Martin C. Pedersen

Contemplating the Unthinkable: A World Without Venice

09.26.2016

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I recently read a terrific book with the terse, almost accusatory, title If Venice Dies. The book, by Salvatore Settis, is not about climate change, though my thoughts turned repeatedly to that topic and the difficulty we have even contemplating its likely consequences.

venice-flood-via-bu-edu

I recently read a terrific book with the terse, almost accusatory, title If Venice Dies. The book, by Salvatore Settis, is not about climate change, though my thoughts turned repeatedly to that topic and the difficulty we have even contemplating its likely consequences.

Witold Rybczynski’s New Cultural History of the Chair

07.27.2016

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In his new book, the author Witold Rybczynski has pulled off a deft trick. Now I Sit Me Down, due out next month, feels loose and relaxed, as well as grounded and authoritative. In a way, it’s like a good chair. The book, a sweeping look, rendered in concise breezy prose, blends first person accounts […]

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In his new book, the author Witold Rybczynski has pulled off a deft trick. Now I Sit Me Down, due out next month, feels loose and relaxed, as well as grounded and authoritative. In a way, it’s like a good chair. The book, a sweeping look, rendered in concise breezy prose, blends first person accounts […]

Watching the George Lucas Fiasco from the Cheap Seats

06.28.2016

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In the face of considerable opposition, a relentless civic organization, a pesky lawsuit, and a sympathetic judge, the legendary filmmaker has decided to pull his Museum of Narrative Art out of Chicago.

Lucas Museum of Narrative Art

In the face of considerable opposition, a relentless civic organization, a pesky lawsuit, and a sympathetic judge, the legendary filmmaker has decided to pull his Museum of Narrative Art out of Chicago.

Donald Trump and the Rage Against Robots

06.16.2016

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For all of its insanity, buffoonery, cluelessness, bigotry and narcissism, Trump’s candidacy is tapping into something else besides racism and xenophobia: Economic displacement.

manufacturing robots

For all of its insanity, buffoonery, cluelessness, bigotry and narcissism, Trump’s candidacy is tapping into something else besides racism and xenophobia: Economic displacement.

Why Was Rem Koolhaas’ AIA Speech Not Widely Covered?

06.09.2016

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There was a time, not too long ago, when a Koolhaas speech given to thousands of his fellow architects would constitute news. At least in the architecture press. Apparently, that time is not now.

rem in philly

There was a time, not too long ago, when a Koolhaas speech given to thousands of his fellow architects would constitute news. At least in the architecture press. Apparently, that time is not now.

Richard Florida on the Enduring Legacy of Jane Jacobs

05.02.2016

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In celebration of the Jacobs centennial, the noted urbanist and author talks about the legend, their close relationship in her later years, and her lasting influence on his work.

photos for li-janeswalk_9

In celebration of the Jacobs centennial, the noted urbanist and author talks about the legend, their close relationship in her later years, and her lasting influence on his work.

It’s National Architecture Week!

04.13.2016

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Instead of spending money on what is essentially a branding effort, what if the AIA organized a national education program aimed at the primary schools?

teaching kids arch image

Instead of spending money on what is essentially a branding effort, what if the AIA organized a national education program aimed at the primary schools?

A Modest Proposal

03.17.2016

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Shouldn’t architecture school projects actually be required to deal with the real challenges of architecture?

JeremyBaudy_Arc

Shouldn’t architecture school projects actually be required to deal with the real challenges of architecture?

Blair Kamin on the Chicago Biennial, George Lucas, and the magic of Jeanne Gang

01.27.2016

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This past year the Windy City was abuzz with architecture and design news: everything from the Obama presidential library to a Star Wars invasion. The Pulitzer Prize winning critic talks about Chicago’s unique architectural heritage and the culture shift brewing in the profession.

Chicago-Architecture

This past year the Windy City was abuzz with architecture and design news: everything from the Obama presidential library to a Star Wars invasion. The Pulitzer Prize winning critic talks about Chicago’s unique architectural heritage and the culture shift brewing in the profession.

Lewis MacAdams on the LA River, Frank Gehry, and the Return of the Red Legged Frog

01.27.2016

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When word trickled out that Gehry would take over master planning for the river, it caught some locals by surprise. No one was more startled, and more critical, than this poet, politician, community activist, and citizen planner.

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When word trickled out that Gehry would take over master planning for the river, it caught some locals by surprise. No one was more startled, and more critical, than this poet, politician, community activist, and citizen planner.

George Lucas and the Lake Michigan Waterfront: A Match Made in Chicago

12.16.2015

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John King’s tale of two cities is the story of two distinct public processes: San Francisco’s famously fractious culture, vs. Chicago’s ruthless top-down model of Mayor-as-last-and-final-word.

Lucas Museum of Narrative Art

John King’s tale of two cities is the story of two distinct public processes: San Francisco’s famously fractious culture, vs. Chicago’s ruthless top-down model of Mayor-as-last-and-final-word.

The Trouble with Architecture

11.18.2015

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The profession is chronically disconnected from the public it’s supposed to serve. It’s time to rediscover some lost design tools and learn the value of authentic engagement.

Doha skyline in the morning, courtesy Francisco Anzola

The profession is chronically disconnected from the public it’s supposed to serve. It’s time to rediscover some lost design tools and learn the value of authentic engagement.

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