Making the case for wooden buildings

Doggerel Ι April 21, 2017 Walk into the cavernous atrium of the National Building Museum a few blocks north of DC’s National Mall, and you’ll find a piece of wood whose scale rivals the 75-foot-tall, 8-foot-diameter masonry columns it sits next to. This 64-foot-tall plank, which the curators of the current exhibit Timber City have dubbed […]

How One Design Plan Could Relieve Food-Security Problems and Revive Post Offices

Skid Row in downtown Los Angeles (DTLA) is the epicenter of the nation’s largest semipermanent homeless population, and—predictably—a startlingly high rate of food insecurity. The neighborhood is also home to many restaurants and businesses that haul away tons of food waste. According to San Bernardino County Sun, L.A. County generates 4,000 to 6,000 tons of food waste every day (most […]

Weaponizing Architecture

Aug. 14, 2008 Ι AIArchitect Blog   [This was a blog post, no longer online, I wrote for AIArchitect’s blog back in 2008. It was for a theme issue on fantasy and speculative architecture. But today I learned there’s a company out there, aided and abetted by the Trump Administration, that wants to make it real; […]

An Affordable Housing Development Ascends From Ashes to Build Community

Redshift Ι March 13, 2017  For Victor Body-Lawson of architect-and-planning firm Body Lawson Associates (BLA), designing and building the Hunts Point Peninsula is less like designing a building and more like building a village. “We think of it as building a community,” Body-Lawson says. The new affordable housing development—located in the South Bronx, New York City—seeks to do […]

Haresh Lalvani on Biomimicry and Architecture That Designs Itself

Redshift Ι Jan. 17, 2017 It’s the holy grail for any biomimicry design futurist: buildings and structures that use generative geometry to assemble and repair themselves, grow, and evolve all on their own. Buildings that grow like trees, assembling their matter through something like genomic instructions encoded in the material itself. To get there, architecture alone […]

Chicago’s Museum of Contemporary Art Renovation Will Cater to a Wider Public

Architectural Record Ι March 1, 2017  A renovation of Chicago’s Museum of Contemporary Art (MCA) is intended to reintroduce the museum to a wider public, just when the project’s designers, the Los Angeles firm of Johnston Marklee, will be reintroducing themselves as artistic curators of the Chicago Architecture Biennial, set to open a few months after […]

Underneath, Overlooked

Landscape Architecture Magazine Ι February 2017 In 2002, the Design Trust for Public Space published Reclaiming the High Line, a critical voice of support that helped jump-start the growing momentum to preserve that rusting hulk of a rail bed in Lower Manhattan. Now a city- and pedestrian-scaled outdoor art walk and landscape, the High Line is likely the most influential […]

Redesigning Lathrop

Architect Magazine Ι January 2017 The Julia C. Lathrop Homes, built in 1938, are one of the oldest Chicago Housing Authority (CHA) projects in the city. Inspired equally by Ebeneezer Howard’s English Garden Cities and company towns like Pullman on Chicago’s far South Side, Lathrop was designed by a cadre of architects punching below their weight […]

Tall, Green, and Global: 10 of the Most Innovative Architecture Projects of 2016

The year 2016 was a watershed moment for broad-based populist backlashes, from Brexit to Trump, “xenophobia” to “post-truth.” But looking back, this year’s architecture seems more and more like the sober run-up to these volcanic changes. From this perspective, Redshift’s year-end list of the most innovative architecture documents a different ethos. The concerns demonstrated here (housing inequality, the future of […]

Why This Teaching Hospital Only Has Fake Patients

CityLab Ι Dec. 9, 2016 University hospitals are often premier institutions for medical training. But a new school on the West Side of Chicago is promising advances in health-care education without students ever collecting a vial of blood or scrubbing in for surgery. It’s a community college, and its array of courses are supported by a […]