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Architecture Books

101 Things I Didn’t Learn In Architecture School

The longer I practice architecture, the more I learn about what I do not know. Particularly stinging are the “unknown unknowns” as a U.S. Secretary of Defense might call them. For architects, “known unknowns” might include specialized knowledge within categories that we were introduced to in school but never had time to dig into. For […]

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Architecture Data Analysis Urbanism

Disaster Preparedness (excerpt)

Below is an excerpt from the introductory section of a white paper I am developing. Human society in the 21st century will be impacted by global forces such as pandemics, climate change-driven weather events, and geopolitical conflict. As witnessed during the COVID-19 pandemic, governments could improve their “disaster preparedness” particularly by assessing and utilizing existing […]

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Architecture Urbanism

Pieces of Lexington

Architecture is a slow profession. Fundamentally, since shelter for human life is best built to last, even the simplest single-family dwelling is complex enough to require the coordinated effort of multiple people, resources from far and wide, and months of planning and building. Any attempt to hasten this inevitably compromises some step in the process: […]

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Architecture Urbanism

Making cities by people

Inspired by a prompt from the Jan Gehl Institute, Charlotte asked me about cities on one of our morning walks. This is what I had to say. CG: How do you make cities for people? IH: Well, first of all, I don’t think it’s enough to say ‘make cities for people.’ You have to make […]

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Architecture

Time Management

My mother forwarded me this Dezeen article from a week ago. It was oddly coincidental, because at an office happy hour just a week before we had talked about the tricky balance, which all architects strive to find, between being productive and being creative. In fact, it is famously sensitive and controversial, especially when discussed […]

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Architecture Urbanism

Living facades

I. Proximity On a hot Friday afternoon, I was walking downhill toward the Hudson River through the Upper West Side with Alba and Josep, my friends from Barcelona. I was describing the peculiar kind of density found there: the neighborhood is a great example of how even 100 years ago Americans were able to build […]

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Architecture

The Ghost of Ebenezer Howard

My gut feeling is that, like me, when you first learned about Ebenezer Howard and The Garden City, you fell in love. England at the turn of the 20th century was living a double life. For centuries it had been defined by the characteristic rolling green hills and the shepherds and farmers who populated it. […]

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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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Architecture

La Sagrada Grúa

Every time we pass Spain’s most famous building, we have something to say. “La Sagrada Familia. More like La Sacada Familia. La Chingada Familia. La Putada Familia.” “It looks like someone bought one of those nozzle attachments for cake icing and decided to just try all the settings.” “There was a time when you had […]

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Architecture

Touching the ground – how?

For the past couple of years I’ve been proudly cultivating a theory of architecture and sustainability which I believed bridged all of the gaps between my various interests in the field and which could usher in a truly new way of seeing things to unite designers, engineers, and the inhabitant. In essence, it espouses physical […]