Robert Venturi’s Duck Hunt

Although there isn’t much original content these days on Life Without Buildings, I’ve been busy writing elsewhere.

Most notably, for almost two years now I’ve been co-writing a book with Robert A.M. Stern documenting the history of the Yale School of Architecture and the contributions its alumni have made to the profession. Working on the book takes up the majority of my time and as arduous as it can sometimes be, the experience has been incredibly rewarding and I’m quite proud of the way it’s shaping up. As part of my research, I’ve conducted more than fifty interviews with former faculty and alumni, including Vincent Scully, Stanley Tigerman, Jaque Robertson, William McDonough, Marion Weiss, and many, many others. This has really been the best part of the process. Almost without exception, these conversations have been absolutely fascinating and I look forward to being able to share these interviews in some form. The book is absolutely massive and although it should be finished this year, it likely won’t be released to coincide with the Centennial of the Yale School of Architecture in 2016.

Most of my blogging these days happens over at Smithsonian’s Design Decoded, where I write about the design histories of everyday objects like espresso machines and drones, as well as pop-culture icons like Sherlock Holmes and Dracula. Please check it out!

The most recent issue of the Journal of Architectural Education includes my review of last year’s “Reconsidering Postmodernism” symposium.  If you have any interest in Postmodernism, the entire issue offers a lot of insight on the movement/style/concept that, in my opinion, is more relevant now than ever. My review focuses on a few of the younger architects and historians who are offering fascinating new perspectives on Postmodernism and sometimes even writing entirely new histories. I hope to post an excerpt soon.

In the February issue of Wired I’ve contributed a fun piece about Die Hard examining the connection between John McClane’s personal relationships and his penchant for mayhem.

The February issue of Smithsonian includes an aritcle I wrote about new research into the origins of rocketry. Spoiler: early alchemists weren’t exactly rocket scientists. And their work frequently blew up in their face – literally.

Coming up, look for my piece in the next issue of Soiled on slapstick comedy and Expressionist utopias. Thanks to everyone who helped successfully kickstart the issue so the editors can put together an even more impressive print run.

And finally, I was on a recent episode of NPR’s “How to Do Everything” podcast talking about the design of the Presidential Seal.

That’s it for now. Back to work.

 

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