For several years photographer Radek Skrivanek has been documenting the ongoing death of the Aral Sea, widely acknowledged to be one of the great ecological tragedies of our time. Once the fourth largest lake on the planet, the Aral Sea is today mostly a toxic desert, a result of extensive irrigation-canal projects begun by the Soviet Union and continued by the Central Asian republics that share the Aral basin. Skrivanek describes a haunting landscape: "Walking on the desert that is the former sea bed, you hear a constant crackle under your feet, and are startled to find that you are stepping on piles and piles of seashells."
STEPHEN LUONI, UACDC
For more than a generation university design centers have been dedicated to linking the intellectual and creative energies of architecture schools to their cities and regions. These days, given declining public budgets and mounting social and ecological challenges, the potential for productive collaboration — for the application of innovative ideas to urban practice — would seem greater than ever. To explore this potential, Places will feature, throughout the year, a series of profiles of design centers. We're pleased to begin with the University of Arkansas Community Design Center, based at the Fay Jones School of Architecture.
The battle over government spending is exacting a brutal toll on public libraries. But what’s at stake is more than access to a room full of books. The American public library is reading room, book lender, video rental outlet, internet café, town hall, concert venue, youth center, research archive, history museum, art gallery, homeless day shelter, office suite, coffeeshop, seniors’ clubhouse and even romantic hideaway, all rolled into one. Since 1994 photographer Robert Dawson has been documenting this great — now threatened — American institution; here we present a selection of his recent work.
"In his latest book, Tony Hiss poses a provocative challenge," writes urban planner Ray Gastil. "Can we rethink the value we put on the accumulated years of our lives we spend in transit, all the 'wasted' time spent in-between the places we live and work and visit?" Gastil explores how In Motion
might inform contemporary planning and design "in a world where our daily rounds grow longer and duller — and often as not through the failures of narrowly defined planning."
PLACES ARCHIVE: WINTER 2003
Tim Hursley photographs the pro-bono buildings of the Rural Studio and the legal brothels of Nye County, Nevada.
University of Miami, School of Architecture
The School of Architecture's mission is founded in the faculty commitment to community and its focus on the city as a work of art and architecture. The school is a forum for the work of New Urbanism, an international movement with a charter of 27 principles addressing issues ranging from the scale of a region to individual buildings. Those principles form a vision which guides the programs of the UMSA.