Deja vu and SoMa’s second chance

Salesforce leased space at 50 Fremont before abandoning plans for a new campus at Mission Bay.

Earlier this year, Salesforce’s seemingly sudden decision to abandon plans for a new 2-million-square-foot campus at Mission Bay raised immediate concerns about San Francisco’s already tightening office market—and some murmurs of relief. > Read More


Contributor Profile: Yosh Asato


Yosh Asato is a writer and design communications consultant based in San Francisco, and a co-founder of TraceSF. She also directs StoreFrontLab, an exploration of storefronts as places of community, creativity and local industry.



Kobe, Japan, 8.1999, Shinkobe Oriental Hotel


Over about a 10-year period in the 1990s I did a lot of traveling, which involved periodic waiting around in hotels before and after meetings. I decided that on every trip I would execute a watercolor painting of the view through my hotel window regardless of the merits of the scene. > Read More


Contributor Profile: Christopher Arnold


Christopher Arnold, FAIA, RIBA, is a retired architect in Palo Alto, California. > Read More


Buckminster Fuller and Chuck Byrne, Non-Symmetrical Tension-Integrity Structures, United States Patent Office no. 3,866,366, from the portfolio Inventions: Twelve Around One, 1981; screen print in white ink on clear polyester film; 30 x 40 in.; Collection SFMOMA, gift of Chuck and Elizabeth Byrne; © The Estate of R. Buckminster Fuller, all rights reserved. Published by Carl Solway Gallery, Cincinnati.


The only time I heard him speak, Buckminster Fuller managed to jump from the geometric properties of his geodesic domes to the proof of God’s existence. > Read More


DIY Global

Local artisans sell their wares near downtown Oakland. Photo: Leah Marthinsen.


Think local, buy local—we are currently experiencing a surge in assertions of independence from the global supply chain. > Read More


Contributor Profile: Leah Marthinsen


Leah Marthinsen is a designer at EHDD Architecture in San Francisco. > Read More

Preserving Industry in the Eastern Neighborhoods

Union Iron Works, photo by William Porter, 2004.


The Eastern Neighborhoods Plan, adopted in late December 2008, states that “San Francisco is a special place because of the way in which it has always balanced preservation with change.” It is true that despite generations of natural and manmade disasters, demographic shifts, and  radical economic realignment, San Francisco has managed to hold on to its essence as a place that “doesn’t look or feel like anywhere else.” > Read More


Contributor Profile: Christopher VerPlanck


Christopher VerPlanck is owner of the preservation firm, VerPlanck Historic Preservation Consulting. > Read More


Home Sweet Home


A two‐year resident of the emerging Central Market district comments on her neighborhood’s evolution and ambiance. > Read More


Contributor Profile: Rika Putri


Rika Putri is a graphic designer based in San Francisco. She graduated from the Academy of Art University in 2010 and is now working for Gensler in San Francisco.


Looking at Mark Bradford

Mark Bradford, Smokey, 2003; billboard paper, photomechanical reproductions, acrylic gel medium, permanent-wave end papers, and additional mixed media on canvas; 60 x 72 inches; collection of Anne and Joel Ehrenkranz; © Mark Bradford; photo: Bruce M. White


The Mark Bradford retrospective, currently at the SFMOMA and YBCA, collects Bradford’s best work from 2000 to 2010, representing his primary concerns of a decade. > Read More


Contributor Profile: Patricia Sonnino


Patricia Sonnino is an artist and architect practicing in San Francisco. Her web site is



Ghost Story

Opening day at Pruitt Igoe. Photo via

It remains nearly impossible to escape architecture, urban design, or planning education in the United States without hearing the name Pruitt-Igoe, even forty years after the St. Louis housing project’s demolition in 1972. > Read More


Losing Land

My friend Amanda Armstrong can’t come on campus anymore, unless she’s there to study or teach. Unless she’s there, in the words of the Alameda County DA who charged her four months after their police beat her as she linked arms with her fellow protestors to protect an encampment put up on November 9th of last year, on “lawful business.” > Read More


Contributor Profile: Eva Hagberg


Eva Hagberg is a Berkeley-based writer, architectural critic, and cyclist. She is the author of the books Dark Nostalgia and Nature Framed, and her writing has appeared in, among others, Metropolis, Wallpaper*, The New York Times, T: The New York Times Style Magazine, Wired, and Print. She is currently at work on a memoir about vertigo, and a PhD about something interesting possibly to do with buildings, she’s not quite sure what yet. 


Rodolfo Machado at Wurster Hall

Rodolfo Machado at Wurster auditorium, UC Berkeley, on March 9, 2012. Photo by John Parman.


“Where were the students?” one of their professors asked me as we were leaving. It was a pity they missed the lecture, because Professor Machado had aimed to instruct, showing in detail how three of his projects moved from planning to completion, warts and all. > Read More


‘Architecture in the Expanded Field’

Photo by Yuki Bowman


Co-curated and designed by CCA’s Ila Berman and Douglas Burnham, ‘Architecture in the Expanded Field’ is an Herculean and painstakingly crafted 3-dimensional exhibit that indexes some 75 works of ‘installation architecture’—an experimental terrain of practice explored by Erin Hyman for this magazine. > Read More


Tracing a History of Architecture Installations in the Bay Area

Ant Farm, 50’ x 50’ Pillow, 1970, temporary installation in Freestone, California. Photo: Chip Lord. Courtesy Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive.


San Francisco is often compared unfavorably to other major cities in terms of its tolerance for architectural experimentation. One area where this experimentation has thrived, however, is that of installations, which by dint of their short duration and theoretical orientation, have been a potent force for examining the limitations and potentials of architecture and its social ramifications.

> Read More


Lars Lerup at Wurster Hall

Lars Lerup explaining his analysis of the Houston cityscape. Photo by John Parman.


Playing to a big, friendly crowd, Rice Professor Lars Lerup acknowledged his Berkeley roots in a lecture on Wednesday night, 7 March, centered on his new book on the Houston cityscape, One Million Acres & No Zoning (Architectural Association, 2011). > Read More