studying the city (Annette Koh)

Public space, the right to the city, and civic engagement. How can we improve equity and access through participatory urbanism? Ph.D. student in Urban & Regional Planning at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa. Former resident of Seoul & San Francisco.
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It doesn’t have to be built to be architecture. A play can exist without being performed. A piece of music can exist without an orchestra playing it. The creative act is the most important thing.

Steven Holl, Interview with Architect Magazine, May 2012 (via rchtctrstdntblg)

Whenever I think about urban plans never built and cities that only live in the mind, I really want to write a paper about urban form in science fiction. Anyone want to try writing this with me? Perhaps later than sooner, but within the year?

(via rchtctrstdntblg)


Peter Cook (1970)

The effect of riding in automobiles upon the perception of pedestrians, bicyclists, and of other motorists teaches us that spaces can banish people to an alien universe even when those others are physically close by. People who are usually good natured and gregarious are likely, as motorists, to resent, berate, and sometimes even attack, pedestrians, joggers, and other motorists who occupy part of the road. The key condition that facilitates this result seems to be that people are enclosed by different spatial boundaries, are moving at different speeds, and have no mode of communication and little mutual understanding about how to stay out of each other’s way in unforeseen circumstances. Psychological isolation occurs in spite of total visibility.
Murray Edelman. “Space and the social order.” Journal of Architectural Education 32.2 (1978), page 6.

Statues Also Die (1953), directed by Alain Resnais.

 Description via Africa’s A Country:

According to Resnais, the original intent was not to make an anticolonial film, but a film about African art and its representation in Western contexts. But as he researched the film, “Renais wondered why African art was placed in Musée de l’homme (an ethnographic museum) while Assyrian, or Greek art, by contrast, was on show in the Louvre”

And what starts off as a fairly romantic and mute portrait of images of African objects, in the last third turns into a blistering attack on colonialism and white racism.

Let’s keep in mind this is 1953.

Not surprisingly, the film was banned in France for fifteen years. The first time the full version was publicly screened in France was in November 1968, as part of a programme of short films grouped under the label “Cinéma d’inquiétude” (“Cinema of disquiet”).

The whole film is interesting to watch, but the part that is important to watch is the last 10 minutes. From the integration of art as life — “where the gracefulness of a curve was a declaration of love to the world” — to the reproduction in the boutique window, that is “the art of the flower-pot, the paperweight, the souvenir pen rack.” American culture doesn’t get a pass either, as the filmmaker looks at the twin phenomenon of violence against African Americans and the commodification of African American cultural forms.

In other words, research is not an innocent or distant academic exercise but an activity that has something at stake and that occurs in a set of political and social conditions.
Linda Tuhiwai Smith, Decolonizing Methodologies: Research and Indigenous Peoples (via callowhill)

Hola new followers! Thanks for being my neighbor on Tumblr. It’s hard to have a block party over the internet, but I can bring the grill and charcoal.


Here’s how the saying goes: Always a borrower and a lender be. Lending and borrowin’ makes good neighbors. Go to your neighbor when you need sugar. The next time they need bread they will come to you. Borrow onions. Lend popcorn. Borrow a leaf rake. Lend a baby buggy. Borrow some shoes. Everybody needs to owe. Everybody needs to be owed to.

- From Riverbank Neighbors ”How to Disappear”, illustrated by Bobby Sutton. (via Grist)

There’s the poverty of cheap luggage bursted open at immigration
The poverty of the turned head, the averted eyes
The poverty of bored sex of tormented sex
The poverty of the bounced check the poverty of the dumpster dive
The poverty of the pawned horn the poverty of the smashed reading glasses
The poverty pushing the sheeted gurney the poverty cleaning up the puke
The poverty of the pavement artist the poverty passed-out on pavement
Princes of finance you who have not lain there
There are poverties and there are poverties

There is the poverty of hand-to-mouth and door-to-door
And the poverty of stories patched-up to sell there
There’s the poverty of the child thumbing the Interstate
And the poverty of the bride enlisting for war
There’s the poverty of prescriptions who can afford
And the poverty of how would you ever end it
There is the poverty of stones fisted in pocket
And the poverty of the village bulldozed to rubble
Princes of weaponry who have not ever tasted war
There are poverties and there are poverties
There’s the poverty of wages wired for the funeral you
Can’t get to the poverty of the salary cut
There’s the poverty of human labor offered silently on the curb
The poverty of the no-contact prison visit
There’s the poverty of yard sale scrapings spread
And rejected the poverty of eviction, wedding bed out on street
Prince let me tell you who will never learn through words
There are poverties and there are poverties

An excerpt from Adrienne Rich’s Ballad of the Poverties
No one perhaps has ever felt passionately towards a lead pencil. But there are circumstances in which it can become supremely desirable to possess one; moments when we are set upon having an object, an excuse for walking half across London between tea and dinner. As the foxhunter hunts in order to preserve the breed of foxes, and the golfer plays in order that open spaces may be preserved from the builders, so when the desire comes upon us to go street rambling the pencil does for a pretext, and getting up we say: “Really I must buy a pencil,” as if under cover of this excuse we could indulge safely in the greatest pleasure of town life in winter—rambling the streets of London.

Du Tonc's music video for their song Darkness has a beautiful sequence that contrasts feeling alone and on the outside and then feeling within the swirl of the inside. I went on a prowl for new music (not a bad form of procrastination) and came across this song. Thumbs up most definitely.

Architect turned artist Marjetica Potrč brings the messiness and beauty of informal housing into the white walls of the art gallery.  

Image sources: Caracas: House with Extended Territory from Galerie Nordenhake; small images from artist’s site; Hybrid House at Meulensteen Gallery; Urban Strategies at AR/GE Kunst Galerie.

The more people’s standpoints I have present in my mind while I am pondering a given issue, and the better I can imagine how I would feel and think if I were in their place, the stronger will be my capacity for representative thinking and the more valid my final conclusions, my opinion. (It is this capacity for an “enlarged mentality” that enables men to judge; as such, it was discovered by Kant in the first part of his Critique of Judgement, though he did not recognize the political and moral implications of his discovery.)
Hannah Arendt, Between Past and Future  (via franceslin90)

new Risograph print, originally designed for Justseeds new Liberating Learning portfolio, available individually here!

Justseeds is a steady source of beautiful prints. What if all 7th grade social studies classes took this approach?


new Risograph print, originally designed for Justseeds new Liberating Learning portfolio, available individually here!

Justseeds is a steady source of beautiful prints. What if all 7th grade social studies classes took this approach?

(via justseedsartists)