PLACES : TIMOTHY MENNEL
Earlier this week on Places architectural historian Keith Eggener explored a perceptual link between Robert Moses and the architect-vigilante played by Charles Bronson in Death Wish
. Power broker, master builder, public servant — the life of Robert Moses was nothing if not big-scale. It's a life that would seem made for some sweeping narrative treatment — a movie by Orson Welles, an opera by Robert Wilson. Or a novel. To complete his doctoral degree in geography, Timothy Mennel produced not a typical dissertation but instead Everything Must Go: A Novel of Robert Moses's New York
. For Mennel, the creation of a work of fiction, based on the facts, afforded the freedom to probe the complexity of Moses and his era — a complexity we inevitably grasp only in partial and contingent ways. Here we present an excerpt from a chapter that finds Robert Moses and Frank Lloyd Wright — his cousin by marriage — motoring through Harlem and the Bronx.
OBSERVATORY : CHRISTIAN WIMAN
I loved his ten demented chickens
and the hell-eyed dog, the mailbox
shaped like a huge green gun.
CHANGE OBSERVER : MEENA KADRI
"I prefer to see the poor as a provider than a market — with their limited material resources driving knowledge-intensive, informal innovation," says Anil Gupta, founder of grassroots organizations to uncover, share and refine the inventions of India's impoverished.
PLACES : KEITH EGGENER
Today we are increasingly aware that our infrastructure is literally crumbling and technologically dated, and that cities across the nation and around the world are stressed as never before. Little wonder that the late New York City master builder Robert Moses continues to cast a long shadow. Here architectural historian and Places contributing editor Keith Eggener makes an intriguing analogy between Moses, who titled his autobiography Public Works: A Dangerous Trade
, and the vigilante-architect of Death Wish
, the 1974 movie that turned Charles Bronson into an action-hero movie star.
OBSERVATORY : ERIC BAKER
Here are Today's images.
OBSERVATORY : ALEX KNOWLTON
In 1991, like the storied naïf who gets off the bus in Hollywood to make it big in pictures, Eric Rosenberg abandoned his career in editorial design at Business Week
with only a single movie-related project in hand and headed West.
PLACES : NATE BERG
On Friday February 12 the 2010 Winter Olympics begin in Vancouver. Like other host cities, Vancouver had to plan for a sprint and a marathon — it had to develop, finance, design and build a range of sport and residential venues that would not only make the two-week event a big success but also, when the world had gone back home, become a vital and enduring part of the city fabric. Vancouver planning director Brent Toderian spoke recently with journalist Nate Berg, of Planetizen, about how the city, known for progressive planning and green thinking, was meeting the Olympic challenge.
PLACES : ARIZONA STATE UNIVERSITY
Arizona State University
Symposium: 2.8.2010Exhibition: 2.8.2010 - 2.26.2010
This month ASU will sponsor a symposium and exhibition which builds on the work of a previous exhibition and symposium, The Desert as a Client
, held in Barcelona in October 2009.
OBSERVATORY : ARS LIBRI LTD
This collection is a record of the immensely productive life of György Kepes, it includes crates of notes and manuscripts from his books — many of them lavishly illustrated with original drawings and diagrams; heavily annotated sketchbooks crammed with compositions for paintings and stained glass; photographs, as well as pictures acquired for publication purposes and incidental examples of his own drawings, watercolors and other works of art.
PLACES : ALAN THOMAS
For several years Chicago-based editor and photographer Alan Thomas has been focusing on the city's self-park garages, large multistory structures that provide "a particular way of framing the cityscape beyond." Here, with a gallery of Thomas's photographs, we continue to look at the architecture of parking, at more "houses of cars."
CHANGE OBSERVER : JULIE LASKY
A star-powered matchmaking organization pairs New York designers with social causes. According to co-founder Wendy Goodman, DesigNYC focuses "on one simple idea: Good design, effective design, makes people feel better."