FEATURED THIS WEEK : MOHAMED ELSHAHED
The international media have been eager to credit online social networking with inciting the January 25 Revolution that is transforming Egypt. And yet, as Mohamed Elshahed writes, the extraordinary events in Cairo and throughout Egypt have been empowered just as much by the occupation of public space. Elshahed, who is researching the urban history of mid 20th-century Cairo, argues "that the virtual is not enough: in the course of several historic days in Tahrir Square it became decisively clear that the occupation of physical urban space was, and continues to be, crucial to the success and continuity of the revolution."
Throughout his long career the dancer/choreographer Merce Cunningham worked closely with diverse composers, artists and architects. Architect Beth Weinstein explores Cunningham's process and its legacy, highlighting collaborations between choreographers, including Cunningham, Lucinda Childs and Frédéric Flamand, and architects, including Frank Gehry, Tod Williams and Billie Tsien, Dominique Perrault and Benedetta Tagliabue. These notable collaborations, Weinstein argues, constitute nothing less than "a real if not always recognized architectural 'type.'"
"From a distance, under the towering sky, Isleham appears like a mirage. It seems incongruous that a village should be located in the middle of such a flat desolate landscape," writes Justin Partyka, describing a visit to the fenlands of east England. "The presence of water is constant. Driving across this landscape feels like crossing a great sea. The road undulates from the ever-shifting land, tossing the car like a small boat." Here we present a portfolio of Partyka's photographs focusing on the fens and the vanishing way of life of the farmers who've worked the land for generations.
UC Berkeley announces summer programs in architecture, landscape architecture and sustainable city planning for students with majors in other fields who are interested in applying to graduate school.
DOROTHY TANG & ANDREW WATKINS
In the late 19th century, Johannesburg was a boomtown, the setting for an extensive network of gold mines. Today many of these mines are played out, and they've become the site of informal settlements — communities now challenged by the ecological degradation that is the legacy of deep-shaft mining. Here — as part of Design Observer's focus on South Africa — landscape architect Dorothy Tang and urban designer Andrew Watkins explore how the defunct mines might be rehabilitated to create socially and environmentally responsible urban landscapes.
PLACES ARCHIVE: WINTER 2001
High Line photographs from Joel Sternfeld.
Massachusetts Institute of Technology, School of Architecture and Planning
The unifying theme of all our activities is design. Through the design of physical spaces, and through the design of policies and technologies that shape how those spaces are used, we aim to sustain and enhance the quality of the human environment at all scales, from the personal to the global. We believe that design and policy interventions should be grounded in a commitment to improving individual human lives, equity and social justice, cultural enrichment and the responsible use of resources through creative problem-solving and project execution.