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WEEKLY EMAIL: DECEMBER 07, 2009


Urbanizing the Mojave

FEATURED THIS WEEK : NICOLE HUBER & RALPH STERN

Urbanizing the Mojave

Las Vegas is one of the great boomtowns of the American West. Nicole Huber and Ralph Stern explore the cultural and environmental consequences of the city's rapid expansion into the Mojave Desert, tracing a complex and troubling history of resource extraction, recreational tourism, military testing, housing speculation and water management. Lately, of course, the boom has gone bust, and regional authorities are struggling with the worst drought on record. Is history finally catching up with the self-styled entertainment capital of the world? 
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MARK KLETT

Placing Memory

On the morning of December 7, 1941 — 68 years ago today — the Japanese navy attacked the United States' base at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, triggering the U.S. declaration of war against Japan and entry into World War II. Soon after the federal government implemented a program that was even then controversial and has since been condemned as racist and unconstitutional: the forced relocation of U.S. citizens of Japanese ancestry to internment camps located throughout the West. Placing Memory mixes contemporary color photographs of the abandoned camps, by photographer Todd Stewart, with period black-and-white, government-commissioned images documenting the life of the internees. In his review, photographer and Places contributing editor Mark Klett describes the juxtaposition as poignant and provocative — a timely reminder of a troubling history, given current fears of domestic terrorism. 
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GAVIN BROWNING

it is what it is

Founded 15 years ago, the New York-based 2x4 is one of the most influential and and prolific design firms around (their portfolio includes the graphic design of a few issues of Places, from the mid-'90s). Now they've published it is what it is (or ... Are we done yet?) — a thousand-page portrait of the interdisciplinary studio. Gavin Browning, coordinator/curator of Columbia University's Studio X in downtown Manhattan, reviews this latest contribution to the genre of the monumental monograph.
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CENTER FOR LAND USE INTERPRETATION

Urban Crude

Every year 28 million barrels of petroleum are extracted from the 41 fields located within Los Angeles — making L.A. the most urban oil-producing site in the nation. Created by the Center for Land Use Interpretation, and now on exhibit at its gallery in Culver City, Urban Crude photo-documents this metropolitan petroscape — paying special attention to the myriad efforts to camouflage the fact that some 5,000 wells remain active in the second most populous city in the U.S.
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PLACES ARCHIVE: FALL 2008

On the Water: The New York - New Jersey Upper Bay

As the planet warms, rising seas will endanger coastal communities around the world. Engineer Guy Nordenson proposes a bold plan to protect New York City.
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University of Miami, School of Architecture

PARTNER SCHOOL

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.

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