About Me

IMG_2203I’m an architectural journalist based in Chicago. A bit more specifically, I’m interested in the adaptive reuse of post-industurial landscapes, the interaction of architecture with  pop-culture, and above all, cities and urbanism. I was previously the managing editor of the AIA’s AIA Architect in Washington, D.C., and my work has appeared in Architect Magazine, Architectural Record, Metropolis, Landscape Architecture Magazine, Curbed, Dezeen, The Atlantic’s CityLab, and Places Journal. I founded the Chicago design and architecture podcast A Lot You Got to Holler, and I’m currently the web editor for Landscape Architecture Magazine and a contributing writer at Bloomberg CityLab. Most recently, I edited the book Midwest Architecture Journeys, published by Belt. I’ve been a visiting critic at the University of Illinois at Chicago, the Illinois Institute of Technology, the University of Pennsylvania, Iowa State University, Cal Poly Pomona, the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and the University of of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. You can follow me on Twitter and Instagram, where I take pictures of buildings (no people, please). I have a Bachelor of Journalism degree from the University of Missouri-Columbia, and live in the Uptown neighborhood of Chicago.

I write about architecture because, unlike nearly every other design discipline, it always, invariably, reflects the culture of the society that creates it. If you’re a painter (maybe she’s a graffiti artist), you can create your own totally idiosyncratic vision. But architecture requires massive amounts of capital, time, and collaboration to happen. It can’t be created in total opposition to society. So, it gathers up just about everything floating thorough the culture that’s great or terrible and makes it into a designed object that can’t be ignored like a sculpture in a museum you never go to. This is: history, class, demographics, inequality, politics, media, religion, technology, etc. It’s all there, always, all the time. And so am I.

(e) zachmortice@gmail.com