Category readings & reviews


[Beta-Bridge, Fletcher Studio’s proposed reinvention of the Bay Bridge, San Francisco.] GROUND UP is a new journal produced by the Dept. of Landscape Architecture at U.C. Berkeley.  Similar to other student-run design journals, such as Kerb and Scapegoat, GROUND UP offers a snap shot of the kinds of things people are processing, refractively, between academia […]

Non Urbanism

[View from the Econo Lodge balcony, just off I-5, Ashland OR] “If you go into the hardcore urban or the hardcore rural, it is quite simple to define it, but that is not so relevant.  It is more significant to talk about the condition in between.  And this condition is extremely difficult to define.”  – […]

Post Ideological

[Thomas Ruff’s Nacht 15 III, 1994, appropriating infrared surveillance technology as used by military and popular media in the Gulf War.] “Today we find ourselves in a jealous mood, yet at the same time disillusioned, looking back to the times when revolutionary urban ideologies were not only conceived but actually, unlike today, also truly believed […]

Objects, Landscapes and Realities of Speculation

faslanyc has a great interview with object-oriented philosopher Levi Bryant.  The interview directs Bryant’s speculative realism into the particularities of engagement with, and definitions of landscape.  Two highlights we would like to quote here: On landscape analytics vs. activism: “I’m inclined to suggest that landscape thought can be divided into two domains:  landscape analytics and […]

Vibrant Matter and Relations of Things

“-No one really knows what human agency is, or what humans are doing when they are said to perform as agents.  In the face of every analysis, human agency remains something of a mystery.  If we do not know just how it is that human agency operates, how can we be so sure that the […]

Theory and Engineering

The Next Eco City Conference was held in Seattle this past weekend, hosted and well-curated by the University of Washington.  Delayed 2 hours on a scheduled 3.5 hour Amtrak ride from Portland to Seattle (not a rare occurrence), I just barely made it to the opening panel discussion.  Yet Amtrak’s forced subordinate relationship to the […]


[Ruderal Forest in the former City of Pripyat, abandoned after the Chernobyl incident, by Rusocer] Stewart Brand spoke in Portland this past Wednesday, providing an outline of the thinking behind his latest work.  The lecture was as entertaining as it was jarring, which according to Brand, is expected given the major shift in his views […]

In the Mesh

[Venice: With 6,000 sand cisterns, the city was “formerly a dense collection of fresh water aquifers, sitting in a saltwater lagoon.”   Courtesy Archinect and Eleanor Pries’ travels cataloged at Systems that Seep] In The Ecological Thought, Timothy Morton puts forth the idea of  “The Mesh”: “Mesh is a short word for ‘the interconnectedness of […]

‘The Ecological Thought’

“Wildness areas are giant, abstract versions of the products hanging in mall windows.  Even when we’ve tried to preserve an enclave of safety from the ravages of the modern age, we’ve been getting it all wrong, on a more profound level…The more you know, the more entangled you realize you are, and the more open […]

Energy Effects of Glorious Excess

[Ciro Najle’s cummulus_1664 is an elaborately formed catenary surface suspended in the MCA Denver atrium. The 42’ long woven installation comprises a nebulous texture of 1024 individual tiles and over 800,000 knots. The piece is an experiment in what Najle calls “irrational engineering”—taking an engineering principle to a point of material excess, which in turn […]