As a writer and editor, I tell stories of transformative change and create forums for changemakers to interact and to reach new audiences.
This work has included consulting for non-profits on editorial strategy, producing and editing online journalism, and writing books and articles about urbanism. My experience as a writer and editor complements my work in exhibitions and film / video production.
All of my work, in one way or another, is about creating expressive audio-visual and text-based narratives that assert that the physical form and social experience of cities are inextricable and that the built environment reflects cultural and political attitudes in particular places at particular points in time. As a scholar of urbanism, I am interested in asserting the importance of such narratives to the professional practice of urban planning and design as well as both scholarly and popular understanding of cities.
Check out my first book, Citymakers: the Culture and Craft of Practical Urbanism, which you can purchase from your local bookseller. Published in 2017, the book blends theoretical, journalistic, and essayistic modes of writing to make an argument about new trends and coalitions in urban practice since 2008, referencing examples drawn from the pages of Urban Omnibus contextualized by an original reading of the intellectual history of urbanism.
Grand Tours: How travelers became tourists, an essay I wrote about guidebooks, travel literature, and tourism for the online version of the excellent new publication Strangers Guide. (June 6th, 2018).
From Chelsea to Corona: Public Cost and Public Benefit in the New Public Park, a piece for The Huffington Post about about parks, High Line fever, and equitable public spaces. (August 28th, 2014).
I published two scholarly articles in the journal Public Culture at the conclusion of the Poiesis Fellowship. The first is my "manifesto" about incrementalism in design, montage in cinema, and the overlooked possibilities of essentialism. The second is co-authored with sociologist Michael McQuarrie and journalist Naresh Fernandes, with whom I collaborated on research into questions of citizenship and protest in an informal settlement in Mumbai. (Institute of Public Knowledge / Duke University Press, Volume 25, Number 2 Issue 70, Spring 2013).
Here's my valedictory letter from the editor on the bittersweet occasion of leaving my post at Urban Omnibus.
I wrote a short chapter on philosophical toys for the book Landscape Futures, edited by Geoff Manaugh, which doubled as the catalogue for an exhibition of the same name that he curated at the Nevada Museum of Art. (Actar, 2013).
I co-authored a piece with the novelist Taiye Selasi about public space and the thinking behind the Gwangju River Reading Room, an architectural folly and pop-up human rights library designed by Adjaye Associates for the Gwangju Biennial 2013. The piece is available in the book Gwangju Folly II, edited by Nikolaus Hirsch, Philipp Misselwitz, and Eui Young Chun. (Hatje Cantz, 2013).
In the wake of the devastating Superstorm Sandy, I co-authored an editorial with Varick Shute, my collaborator and co-conspirator in all things Omnibus since its creation. November 1st, 2012.
"Fighting Fire on the Water" is a feature I wrote for Urban Omnibus about the Fire Department of New York's Marine Operations unit, inspired by the opening of two new waterfront firehouses and two seriously pimping fireboats. June 13th, 2012.
"Of Timeshares and Tenements" is an opinion piece I wrote for Domus (5/11/11) that questions some basic assumptions behind the regulatory framework for New York real estate. It's an adaptation of a earlier article I wrote for The New City Reader, a temporary newspaper on architecture, public space and the city, published section by section from October 2010 to January 2011 as part of "The Last Newspaper" exhibition at the New Museum, New York. My article appeared in the Real Estate section, edited by Mabel Wilson and Peter Tolkin.
"Rights and Freedoms, Bricks and Mortar" is my passionate response to the attempts by opponents of the Park51 Islamic Cultural Center proposal (the so-called 9/11 victory mosque) to use historic landmark designation to block the project.
"Postópolis: Urban Portraiture" is my reflection on participating in Postópolis!DF, "a public five-day session of near-continuous conversation curated by some of the world's most prominent bloggers from the fields of architecture, art, urbanism, landscape, music and design." This piece originally appeared in Places on July 19th, 2010.
"A Sky without Planes" While stranded in London, derailed en route to a conference in Munich by a large cloud of volcanic ash, I put a few thoughts down in a post for Urban Omnibus. A version of this piece was also published in Stranded, a one-off magazine put together by Andrew Losowsky composed entirely of work submitted by fellow volcano strandees around the world. April 21st, 2010.