FEATURED THIS WEEK : KEITH EGGENER
Today we are increasingly aware that our infrastructure is literally crumbling and technologically dated, and that cities across the nation and around the world are stressed as never before. Little wonder that the late New York City master builder Robert Moses continues to cast a long shadow. Here architectural historian and Places contributing editor Keith Eggener makes an intriguing analogy between Moses, who titled his autobiography Public Works: A Dangerous Trade, and the vigilante-architect of Death Wish, the 1974 movie that turned Charles Bronson into an action-hero movie star.
Earlier this month on Places we published an essay by Hector Fernando Burga, a young architect in Miami wondering how to apply his professional knowledge to the rebuilding of Haiti — and realizing that there exist few structures to organize designers' participation in what will be a lengthy and complex process. Here Thomas Fisher argues that we should expand our usual pedagogical and professional approaches, in which designers are hired by clients who generate projects, and which Fisher likens to the doctor-patient medical model. Fisher proposes that we adopt as well a public-health model emphasizing prevention, in which designers would focus less on reacting to crises after they happen and more on proactively intervening in disaster-prone areas, with the goal of limiting damage in the future.
Earlier this week on Places architectural historian Keith Eggener explored a perceptual link between Robert Moses and the architect-vigilante played by Charles Bronson in Death Wish
. Power broker, master builder, public servant — the life of Robert Moses was nothing if not big-scale. It's a life that would seem made for some sweeping narrative treatment — a movie by Orson Welles, an opera by Robert Wilson. Or a novel. To complete his doctoral degree in geography, Timothy Mennel produced not a typical dissertation but instead Everything Must Go: A Novel of Robert Moses's New York
. For Mennel, the creation of a work of fiction, based on the facts, afforded the freedom to probe the complexity of Moses and his era — a complexity we inevitably grasp only in partial and contingent ways. Here we present an excerpt from a chapter that finds Robert Moses and Frank Lloyd Wright — his cousin by marriage — motoring through Harlem and the Bronx.
On Friday February 12 the 2010 Winter Olympics begin in Vancouver. Like other host cities, Vancouver had to plan for a sprint and a marathon — it had to develop, finance, design and build a range of sport and residential venues that would not only make the two-week event a big success but also, when the world had gone back home, become a vital and enduring part of the city fabric. Vancouver planning director Brent Toderian spoke recently with journalist Nate Berg, of Planetizen, about how the city, known for progressive planning and green thinking, was meeting the Olympic challenge.
ARIZONA STATE UNIVERSITY
Arizona State University
Symposium: 2.8.2010Exhibition: 2.8.2010 - 2.26.2010
This month ASU will sponsor a symposium and exhibition which builds on the work of a previous exhibition and symposium, The Desert as a Client
, held in Barcelona in October 2009.
For several years Chicago-based editor and photographer Alan Thomas has been focusing on the city's self-park garages, large multistory structures that provide "a particular way of framing the cityscape beyond." Here, with a gallery of Thomas's photographs, we continue to look at the architecture of parking, at more "houses of cars."
PLACES ARCHIVE: SUMMER 2000
New York City photographer Elizabeth Felicella focuses on what she calls "landscape of security."
Pratt Institute, School of Architecture
The work of the students here at Pratt shows a clear appreciation and understanding of the possibilities of architecture today, as the mission of the school is dedicated to design and a complete understanding of the making of cities and buildings. The spirit of advancing architectural ideas in terms of both form and technique is at the essence of the transformation of contemporary design.