Urbanism

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Laura Kurgan by Noah Chasin
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An architect talks about her data maps of urban conflict from Brooklyn to Aleppo.

The City That Wasn’t by Pierre Alexandre de Looz
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An architect conjures the ghosts of New York’s unbuilt past.

Brandan “Bmike” Odums by Zachary Lazar
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After Hurricane Katrina, Brandan “Bmike” Odums realized that the graffiti he and other artists were making in the abandoned buildings around New Orleans had an inherent political value, not just because of the subject matter (though Odums himself had always had an affinity for depicting civil-rights icons) but also because creating art in those depopulated spaces foregrounded their meaning, calling attention to what they had once been, what they had been allowed to become, and why.

Wolf Vostell and Dick Higgins’s Fantastic Architecture by Eva Díaz
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Buildings are big, expensive, and they have a tendency to stick around a long time. So what’s an artist who wants to disturb “the repressive architecture of bureaucracy and luxury” to do?

BOMB Specific by Carolina Sandretto
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“A solar is a peculiar multicultural habitat; the apartment tenements represent the complex layers of Cuban society. Everyone lives in tiny converted rooms with almost no privacy.”

Frederick Wiseman by Nicholas Elliott
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“The best comedy is sad comedy.”

Valeria Luiselli by Jennifer Kabat
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Cities haunted by ghosts, ghosts that are a metaphor for language in their haunting doubling and mistranslations, language that’s full of holes, while the holes themselves are suggestive of abandoned places and writing that fails to describe anything accurately enough—this is Valeria Luiselli’s terrain.

Above and Below: Gordon Matta-Clark by Lytle Shaw
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The 17th-century townhouses that Gordon Matta-Clark and his friends chipped away at in Conical Intersect (1975) did not collapse immediately—like, say, flimsy clapboard ranch styles built where neighborhood site plans had been rushed and mistaken.

Terence Gower by Pedro Reyes

Terence Gower’s latest video, New Utopias, is a lecture filmed in the style of a 1950s Walt Disney documentary. 

Peter Eisenman by Carlos Brillembourg
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Peter Eisenman prefers Milan to Istanbul. He is an architect and theorist whose work is firmly grounded in the European classical tradition from the Italian Renaissance to the present. 

The Astral by Danielle Drees
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Danielle Drees on Kate Christensen’s fifth novel The Astral, an examination of marriage and middle-age from a Brooklyn poet’s perspective.

Futurefarmers by David van der Leer
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If your knowledge of the San Francisco collective Futurefarmers ends at the Twitter logo (which they designed in 2007), you’re in for a surprise. This multifaceted design team runs the gamut, both in terms of production and strategies of audience engagement. 

Léon Krier’s Drawing for Architecture by David van der Leer
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Anti urban segregation through zoning. 

Jejune Institute and Elsewhere by Christine Lagorio
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Departing a clandestine appointment in a San Francisco office tower, Jejune Institute inductees puzzle over an encrypted instruction key.

Version Fest by Melissa Potter
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Having just celebrated its eighth incarnation last April and May, Chicago’s Version Fest is a 10-day mash-up of curatorial projects, public interventions, musical events, and academic forums.

Twin Infinities by James J Williams III
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James J Williams III reflects on the A.I.R. Workspace Program at the Abrons Arts Center on the Lower East Side.

Informal Architectures by Terence Gower
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Based on a workshop and exhibition at the Banff Centre in 2007, Informal Architectures is more a compilation of documents (artist statements, interviews, and articles by workshop participants and exhibitors) than a typical work of architectural history or criticism.

Nicola López by Trevor Paglen
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Trevor Paglen on how Nicola López’s jumbled cityscapes reflect the “Anthropic” age we live in.

José Castillo by Carlos Brillembourg
Pablo Vargas Lugo by Rubén Gallo
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Pablo Vargas Lugo’s enigmatic works—colorful collages, formalist drawings and site-specific installations—explore such diverse themes as the extinction of dinosaurs, natural catastrophes and flying machines.l

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