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Adaptive Landscapes
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Design can be adaptive, demonstrating a potential for change, as the conditions and context within...

This bibliography includes the reading material that was influential for the development of my...

My thesis begins with several opposing concepts: the ideal and the empirical; order and disorder;...

Modular Systems
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In the early 1930s, American type designer William Addison Dwiggins began working on a ‘roman’...

Phonetic alphabets came from the necessity for clear communication over radio lines, and are...

Self-Organizing Networks
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Warchalking exposes wireless Internet networks through hand-inscribed chalkmarks in urban...

A series of postcards is lasercut with haikus, written by the participants of an online forum, in...

In Rimbaud’s ‘ville’ of ‘Les Illuminations’, flows are structural, and steady-states are ephemeral....

Swarms, consisting of independent agents, exhibit spontaneous expansive and contractive macro...

Programme & Mutable Form
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I am interested in exploring program and mutable form within the urban environment, both as an...

Markets are becoming global, while transitory population segments are growing. Cities are becoming...

A process book summarizes my early thesis direction involving computation. Formed around the text...

Computation & Complexity
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This piece appears as a 16-page section in Multi-Purpose, a book produced by the graphic design MFA...

The similarity between language and landscapes is expressed through ‘linguistic’ mark-making within...

The Club of Rome’s famous 1975 article predicted, based on a computer simulation, that the world...

Globalization may encourage the homogenization of cultures, by accelerated processes of selection...

The statement “You Can’t Fall in Love with a Growth Curve” originated as a piece of graffiti, the...

Entropia is a typeface that responds to sound. Entropia can be set to various states of...

Urban Artifacts
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“New York Places & Pleasures” by Kate Simon, published in 1959, is considered among the best...

Ten of the most familiar utopian city grids—from humanistic plans, based on proportions of the...

My proposal for a new railing along the pedestrian and bicycle walkway of the Williamsburg Bridge...

According to Aldo Rossi, urban artifacts are stable moments in the constantly shifting composition...

The site of the MTA Hudson Yards is located at the Hudson River terminus of the 34th Street...

Annotated Bibliography This bibliography includes the reading material that was influential for the development of my thesis.


1/ 306090 04: A Journal of Emergent Architecture and Design, Princeton Architectural Press, 2003A collection of essays from students and urbanists such as Saskia Sassen, this edition of 306090 includes writing on global agglomerations, megacities and the changing meaning of public and private space.
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2/ Architecture and Graphic: Positionen zur Beziehung von Architektur und Grafik. Lars Mueller Publishers, 1998This book is a collection of essays on the relationship between architecture and graphic design. It includes a foreword by Ruedi Baur, in which he argues that, since medieval times, graphic design has been used to cover up the shortcomings of architecture. In our postindustrial world, he argues, cities have become city landscapes, characterized by generic building types. Graphic design is necessary to fulfill wayfinding functions or to simply offer relief within a landscape of generic and utterly interchangeable architecture. In some instances, graphic design integrates itself directly into the façade, which is no longer simply a carrier of information, but information in itself. Also included are essays by Christian Moeller, and Prof. Kurt Weidemann of Schwaebisch-Gmuend, Germany.
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3/ Aunger, Robert. The Electric Meme: A New Theory of How We Think. Simon and Schuster, New York, 2002Aunger, a research fellow at Kings College in the UK, presents memetics from a new perspective, claiming that memes—elementary units and carriers of information, analogous to genes in biological organisms—are in fact physical, replicating entities, resulting in a re-evaluation of determinism and the human free-will.
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4/ Auster, Paul. City of Glass. Sun and Moon Press, 1985The first book of ‘The New York Trilogy’, ‘City of Glass’ is a surrealist search for identity, through impersonation, stalking, and psychogeography. The protagonist repeatedly shadows a suspect through a city neighborhood, tracing the paths he is taking in his notebook, and finding that, after several days, the paths form letters of the alphabet, constructs of the act of walking in the city, materialized only in his drawings.
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5/ Barthes, Roland. Mythologies. Hill and Wang, New York, 1972Roland Barthes writes about the nature of myth in the everyday. Speaking broadly of the role of the Idea and the Event in his contemporaneous culture, as in the chapter comparing the faces of Gretta Garbo and Audrey Hepburn, this book strongly influenced my orientation towards a theory of adaptability in the thesis I am pursuing here. Interestingly, Barthes—though he does not take position—frequently equates the Idea with the bourgeoisie, the so-called middle-class striving for respectability. Speaking broadly of the role of the idea and the event in his contemporaneous culture, as in the section comparing the faces of Gretta Garbo and Audrey Hepburn. this book strongly influenced my orientation towards a theory of adaptability.
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6/ Brooklyn Museum, The. The Great East River Bridge 18831983. Harry N. Adams, Inc. Publishers, New York, 1983Published for the exhibition The Great East River Bridge at the Brooklyn Museum in 1983, this book documents the history of one of the most influential bridges in the world. Designed by John Roebling, a German engineer, the bridge was the longest and sturdiest suspension bridge in the world at the time of its completion, before the two cities of New York and Brooklyn were unified a decade later. The bridge played a political and social role in the westward expansion, becoming in effect the symbolic gateway to the west as a triumph of the human will over nature.
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7/ Bloomer, Kent. The Nature of OrnamentKent Bloomer teaches ornament theory and design to graduate students at the Yale School of Architecture. His theory is that ornament is based in the liminal zones of the disciplines, connecting objects which would otherwise be disparate. It consists of a multitude of local, visual languages, which are the result of centuries of evolution, and carry an embedded meaning, discernable primarily on the evocative, emotional level. Apart from emphasizing the utilitarian aspects of an object, ornament receives its adherent meaning from the apieron, the greek term for the boundless substance bringing unity to all multiplicity.
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8/ Caro, Robert. The Power Broker: Robert Moses and the Fall of New York. Knopf, New York, 1974Robert Caro’s monumental biography of the man who shaped the New York of the second half of the 20th century. Central to this book is the observation of the influence of politics and power on the shape of the city, and the danger of mixing idealism and power in the hands of a single man.
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9/ Careri, Francesco. Walkscapes: Walking as an Aesthetic Practice. Editorial Gustavo Gigli, Barcelona, Spain, 2003Careri is a professor of architecture in Rome and a member of Stalker, an urban art workshop, which conducts reseach in the city through the experience of transurbanence. ‘Walkscapes’ is a historical account of the act of walking as an art form; as architecture; as the deliberate act of imposing a system of order onto a space.
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10/ Cook, Peter, edited by. Archigram. Princeton Architectural Press, New York, 1999Archigram was a group of architects and artists in the late 1960s, who made a name for themselves through their writing and visionary design. The topic they addressed was architecture from a counter-utopian standpoint, presenting future scenarios of what they advocated as the new architecture. This included concepts such as walking cities, the Plug-in City, nomad and instant cities and live-in pods.
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11/ Debord, Guy. Comments on the Society of the Spectacle. Editions Grard Lbovici, 1988In this shorter work, Debord updates his theory of a society of the spectacle to a contemporary society of ‘integrated spectacle’, in which it has become near impossible to distinguish between the real and the myth. He points out that dominating forces employ disinformation and surveillance to control society and remain in power, while a critical evaluation of history is increasingly disappearing from the world. It is this lack that helps perpetuate a state of apparent fragile perfection, in which true novelty in the arts, sciences and thinking is non-existent.
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12/ Debord, Guy. Theory of the Drive. 1958Guy Debord, the main theorist of the 1960s revolutionary group, the International Situationists, writes about the derive, the act of getting lost in the city. The derive is practiced through psychogeography, following instructions while walking in the city according to a predetermined algorithm.
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13/ De Landa, Manuel. A Thousand Years of Non-Linear History. MIT Press, New York, 1997Artist and philosopher Manuel De Landa discusses the last one thousand years in terms of meshworks, hierarchies and evolutionary theory. Basing his ideas on Deleuzian philosophy, De Landa argues that there are universal, abstract machines at work, leading to processes of sorting and stratification and the occasional moments of bifurcation, altering the course of history.
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14/ Gerstner, Karl. Designing Programmes. Teufen, A. Niggli, 1964Graphic designer Karl Gerstner belonged to the 1960s Swiss Modernist school in Zurich. Gerstner developed the flexible grid and was one of the first to employ unjustified type in his work. Furthermore, he extended the notion of ‘functional’ typography to ‘integral’ typography, in which the message is inseparable from the form. His permutational method, the subject of ‘Designing Programmes’ was influential to Swiss design, and became a precursor to contemporary computational methods.
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15/ Gleich, Michael. Web of Life: Die Kunst vernetzt zu leben. Hoffmann und Campe, 2002Acclaimed scientific journalist Michael Gleich writes about the growing importance of understanding networks, and how to utilize them in more efficent ways. The book gives examples of networks in all façettes of modern life, their advantages and disadvantages.
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16/ Hall, Peter. Bending the Rules of Structure. Metropolis, June 2003In his article, Peter Hall describes the work of Haresh Llalvani, an architecture professor at Pratt Institute, who by experimenting with computational genetic algorithms and digital fabrication techniques designed a series of unique column covers, the result of generations of selection and adaptation according to a predefined search space.
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17/ Jacobs, Jane. The Death and Life of Great American Cities. Vintage Books, 1992Jacobs takes a bottom-up approach in understanding cities, starting with the integrity of streets and neighborhoods and their importance for the well-being of the entire city. An advocate for inner-city density and mixed functions in all parts of the city, Jacobs theories provide the fundamental basis for understanding network urbanism.
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18/ Johnson, Steven. Emergence: The Connected Lives of Ants, Brains, Cities and Software. Scribner, 2002Johnson summarizes his findings on emergent behavior, following the idea of more is more. Looking at how individual behavior influences macro behavior patterns (the beehive and the ant colony are two examples from nature) and the complexity that can result from simple rule sets, Johnson recognizes that emergent behavior is a force connecting all aspects of life, from the evolution of cities to the functionality of the human brain.
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19/ Katavolos, William. Organics. Steendrukkerij de Jong and Co. 1961William Katavalos, an architect and professor at Pratt Institute in New York, writes about a utopian form of architecture which would entail literally growing buildings and objects from biochemical compounds.
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20/ Koolhaas, Rem. Delirious New York: A Retroactive Manifesto for Manhattan. The Monacelli Press, 1997Koolhaas describes how Manhattan evolved from pre-determined conditions such as the city grid and zoning laws, both of which influenced the shape and density of the built environment. This understanding of the effects of predetermined conditions can be transferred to the design process, as the designer attempts to negotiate formal issues within a set of imposed or natural boundaries.
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21/ Kostof, Spiro. The City Shaped: Urban Patterns and Meanings through History. Thames and Hudson, Ltd. London, 1991Spiro Kostof presents a survey of urban environments throughout history, looking at city forms which emerged organically or as the result of city planning. He analyzes types of urban organization, including the so-called planned picturesque, and the grid as an expression of social equality and a tool for economic development.
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22/ Le Corbusier. The City of To-Morrow and its planning. Dover, 1987Corbusier discusses his vision of the city of the futurethe Radiant Garden City. A modernist classic, Corbusier proposes to decongest and organize cities by replacing entire city neighborhoods. This approach (as Corbusier describes it, the approach of the surgeon, vs. that of the physician) represents an opposing school of thought to the attempts of contemporary urbanists seeking to understand cities through their systems of networks and flows.
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23/ Le Corbusier. The Modulor. Harvard University Press, 1954Jeanneret invents a composition tool, the so-called ‘Modular’. The Modular is a development of the Fibonacci series, applied to the human figure—it allows a harmonious composition in accordance to human proportions. Of interest is Le Corbusier’s writing on systems of measurement, of interval, as well as standardization and prefabrication. His belief is that restrictions of interval, such as the tonal scale in music, advance human creativity and achievement. This has interesting parallels to the more recent debate surrounding analog and digital systems.
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24/ Lynch, Kevin. The Image of the City. MIT Press, New York, 1960Lynch publishes this summary of a number of surveys conducted with city inhabitants, who were asked to map their mental image of the city they live in according to a common iconography. The results indicate that architecture and city planning play an important role in the way we perceive our surroundings, the way we construct our mental images of a city. Lynch concludes that city planning must focus on statistical evidence, based on the perceptions of non-architects, to effectively combat problems of urban disrepair.
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25/ Lynn, Greg. Animate Form. Princeton Architectural Press, New York, 1998Lynn’s studio explores animate form, in which structures are the result of information flows present at the moment of formal conception, which are channeled and translated into architectural form. His proposed structures exhibit micro- and macro-contextual specificity, due to the utilization of site-specific data.
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26/ Maeda, John. Maeda and Media. Rizzoli International Publications, New York, 2000John Maeda on his computational work, his philosophy and working methodology. Maeda reinforced my own perspective on design through the simplicity and relevance of his argumentation.
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27/ Morison, Stanley, Day, Kenneth. The Typographic Book. University of Chicago Press, 1963In their introduction, the authors begin by stating the discrepancy between utilitarian, anti-historical design, advocated by modernist groups such as the Bauhaus, and beauty. They point out the direct relationship between architecture and book typography, and the fact that half a century of modernism has effectively destroyed decoration and the capacity to decorate through the suppression of craftsmanship. An interesting debate is the role of modular units, called ‘printers’s flowers’, in title page decoration, which brought typographic mechanization into a process of ornamentation, previously the singular work of a skilled engraver.
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28/ Rock, Michael. The Designer As Author. Originally published in Eye, no. 20 (Spring 1996)Rock analyzes the contemporary notion of authorship in graphic design, a somewhat ambiguious term which he helps clarify by pointing out the common pitfalls of misinterpretation. Most interesting is perhaps the distinction of a form of authorship resulting from a common voice throughout the work of a graphic artist, and one at that which is not purely stylistic, yet rooted in a transcendental personal understanding of the world.
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29/ Rossi, Aldo. The Architecture of the City. MIT Press, New York, 1982Architect and urbanist Aldo Rossi puts forth his theory of Urban Artifacts, the static elements in an ever-changing urban environment, those structures which continue to inform additions to the city. He criticizes naive functionalism for not considering context, in a historical and locational sense.
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30/ Rheingold, Howard. Smart Mobs: The Next Social Revolution. Perseus Publishing, 2002Rheingold observes the behavior associated with people empowered by mobile, Internet based and location-aware technologies. His observation is that their power lies in the spontaneous agglomeration of people—‘smart mobs’—which can potentially be harnessed for constructive or destructive purposes.
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31/ Rifkin, Jeremy. Entropy: Into the Greenhouse World. Revised Edition. Bantam Doubleday Dell Pub, New York, 1990Jeremy Rifkin writes about entropy, a universal force in the world outlined by the second law of thermodynamics, leading to ever increasing energy expenditure and the natural tendency of all things in the world towards an energy equilibrium, the so-called heat death.
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32/ Rowe, Colin, Koetter, Fred. Collage City. MIT PressThe authors discuss the twentieth century utopia in architecture and city planning and the fundamental distinction between an anti-historical approach, and townscape, or what they deem the socialogical, allegedly scientific counter-movement. Of the still recent phenomena of science fiction, represented by Archigram, The Metabolists and Superstudio, they write: “The search for system, after all, is very like the old academic thing—platonic certainty in brave new disguise; while even elaborate concern for the future may also be seen as regressive and status quo-ist.” They dismantle both utopias in favor of the notion of an ideal city founded in the merger of the two—the collage city.
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33/ Ruskin, John. The Seven Lamps of Architecture. Revised Edition. Bantam Doubleday Dell Pub, New York, 1990“Know what you have to do, and do it.” According to Ruskin, failure is less frequently attributable to either insufficiency of means or impatience of labor, but rather an uncertain understanding of the thing to actually be done. In his ‘Seven Lamps’, Ruskin illuminates the guiding principles of architecture. In ‘The Lamp of Truth’, for instance, he argues against dishonesty and for a utilitarian architecture. Ornament, for Ruskin, is a vital part of architecture, representing beauty and life. Ornament exists at the human scale. He contrasts this with the sublime, those elements of architecture beyond human scale.
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34/ Saarinen, Eliel. The City Its Growth, Its Decay, Its Future. Reinhold Publishing Corporation. New York 1943Saarinen the elder presents his solution to urban decay, comparing the city to a living organism. Juxtaposing biological cells and city maps, Saarinen advocates a separation of functions within urban environments, in accordance to modernist principles and in opposition to later theories put forth by Jane Jacobs, among others.
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35/ Suzuki, Akira. Do Android Crows Fly Over the Skies of an Electronic Tokyo? The Interactive Urban Landscape of Japan. Architectural Association, 2001This collection of essays discusses the impact of social and technological change on Japanese cities. Tokyo is described as a city whose population is highly mobilized, “extremely fluid and capricious. It has no tradition of architectural culture, its infrastructure is quite haphazard, and its local communities—recently even the family unit—have begun to disintegrate.” Architectural effects of these living conditions can be seen in the proliferation of capsule hotels and one-room apartments.
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36/ Tufte, Edward. The Visual Display of Quantitative Information. Graphics Press, Connecticut, 1983Edward Tufte’s first book on effective information design, in which he advocates data-density and aesthetics which help to clarify information rather than distort it.
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37/ Tschumi, Bernard, Berman, Matthew, editors. Index Architecture. MIT Press, New York 2003Organized by keywords, this book documents the ways in which architecture is changing as the result of progress in methods of visualization. At the same time, it is a compendium of the work and thoughts of students and faculty at Columbia University’s School of Architecture during Bernard Tschumi’s tenure as dean.
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38/ Venturi, Robert. Learning from Las Vegas. MIT Press, 1977Venturi discusses how signage influences and helps to understand architecture by example of Las Vegas. The significance of buildings within their urban environment can be understood based on their iconic presence. From a graphic standpoint, buildings are part of our urban visual vocabulary—the interface through which we perceive our environment, public or private.
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39/ Warde, Beatrice. The Crystal Goblet or Printing Should be Invisible, The Crystal Goblet, Sixteen Essays on Typography. Cleveland, 1956In her influential essay, Beatrice Warde takes the position that typography should not call attention to itself. Rather, it should lead to a more pleasurable reading experience by receding behind the content and letting it speak for itself.
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40/ Wolfram, Stephen. A New Kind of Science. Wolfram Media, Inc. 2002Stephen Wolfram, the Oxford and Caltech educated scientist and author of the popular software Mathematica, presents a body of work formulating a universal scientific theory, based on computer simulations exploring the phenomenon of cellular automata, simple rule-driven systems that can result in repetitive, chaotic and emergent patterns.
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