Categories
Non-fiction

Aspiration Man X

If you haven’t ever had a video game phase, you may find the first half of this essay weedy. If you have had a video game phase but did not come of age in the 1990s, you may find the second half of this essay obvious. If you had a video game phase when you […]

Categories
Non-fiction

Karmic Economics

I: Modernity In his book Debt: The First 5000 Years, David Graeber sums up capitalism with a powerful picture which has stuck in my mind. He sets the stage in the late Middle Ages, which ended roughly around 1450 AD, during which the seeds for our modern financial world order were sown. In that era, […]

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Non-fiction urbanism

What we talk about when we talk about Urban Renewal

I. The Chicago Plan I have written before about the relationship between spaces for production and the spaces for consumption which must both exist in cities. It is a slow dance that has been going on for centuries, and it begs the following question: if there is a slow dance, when does the music change? […]

Categories
Non-fiction

Stories we re-tell ourselves

At the risk of sounding like folks who listen to classical music only to feel sophisticated, Steve Reich is one of my favorite composers. Yes, I know, his isn’t strictly speaking classical music. But he’s certainly embedded in the timeline (to his approbation or not, given that he started out as a bit of a […]

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Non-fiction

Forgetting About Sports

I enjoy academics. They are quintessential nerds, enormously obsessed with miniscule things. The contrast between their enthusiasm and the specificity of the subject is endearing, comical. Watching them interact with those outside their field highlights the contrast, and watching them interact with those inside their field makes me realize that a shared interest alone can […]

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Non-fiction

Restoration Hardware on trial

99% Invisible, one of my generation’s obligatory podcasts, released an episode about design, mass production, and authenticity– called 77 Steps. In it, the Emeco chair takes center stage as the industrial-product-turned-design-object par excellence, and Emeco’s legal fight to protect the intellectual property of their signature Naval Chair, using something called Trade Dress Protection. Trade dress protection […]

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Non-fiction urbanism

A Recipe In Three Chapters

I: Data, Cities When we analyze cities through the lens of data and maps, how and when do people enter the picture? Data City, our data analysis and mapping seminar in the Master in City & Technology, was meant to explore the production, transport, consumption, and disposal of food at an urban scale, through the […]

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Architecture Non-fiction

ProproiSTEPtion follow-up: Barba

I was overcome with the quiet pride of a writer finishing her first novel when I packaged my thoughts on propriosteption. And then, in the kickoff session to our Robotic City seminar at IAAC, the concept reappeared before me, and I felt like the same writer learning that her novel got greenlit for a movie […]

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Non-fiction

Modes of Nature

The following is an excerpt from an essay I wrote for the Fab City Design Strategies Seminar, at the Institute of Advanced Architecture of Catalonia, Barcelona, in October 2017. Thoughts on Atlas for the End of the World[1] & Fab City Whitepaper[2] “Nature” and “artifice” are not as separate as we think. This revelation has […]

Categories
Non-fiction urbanism

The Aspiration Index

Skylines are a speculator’s dream. Strictly speaking, they are not real things. In the same way that edges are not really there, but merely the points at which an object leaves a beholder’s eye, a city’s skyline is an imagined contour. If I ask you to imagine New York City’s skyline, you will most likely […]