cultural leaders.
On Places, Gabrielle Esperdy traces the American journeys of Reyner Banham, and views the British historian in the lively tradition of European travelers who tell us Americans something important about ourselves.
The Future That Is Now
On Places, Stan Allen assesses architecture education in North America during the past two decades of rapid and profound technological and social change.
03.01.12: Alexandra Lange
How to Be an Architecture Critic
So you want to learn how to talk about buildings? Alexandra Lange suggests starting with “Sometimes We Do It Right,” Ada Louise Huxtable's classic review of the Marine Midland Bank Building in New York.
What Is It About the Art Schools?
On Places, Belmont Freeman recounts the dramatic saga of the National Art Schools in Havana — and argues that we are overlooking the larger narrative of post-revolutionary Cuban architecture.
Housing Chicago: Cabrini-Green to Parkside of Old Town
On Places, Lawrence Vale recounts the troubled saga of Chicago's now-demolished Cabrini-Green, and the mixed-income new-urbanist style communities that are replacing the old public housing.
Housing and the 99 Percent
On Places, Jonathan Massey traces a history of American home ownership, from the boosterism of the 1920s to postwar suburbia to the housing bubble to current foreclosure crisis.
Louis Curtiss and the Politics of Architectural Reputation
On Places, Keith Eggener assesses the work of the neglected Kansas City architect Louis Curtiss — and highlights the politics of professional repuation.
Hospitality Begins at Home
On Places, Deborah Gans visits a digital installation by Israeli artist Maya Zack and the In-House Festival in Jerusalem, and is inspired to explore the spatio-political dimensions of homeland
On Places, Austin Troy assesses the massive infrastructure required to bring water to the arid American West — and the huge amount of energy that makes it possible to take a shower in Los Angeles.
Lessons from the Front Lines of Social Design
On Places, Will Holman recounts his experience at Arcosanti, Rural Studio and YouthBuild — and describes the challenge of making a career in public-interest architecture.
The Forgetting Machine: Notes Toward a History of Detroit
On Places, Jerry Herron tracks the decline and fall of his home city of Detroit, from ruin porn to the demolition of Hudson's to Henry Ford's first horseless carriage.
Michael P. Branch
The Hills Are Alive
On Places, Michael Branch reflects on how deeply photography and film shape our landscape aesthetics (and how much he detests the Alpine-worshipping The Sound of Music
The Evil, Evil Grain Elevator
On Places, David Heymann continues his exploration of buildings and landscapes — and shows how even a building form as familiar as a grain elevator can come to seem evil.
A Mound in the Wood
On Places, David Heymann continues his exploration of the charged relationship between architecture and landscape.
The Death and Life of Great Architecture Criticism
On Places, Tom Fisher argues that architecture criticism is ripe for bold reinvention.
Landscape Is Our Sex
On Places, David Heymann analyzes the logics — and illogics — of the idea that the
relationship of a building to its landscape is — or should be — a key element of its design..
11.17.11: Lisa Findley & Liz Ogbu
South Africa: From Township to Town
On Places, Lisa Findley and Liz Ogbu describe the ongoing struggle to transform the once segrated black townships of South Africa into diverse and thriving towns.
11.14.11: Robert E. Lang & Arthur C. Nelson
On Places, planners Robert Lang and Arthur Nelson argue that the United States can now be understood in terms of a new geography of large and powerful "megapolitan" regions.
Bird on Fire: Lessons from the World's Least Sustainable City
On Places, Andrew Ross analyzes the contradictory political and economic forces that once made Phoenix the fastest-growing city in the U.S. — and today a prime casualty of the crash.
Above Grade: On the High Line
On Places, writer Phillip Lopate traces the pre-history of the High Line, and ponders whether New York City's elevated park will be a victim of its own success.
Manifest Destiny: A Guide to the Essential Indifference of American Suburban Housing
On Places, British architect Jason Griffiths offers a close reading of modern American suburbia, where mass production meets the myth of the arcadian frontier.
Cynthia E. Smith
Design with the Other 90%: Cities
On Places, Cynthia Smith, curator of the Cooper-Hewitt exhibition "Design with the Other 90%: CITIES," offers an in-depth look at her research into socially responsive urban design in Asia, Africa and Latin America.
I Watch Slacker to Read Austin in the Original
On Places, architectural historian and Texas native Enrique Ramirez assesses Richard Linklater's Slacker
and recalls Austin in an earlier and less self-conscious era.
09.27.11: William L. Fox & Mark Klett
The Half-Life of History
On Places, writer William Fox and photographer Mark Klett document the semi-ruin of the WW II military airfield at Wendover, Utah, where the U.S. Air Force trained for the bombing of Hiroshima.
The Art of Advocacy: The Museum as Design Laboratory
On Places, MoMA's curator of architecture and design, Barry Bergdoll, describes his efforts to expand the museum's role to support experimentation and advocacy.
The Interventionist’s Toolkit: Our Cities, Ourselves
On Places, the latest installment of Mimi Zeiger's ongoing series The Interventionist's Toolkit,
which explores diverse tactics and projects in DIY urbanism.
The Road to Exurbia
On Places, James Barilla recounts the rural pleasures of growing up in a hill town in Western Massachusetts — yet regrets the deep environmental footprint of low-density exurban life.
What Does Fiction Know?
On Places, novelist Richard Powers grapples with Berlin's history in this meditation on place and narrative.
Implausible Futures for Unpopular Places
On Places Rob Walker describes the Hypothetical Development Organization, which creates fanciful renderings of imaginary developments for vacant urban sites — a new form of "architecture fiction."
Scenes from Surrendered Homes
On Places, urban historian Alex Schafran looks closely at Douglas Smith's photographs of foreclosed homes in California, and sees poignant documentation of the personal toll of the great recession.
The Eastward-Moving House
On Places, David Heymann's "The Eastward-Moving House" — a continuation of the imaginative history of American home-building begun in J.B. Jackson's "The Westward-Moving House."
The Westward-Moving House: Three American Houses and the People Who Lived in Them
On Places, a republication of J.B. Jackson's classic essay "The Westward-Moving House," which traces the evolution of the American house — the American dream — over three centuries and across the continent.
On Places, architect Kian Goh explores LGBT public spaces in contemporary New York, where activism confronts gentrification.
On Places, Adelheid Fischer describes the growing night-sky movement, which advocates for the cultural and biological benefits of reducing light pollution — and keeping the Milky Way visible.
Alice T. Friedman
Girl Talk: Marion Mahony Griffin, Frank Lloyd Wright and the Oak Park Studio
On Places, architectural historian Alice Friedman explores the pioneering career of architect Marion Mahony Griffin, who rose to prominence in the Oak Park office of Frank Lloyd Wright.
What I Learned from Architect Barbie
Why can't architects wear pink? On Places, Despina Stratigakos describes the feminist politics that inspired Architect Barbie.
A Home Before the End of the World
On Places, Adelheid Fischer explores our startling ignorance of the natural world — and wonders whether this is enabling the degradation of the environment.
"We Just Want To Be Tourists"
On Places, Karen Piper describes a recent trip to Torres del Paine National Park in Chile, where upscale adventure tourism confronted local political protest.
A Short History of the Campsite
On Places, Martin Hogue traces a history of the campsite, from early 20th-century wilderness camps to today's domesticated campgrounds, where the amenities include day spas and wi-fi.
No More Play
On Places, Michael Maltzan argues that Los Angeles is on the brink of its latest transformation — and at a point where "the very word city
no longer applies."
05.05.11: Donald Judd & Elizabeth Felicella
101 Spring Street
On Places, an essay by Donald Judd on the Soho building where he lived and worked, and selected images of its interiors, by New York photographer Elizabeth Felicella.
Jane Jacobs, Andy Warhol, and the Kind of Problem a Community Is
On Places, Tim Mennel compares the radically different New York worlds of Andy Warhol's Factory and Jane Jacobs's Village — and comes to some provocative conclusions.
Thomas J. Campanella
Jane Jacobs and the Death and Life of American Planning
On Places, Thomas Campanella evaluates the complex legacy Jane Jacobs, including the ongoing marginalization of the urban planning profession.
Blue Urbanism: The City and the Ocean
On Places, planning professor Tim Beatley makes a case for blue urbanism — a new planning focus on how the design of cities affects the health of the planet's oceans.
04.05.11: Michael Light & David L. Ulin
L.A. Day/L.A. Night
On Places, a portfolio of images by photographer Michael Light, exploring Los Angeles in the day and at night, with an essay by David L. Ulin.
The Architectural Monograph: A Defense
On Places, Mark Lamster asks: In a dynamic era for practice and publishing, what is the future of the architectural monograph?
Kristi Dykema Cheramie
The Scale of Nature: Modeling the Mississippi River
On Places, Kristi Dykema Cheramie explores the ruins of the abandoned Mississippi River Basin Model and ponders the decades-long battle to control the great river.
The Interventionist's Toolkit: Posters, Pamphlets and Guides
On Places, in the second of her series on The Interventionist's Toolkit, Mimi Zeiger reports on the ingenious use of print media to spur urban activism — and even revolution.
Black in Back: Mardi Gras and the Racial Geography of New Orleans
On Places, Tim Culvahouse charts the complex racial geography of New Orleans (and looks in on the Rex and Zulu Mardi Gras parades).
The Collaborative Legacy of Merce Cunningham
On Places, architect Beth Weinstein highlights a real though often unrecognized architectural type: the diverse collaborations between major choreographers and eminent architects.
Tahrir Square: Social Media, Public Space
On Places, Mohamed Elshahed argues that the physical occupation of Tahrir Square in Cairo was just as vital as online social media to the early success of the January 25 Revolution.
Red and Gold: A Tale of Two Apartheid Museums
On Places, architect Lisa Findley explores South African apartheid museums, and the difficulties of memorializing a complex and terrible history.
This Is Flint, Michigan
On Places, Wes Janz probes the ongoing decline of Flint, Michigan, and wonders about the role of the architect in a city where there's more demolition than design.
The New Orleans Corner Store
On Places, architect Tim Culvahouse continues his series on the built character of New Orleans, with a look at the humble but sociable corner store and its role in the restoration of the city.
The Interventionist's Toolkit
On Places, Mimi Zeiger reports on what she calls "the interventionist's toolkit" — architects' and urbanists' creative responses to the economic slump.
Dreams, Dust and Birds: The Trashing of Owens Lake
On Places, Karen Piper narrates the latest chapter in one California's longest water wars: Los Angeles' efforts to undo the environmental damage done to Owens Lake, decades after its waters were diverted to supply the thirsty metropolis.
Jorge Otero-Pailos and the Ethics of Preservation
On Places, journalist Laura Raskin profiles architect and preservationist Jorge Otero-Pailos and his "Ethics of Dust" installations at the Venice Biennale and Manifesta.
Burning Man and the Metropolis
On Places, Nate Berg looks at Burning Man, and how a beach party in San Francisco mushroomed into a week-long temporary city of 50,000 out in the Nevada desert.
What Passes for Beauty: A Death in Texas
On Places, architect Jim Williamson recollects the aesthetic frustration and unexpected epiphany of his first project as an architect in Midland, Texas, the commission for the gravesite of the wife of an oil millionaire.
On Places, the last installment of David Heymann's series on the rising importance of landscape to architecture, seen in works by Tod Williams and Billie Tsien, Peter Zumthor, OMA, Zaha Hadid, and others.
Nature-ization Takes Command
On Places, the second in a series of essays by David Heymann exploring the dynamic relationship of landscape and architecture, evident in works ranging from big civic projects by Norman Foster to small rural houses by Glenn Murcutt.
A Cloud on a Lake
On Places, architect David Heymann explores the charged relationship between buildings and landscapes in works as diverse as Diller Scofidio + Renfro's notorious Blur Building and Hiroshi Sugimoto's minimalist seascapes.
Flush with Inequality: Sanitation in South Africa
On Places, just in time for World Toilet Day 2010, Barbara Penner explores the complex political, social and environmental meanings of sanitation in post-apartheid South Africa.
Frederick Law Olmsted and the Campaign for Public Health
On Places, Tom Fisher explores a forgotten chapter in the illustrious career of landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted: his brief but exemplary period as head of the U.S. Sanitary Commission.
On the Trail of the Berlin Wall
On Places, writer Millay Hyatt treks the 100-mile trail of the former Berlin Wall, and observes the complicated merging of east and west, past and present.
Notes Toward a History of Agrarian Urbanism
On Places, Charles Waldheim sketches a history of agriculture in cities, from Frank Lloyd Wright to ecological urbanism.
The Productive Surface
On Places, Mason White traces a line from the Cité Industrielle to Buckminster Fuller to contemporary designers exploring the potential for built surfaces to produce agriculture, renewable energy, water harvesting, and more.
Dangers in the Air: Aerosol Architecture and Invisible Landscapes
On Places, Javier Arbona looks at innovative projects that conceptualize air — the atmosphere that surrounds us — as a dynamic and even political component of buildings and landscapes.
On Places, Thomas Fisher explores "viral cities," looking at historic and contemporary pandemics, and arguing for stronger links between the practices of urban design and public health.
Stoop, Balcony, Pilot House: Making It Right in the Lower Ninth Ward
On Places, architect Tim Culvahouse assesses the post-Katrina architecture in the Lower Ninth Ward of New Orleans sponsored by Brad Pitt's Make It Right Foundation.
Haiti and the Potential of Permaculture
On Places, architect Deborah Gans explores how the temporary resettlement camps in post-earthquake Haiti might be transformed into self-sufficient agrarian villages.
Size Matters: Small Towns with Big Things
From the Burj Khalifa to the world's biggest ball of twine, size matters. On Places, architectural historian Keith Eggener takes an expansive look at largeness, especially "big things in small towns."
New Fuel for an Old Narrative: Notes on the BP Oil Disaster
On Places, geographer Richard Campanella recalls a long hot summer, and sets the BP oil spill into the complex environmental and cultural contexts of America's third coast.
Hallowed Ground, Worldly City: Ground Zero and the Struggle for Lower Manhattan
On Places, James Sanders looks at the current controversy over the proposed Islamic center near Ground Zero in a larger context, noting that New York City has for most of its history "abhorred the very idea of memorials."
Borderland/Borderama/Detroit: Part 3
On Places, the third and final installment of "Borderland/Borderama/Detroit," an exploration of the rise and fall — and persistence — of Detroit, and what it means in American culture, by writer and historian Jerry Herron.
Borderland/Borderama/Detroit: Part 2
On Places, part 2 of "Borderland/Borderama/Detroit," an exploration of the rise and fall — and persistence — of Detroit, and what it means in American culture, by writer and historian Jerry Herron.
Borderland/Borderama/Detroit: Part 1
On Places, the first installment of "Borderland/Borderama/Detroit," an exploration of the rise and fall — and persistence — of Detroit, and what it means in American culture, by writer and historian Jerry Herron.
A Sense of Place, A World of Augmented Reality: Part 2
On Places, in the second installment of his two-part essay, architectural historian Mitchell Schwarzer argues that augmented reality, combined with social networking, is bringing about "nothing less than a new epoch of social relations."
A Sense of Place, A World of Augmented Reality: Part 1
On Places, in the first of two-part essay, architectural historian Mitchell Schwarzer argues that digital technology, especially the real-time, mediating imageries of augmented reality, are revolutionizing how we perceive and inhabit place.
Adventure Playground: John V. Lindsay and the Transformation of Modern New York
On Places, James Sanders on the transformation of New York City that began in the Sixties under Mayor John Lindsay — the reinvention of the city from a workaday zone to a scenic setting for urban play, an "adventure playground."
The Wedding at Cana: A Vision by Peter Greenaway
On Places, architectural historian Barbara Penner explores Peter Greenaway's digital video installation of Veronese's The Wedding at Cana
, the latest in the series "Nine Classic Paintings Revisited," shown at the recent Venice Biennale.
People's Way: Urban Mobility in Ahmedabad
On Places, New Zealand-based design writer Meena Kadri rides the new bus-rapid-transit in Ahmedabad, a system that strives to mix old and new, rich and poor — and even offers yoga classes to the drivers.
Paper Architecture, Emerging Urbanism
On Places, Tim Love explores the latest generation of paper architecture being created by under-employed designers — and argues that the current recession offers a real chance to align progressive theory with urban practice.
Denise Hoffman Brandt
The View to America Street from Mrs. Fair’s Front Door, July 21, 2009
On Places, landscape architect Denise Hoffman Brandt offers a vivid portrait of the ongoing post-Katrina struggles of one neighborhood, and one household, in New Orleans.
How Haiti Could Change Design
How might the Haiti earthquake change design practice? On Places, Thomas Fisher argues that designers need to develop practices that not only respond to crises that have happened but also proactively intervene in disaster-prone areas, with the goal of limiting damage in the future.
Lethal T-Square: Architecture, Violence, Renewal
Robert Moses is often compared with Baron Haussman. Keith Eggener argues that he can be compared as well with the vigilante-architect played by Charles Bronson in Death Wish
Hector Fernando Burga
A View of Haiti from Liberty City
Miami-based urban designer Hector Fernando Burga asks difficult questions about how urban designers can respond effectively to the disaster in Haiti.
A City in Search of Good Fortune
Architects Quilian Riano and Dk Osseo-Asare report on the profitable but notorious port of Buenaventura, Colombia, as the city battles drug traffickers and paramilitary gangs, poverty and corruption; and they fear that the proposed solutions might be part of the problem.
Jan Otakar Fischer
Berlin: The Art of Reunification
On the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall, architect and writer Jan Otakar Fischer describes the failed competition to create a reunification memorial — and explores the thorny questions of German memory and identity.
Lawrence Halprin, 1916 – 2009
Lawrence Halprin, one of the leading landscape architects of the postwar era, remembered by his longtime friend and colleague Donlyn Lyndon.
Much U.S. infrastructure is "fracture critical" — vulnerable to catastrophic and systemic failure; Thomas Fisher argues that our finance, housing and energy systems are fracture-critical as well.
The 100-Mile Thanksgiving
Timothy Beatley describes a new tradition in the planning department at the University of Virginia: the 100-Mile Thanksgiving, for which students prepare the annual feast, trying to use food produced within 100 miles of the Charlottesville campus.
Architectural historian Keith Eggener visits the boyhood homes of Mark Twain and Walt Disney, and finds in each an all-American mix of historic fact, popular fantasy and commercial exploitation.
Between Mission Statement and Parametric Model
Boston-based architect and educator Tim Love argues that architectural education is in crisis, a result of the increasing tension between digitally driven formal experimentation and new mandates for social responsibility.
Five Ways to Change the World
Architect and educator Jonathan Massey suggests five ways to influence the built environment — and make the world a better place.
Community: The American Way of Living
Think American suburbia is a sprawl of homogeneous privatopias? The U.S. curators of the Rotterdam Architecture Biennale argue that you haven't been paying attention.
Metaphor Remediation: A New Ecology for the City
Cities are the new frontiers green living, and Andrew Blum argues that we need to revise the old metaphors: will Half Dome give way to the high-rise as the new emblem of environmentalism?
08.05.09: Nina-Marie Lister
Ecological planner Nina-Marie Lister explores innovative ways to regenerate urban waterfronts.
06.15.08: B. Wortham-Galvin
Mythologies of Placemaking
Designers and planners frequently herald the concept of “sense of place.” However, this ill-defined buzzword most often serves to rally support for redevelopment projects that ignore deep patterns of local culture.
Little Rock's Emerging Nonprofit Corridor
The non-profit sector is a major player in promoting green urbanism. Here's what's happening in Little Rock.
The City and the Stream
Antwerp looks to revitalize its once bustling waterfront with a redevelopment plan that anticipates both growth and rising sea levels.
08.15.07: Garth Rockcastle
The Lost Public Art of Gordon Matta-Clark
Gordon Matta-Clark infiltrated the worlds of art and architecture, revealing deep complacencies in each.
The fantasy of converting Governors Island to a pedestrian playground is closer to becoming a reality.
The State of City Planning Today
A veteran city planner and educator analyzes the anemia of U.S. planning, and detects signs of life in neighborhood activism.
12.15.06: Amy Murphy
Seattle Central Library: Civic Architecture in the Age of Media
In the Seattle Public Library, Rem Koolhaas and OMA work to transform architecture into media interface.
04.15.05: Susan Rogers
Superneighborhood 27: A Brief History of Change
From hot tubs to bodegas: a Houston subdivision built for the '60s singles lifestyle has found new energy as a multi-ethnic neighborhood.
11.01.01: Ruth Durack
Village Vices: The Contradiction of New Urbanism and Sustainability
A critique of New Urbanism focusing not on its traditionalism but on the unsustainability of its planning models.
04.01.89: Catherine Brown, William Morrish
Western Civic Art: Works in Progress
In 1989 Phoenix, Arizona, commissioned one of the first public art master plans. The city now has one of the strongest public art programs in the country.
In No Order Whatsoever
Just before his death in 1984, the influential urban planner Kevin Lynch compiled a list of topics he thought important for the future of cities. The list is as relevant as ever.