Places

About
Foundation
Partner Schools
Places Wire
Print Archive
Peer Review
Submissions
Donate
Contact


Departments

Critique
Essays
Gallery
Interviews
Multimedia
Partner News
Peer Reviewed
Poetry & Fiction
Projects


Topics

Architecture
Art
Books
Cities / Places
Community
Culture
Design History
Design Practice
Development
Ecology
Economy
Education
Energy
Environment
Film / Video
Food/Agriculture
Geography
Health / Safety
History
Housing
Ideas
Infrastructure
Landscape
Literature
Photography
Planning
Politics / Policy
Preservation
Public / Private
Reputations
Sustainability
Technology
Transportation
Urbanism
Water



Design Observer

About
Books
Job Board
Newsletters
Archive
Contact



Community


10.22.13: Dan Hancox

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.
READ MORE

03.05.13: Arjun Appadurai

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.
READ MORE

12.03.12: Dave Jordano & Aaron Rothman

Detroit, As Is
On Places, a portfolio by the Detroit-born photographer Dave Jordano, drawn from his latest series, Detroit Unbroken Down; with an introduction by Aaron Rothman.
READ MORE

11.27.12: Andrew Herscher

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?"
READ MORE

11.08.12: Josh Wallaert

State of the Commons
On Places, Josh Wallaert reviews the Wiki Loves Monuments USA photography contest — and highlights the increasing privatization of our infrastructure of public information.
READ MORE

10.04.12: Melissa Dittmer

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."
READ MORE

09.24.12: Jeffrey Hou

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."
READ MORE

07.09.12: Rudabeh Pakravan

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.
READ MORE

06.28.12: Kenny Cupers

Paris: Life Forms
On Places, a slideshow by Kenny Cupers documenting the nuanced realities of life in the public housing estates of suburban Paris.
READ MORE

06.25.12: Reinhold Martin, Raphael Sperry, Amit C. Price Patel, Liz Ogbu & Tom Angotti

The Housing Question
On Places, a debate inspired by the MoMA exhibition Foreclosed: Rehousing the American Dream, organized by the Buell Center and Architects/Designers/Planners for Social Responsibility.
READ MORE

05.22.12: Shannon Mattern

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. 
READ MORE

05.07.12: 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.
READ MORE

03.27.12: Mimi Zeiger

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.
READ MORE

03.15.12: Julia Czerniak, Joe Sisko

UPSTATE: Design, Research, Real Estate
On Places, a profile of UPSTATE, the urban design center at the Syracuse University School of Architecture, including an interview with directors Julia Czerniak and Joe Sisko and a slideshow of projects.
READ MORE

02.23.12: David Schalliol

A Method of Living
On Places, photos by David Schalliol show the dramatic transformation of public housing in Chicago — the demolition of the city's infamous projects and their replacement with mixed-income, new-urbanist-style communities.
READ MORE

02.20.12: Lawrence Vale

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.
READ MORE

01.16.12: Will Holman

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.
READ MORE

12.15.11: Kathleen Robbins & Mary Carol Miller

Cotton Farmers
On Places, photographer Kathleen Robbins and writer Mary Carol Miller focus on the cotton farms of their native Mississippi — a changing landscape and vanishing livelihood.
READ MORE

10.13.11: Denis Wood

Everything Sings: Maps for a Narrative Atlas
On Places, geographer Denis Wood and his landscape architecture students map the ordinary, everyday things of a residential neighborhood in Raleigh, North Carolina.
READ MORE

09.12.11: Mimi Zeiger

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.
READ MORE

08.15.11: Anthony Doerr

Village 113
On Places, a short story by Anthony Doerr set in a Chinese village soon to be drowned by the Three Gorges Dam.
READ MORE

07.07.11: David Heymann

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."
READ MORE

07.05.11: J.B. Jackson

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.
READ MORE

06.23.11: Kian Goh

Queer Beacon
On Places, architect Kian Goh explores LGBT public spaces in contemporary New York, where activism confronts gentrification.
READ MORE

04.27.11: Timothy Mennel

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.
READ MORE

04.14.11: Stephen Luoni, UACDC

Venture Design
On Places, a profile of the University of Arkansas Community Design Center, which has turned Northwest Arkansas into a laboratory for the creative retrofitting of postwar suburbia.
READ MORE

04.11.11: Robert Dawson & Josh Wallaert

Public Library: An American Commons
On Places, photographer Robert Dawson documents public libraries across the United States, emphasizing their vital  — and now threatened — role as an American commons.
READ MORE

03.23.11: Anne Pierson Wiese

Sutliff Bridge
On Places, a poem by Anne Pierson Wiese, Sutliff Bridge, inspired by the dramatic destruction of an historic Iowa bridge in the floods of 2008.
READ MORE

03.14.11: Mimi Zeiger

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.
READ MORE

03.03.11: Justin Partyka

Black Fen
On Places, a portfolio by photographer Justin Partyka focusing on the fenlands of eastern England and a vanishing way of life.
READ MORE

02.14.11: Wes Janz

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.
READ MORE

01.31.11: Mimi Zeiger

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.
READ MORE

01.10.11: Nate Berg

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.
READ MORE

01.04.11: Jim Williamson

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.
READ MORE

10.12.10: Quilian Riano

Relearning the Social: Architecture and Change
On Places, architect Quilian Riano reviews the Museum of Modern Art's new exhibition Small Scale, Big Change: New Architectures of Social Engagement.
READ MORE

08.25.10: Center for Urban Pedagogy

The Good, the Bad, and the Empty
On Places, watch The Good, the Bad, and the Empty, the latest video from the Brooklyn-based Center for Urban Pedagogy, which explores the community politics of vacant lots.
READ MORE

06.09.10: Mitchell Schwarzer

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."
READ MORE

06.08.10: Mitchell Schwarzer

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.
READ MORE

04.05.10: 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.
READ MORE

12.18.09: Center for Urban Pedagogy

Bodega Down Bronx
Why is it easier to get fresh produce in Park Slope than in the South Bronx? Places presents Bodega Down Bronx, a video from the Center for Urban Pedagogy, that examines where and why New York's bodegas get their food.
READ MORE

11.19.09: Dk Osseo-Asare, Quilian Riano

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.
READ MORE

10.10.09: Timothy Beatley

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.
READ MORE

09.27.09: Paho Mann & Nancy Levinson

Re-Inhabited Circle Ks
Photographer Paho Mann focuses his camera on the "reinhabited" Circle Ks of Phoenix and Albuquerque — and finds a welcome dose of local commitment on the commercial strip.
READ MORE

09.18.09: Kees Christiaanse

Curating the Open City
Kees Christiaanse, curator of the Rotterdam Architecture Biennale, outlines a compelling vision of the open city of the 21st century.
READ MORE

09.07.09: Tobias Armborst, Daniel D'Oca, Georgeen Theodore

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.
READ MORE

12.15.06: Allan Jacobs

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.
READ MORE

01.15.03: Cervin Robinson

Portfolio: Timothy Hursley
Tim Hursley photographs the pro-bono buildings of the Rural Studio and the legal brothels of Nye County, Nevada.
READ MORE

DESIGN OBSERVER JOBS