Child running home in the destroyed city of Mostar, Bosnia-Herzegovina in the hot summer of 1995. Photo by Thom Hoffman.

When Cities Fall: Urban Histories and Political Memory

Destroyed city of Mostar, Bosnia-Herzegovina in 1995. Photo by Thom Hoffman.

Our experience of the present is shaped by our understanding of the past. By ignoring the urban narratives of  monuments, structures, city parks, memorials…what messages are we missing for the present?  > Read More

Delacroix’s “Liberty Leading the People” at the terminus of the Louvre-Lens’ grand gallery. (Photo by Richard Ingersoll.)

SANAA’s Anti-Louvre

Delacroix’s “Liberty Leading the People” at the terminus of the Louvre-Lens’ grand gallery. (Photo by Richard Ingersoll.)

Just before Christmas a superb new museum—a subsidiary of the Louvre in Paris—opened in the ex-coal mining city of Lens in northern France. To promote this breakthrough in museology, the curators chose the familiar icon of revolution, Eugène Delacroix’s “Liberty Leading the People,” one of some 200 artworks on loan from the parent institution, the world’s most popular museum. Richard Ingersoll paid a visit. > Read More

The New Urban Opera House

The future of opera may soon arrive at the 16th Street Station in Oakland. Photo by Christopher Hall.

Opera is a child of the city. It was born in 1600 in Florence, the cradle of civic humanism, in the homes of a wealthy group of intellectuals who were investigating Greek drama. With its agglomeration of poetry, drama, music, costume, sets and stagecraft, opera became a popular entertainment that spread to other urban centers with a supply of musicians and artisans large enough to create and articulate the spectacle. > Read More

Mill Valley House by Koji Tsutsui with the author, Paul Jamtgaard, and Laura-Katharina Gross Serman in the foreground. Photo by Iwan Baan.

24 Hours with Iwan Baan

Mill Valley House by Koji Tsutsui with the author, Paul Jamtgaard, and Laura-Katharina Gross Serman in the foreground. Photo by Iwan Baan.

My introduction to Iwan Baan came from a friend, the architect Koji Tsutsui. Based in San Francisco, he’s not yet on the A-list of Pritzker Prize winners and other luminaries with which Baan is usually associated. So sought after that he turns down 90 percent of the inquiries he receives, Baan tracked Tsutsui down after seeing a competition-winning AIDS health clinic he designed in Africa, one of several he’d photographed. What else have you got, he asked? > Read More

Macintosh 512K. Photo: Steve Garfield

Steve Jobs’s Unified Field Theory

Macintosh 512K. Photo: Steve Garfield

In his truncated life, Steve Jobs exerted a measure of influence in design that few architects have managed to achieve. As an architect in the most general sense, Jobs helped to shape the desktop worlds we occupy on a daily basis; his design interests encompassed all scales from typography and product packaging, to furniture and retail stores. > Read More