Urban Design Review

I’m pleased to announce that the Summer 2006 issue of the Urban Design Review has been released; it’s also the first issue for which I served as Senior Editor. There will be many more to come.

The issue includes some fantastic work. You’ll find an amusing – and much-needed – analysis of New York Times Magazine real estate ads, written by Brand Avenue‘s own Chris Timmerman; Charles Jencks’s Iconic Building is reviewed by Michiel van Raaij, the latter being one of today’s most uncannily sharp-eyed critics of iconic architecture (van Raaij’s blog is worth a long visit); David Haskell gives us an essayistic look at urban event places, reviewing architectural attempts “to make the city a perpetual festival”; and, among many other texts – including short interviews with both Charles Jencks and Mike Davis – you’ll find an interview with Jinhee Park and John Hong of SINGLE speed DESIGN. SsD is now justifiably famous for their work on the ingenious – and beautifully inspiring – Big Dig House, a single-family home built from old Boston highway parts. The Big Dig House was reviewed three days ago in USA Today.
From SsD‘s own description of the project:

As a prototype for future Big Dig architecture, the structural system for this house is almost wholly comprised of steel and concrete from Boston’s Big Dig, utilizing over 600,000 lbs of recycled materials. Although similar to a pre-fab system, the project demonstrates that subtle, complex spatial arrangements can still be designed and customized from pieces of the I-93 offramps: Varying exterior and interior planes create an ascending relationship from ground to roof as large upper-level plantings blur interior and exterior relationships.

Houses built from highways.
The Urban Design Review is now all set to expand, through events and publications both, and it is always looking for more interested readers and writers; a forthcoming issue, in fact, is already in the works. It’s not BLDGBLOG in paper form, however, but something much better: a sustained look at the built environment, on a global level, using reviews of texts and exhibitions, open dialogues between practitioners in the field, and essays by theorists, students, professors, artists, and so on.
UDR is published by David Haskell’s Forum for Urban Design. (David is also Founder and Editor-in-Chief of Topic Magazine).
So check it out.

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