Like a Virgin

It is rare for a seasoned professor to get that jolt of excitement one gets from teaching a class for the very first time, but that’s exactly what happened this semester when I was asked to to teach a history of architecture class in a new program. The material covered by the class was in... Continue Reading →

Soderbergh’s Unsane

Part I: An office job It just so happened that I was reading about beauty pageants on the way to the movie theater, so I was already primed to think about what I might call “the expectation of charm.” It’s the sort of expectation that compels people to tell young women to smile. I always... Continue Reading →

Vito Acconci 1940-2017

I was honored to be part of his memorial yesterday at Pratt School of Architecture, in collaboration with Acconci Studio. I first encountered Vito’s work as a student in architecture school. There was a postcard in my mailbox announcing his upcoming lecture with a photograph of his “Adjustable Wall Bra.” I thought, a wall needs... Continue Reading →

School as a Magic Box

I’ve been feeling sad and angry and afraid and finally I wrote this for my first year architecture students who are designing a school for a fictional site in Manhattan. This is the studio course in which they learn about the integration of program and form—they are dealing with a complex program for the first... Continue Reading →

Tap Your Reptilian Brain

Design teachers have known forever that architecture is best made in a state of distraction. Knowing all the facts about site and program will only get designers so far. At some point we need to go forth confidently and make those design decisions without sweating the blow by blow requirements of the project. Words like... Continue Reading →

Party Like It’s 1999

My film and architecture project involves looking at film as if it were architecture and looking at architecture as if it were film; it also relies, in part, on the work of neurobiologist Antonio Damasio. I first knew of Damasio when he spoke at Sundance in January 2000. He was wearing light colored pants, I... Continue Reading →


Just for fun, a remake of Foucault quoting Borges quoting a “certain Chinese encyclopedia in which animals of the world are divided into: (a) belonging to the Emperor, (b) embalmed, (c) tame, (d) suckling pigs, (e) sirens, (f) fabulous, (g) stray dogs, (h) included in the present classification, (i) frenzied, (j) innumerable, (k) drawn with... Continue Reading →

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