Category Archives: Architecture

A split in the arts

The art world is… split right down the middle. On the left side is an ascetic world of dour dioramas and evergreen minimalism. It lives in Kunsthalles and white cubes. It is protected from the vagaries of the marketplace by … Continue reading

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Quotes: On Being “Off Modern”

Has Art itself become a mere outtake, a long footnote to the human history? In the United States it is technology, not culture, that is regarded to be a space for innovations. Art, it seems, has overstayed its welcome. But … Continue reading

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Is this a New “City Beautiful?”

Alain de Botton believes that some cities are beautiful, and some are not, and that there are six ways to make the latter into the former: Order and Variety Visible Life Compact[ness] Orientation and Mystery Scale Local[ism] Kristin Hohenadel. “Why … Continue reading

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Quotes: Restrooms, Technology, and the Need for People

Getting here via toilet. One of my American Studies students, Chris Grant, complains of high-tech, self-cleaning toilets in San Francisco that do not work. In the end they’ve become poorly maintained, run-of-the-mill public restrooms — requiring city employees to maintain, clean, and … Continue reading

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Crisis in Levittown

From https://archive.org/details/crisis_in_levittown_1957.

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Urban possibility

What anti-urbanists seem to forget is that most of the great creations of humanity were not solitary, but socially constructed, and that such things require the development of relationships, the in-person interaction even in (or, perhaps, especially in) a digitally-mediated … Continue reading

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Reflecting on Finals Exams

Finals day is tough for students, but it is tough in an entirely different way for those who, like me, teach. I do not mean the grueling hours of early mornings and lengthy grading days that come after finals—though to … Continue reading

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Vancouver: the similitudes of the past, and those of the future

I have not been to Vancouver, in any meaningful sense, in five years. By Vancouver I mean the real one, the one that in the states (and only in the states) we append with “B.C.” in order to distinguish it … Continue reading

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Cultural Landscapes Defined

So just what are cultural landscape studies? As the study of them plays a significant role in my academic work, I get asked this question a lot, so I felt I should try and answer it here. Consider this, then, the most cursory of … Continue reading

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This Place is Big

The Bay Area is big. It sprawls. People here like to look down their noses as Los Angeles, like to sneer about how auto-oriented they are, and yet for all the public transit here the Bay Area is a truly … Continue reading

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