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News

Celeste Olalquiaga - Ruinas Modernas

Hilary Huckins-Weidner

On August 9 a conference on modern ruins will be held at Universidad Católica, Chile, featuring: Giuliana Bruno; Jon Beasley-Murray; Celeste Olalquiaga; and Liliana De Simone.

The conference is organized by Celeste Olalquiaga, director of Proyecto Helicoide. A month-long graduate seminar, led by Olalquiaga, will follow the conference. For details and registration: Centro del Patrimonio Cultural.

Downward Spiral  was published by Terreform in collaboration with Proyecto Helicoide and support from Archivo Fotografía Urbana.

Downward Spiral was published by Terreform in collaboration with Proyecto Helicoide and support from Archivo Fotografía Urbana.

PN2019 - A Terreform Recap

Hilary Huckins-Weidner

“What, exactly, do we mean by ‘progressive’ anyway? Who is supposed to be progressing, and what are they progressing toward?” Sam Stein, Introductory Keynote

Progressive City, Planners Network online publication, recently published Sam Stein’s introductory keynote, “The Urgency and Uncertainty of ‘Progressive Planning’ Today.” Stein presented at the 2019 Planners Network Conference (PN2019), a multi-city event held at New York City, Tiohtià:ke/Montreal, and Tacoma.

PN2019 - NYC was held at Pratt Graduate Center for Planning and the Environment. Terreform tabled together with comrade publisher, The New Village Press. Terreform associate, Casey Breen, reports below.

Learn more about Planners Network, the organization of progressive planning. Photo below: Visual Recap. Planners Network NYC.


Street Lessons and Learning from Planners Network Conference

BY Casey Breen

I was stirred up by Sam Stein’s questions of what it means to be progressive and his arguments for the urgent need for new modes of planning. They served as guides as I moved through the panels and conversations. As a student of mathematics and architecture, my knowledge of planning is primarily from canonical texts. This conference was a headfirst dive into its other sides — activism, advocacy, organizing — how the work actually gets done on the ground.

I attended two panels based on my interest in housing inequity. The first panel was on “Building Tenant Power, Holding Banks Accountable for Predatory Equity”. Jim Markowich, a Tenant Leader at Tenants Taking Control Coalition, told us about his experience bonding together with his neighbors against the mistreatment of their new landlord. He spoke of his surprise in “discovering the multifaceted skillset of the people around him” and the power this imbued in their fight to leverage their rights as tenants. Brandon Kielbasa, Director of Organizing at Cooper Square Committee, advised listeners on the purpose of organizing practices as a way for “people to see the systematic nature of the issues they face.” Both spoke about the larger factors at play in these mistreatments, such as how banks force landlords to kick out rent-controlled tenants if [the landlords] want any hope of paying back their mortgages.”

The second panel I attended was “Resistance to Gentrification and Global Real Estate Finance in Sunset Park, Brooklyn”. I remember the electrifying moment when the audience voiced their experiences growing up in the neighborhood. A multitude of languages — Chinese, Spanish, English —seemingly clashed but all came to a halt on agreement in their mistrust of Industry City’s promise to provide new jobs in their local community. Then an activist from Brazil, Emilia Maria de Souza, chimed in with her concerns. In Portuguese with consecutive English translation, she reminded us that while the issues discussed in the context of Sunset Park and Industry City were place-based, it was part of a much larger global phenomenon.

This conference introduced me to questions that had never occurred to me even needed to be asked. It was inspiring to meet with researchers, organizers, activists, and community members — each with differing perspectives on what it means to be progressive, and what we all should be striving for. While I left with my own personal answer on Stein’s question — what the nature of progressive planning should be — not fully fleshed out, I know it was a start of a working answer; and more importantly, I’m itching to find out more!

Reading now:

Hum, Tarry. “Get Ready Sunset Park, ‘Brooklyn’ is Coming”: The Real Estate Imperatives of an Innovation Ecosystem.” Progressive City.

Hum, Tarry. Making a Global Immigrant Neighborhood: Brooklyn’s Sunset Park. Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 2014.

Pannum, Hari. “Horto Will Protest Against Eviction ‘However Many Times is Necessary”. Rio on Watch. 

Stein, Samuel B. Capital City: Gentrification and the Real Estate State. New York: Verso, 2019.

Stein, Samuel B. “The Urgency and Uncertainty of ‘Progressive Planning’ Today.” Progressive City.

'Spaces of Disappearance' mentioned in Salon

Hilary Huckins-Weidner

"This affecting and harrowing book examines the spatial manifestations of the War on Terror. From the uncertain sovereign spaces of Guantanamo Bay to the prefabricated metal cells that are used to house detainees in black sites, to the globally disbursed architecture of torture and disappearance, this book's focus on extraordinary rendition illuminates the uneven spatio-temporal distributions of power and violence." — Laleh Khalili, Author of  Time in the Shadows: Confinement in Counterinsurgencies

"This affecting and harrowing book examines the spatial manifestations of the War on Terror. From the uncertain sovereign spaces of Guantanamo Bay to the prefabricated metal cells that are used to house detainees in black sites, to the globally disbursed architecture of torture and disappearance, this book's focus on extraordinary rendition illuminates the uneven spatio-temporal distributions of power and violence." — Laleh Khalili, Author of Time in the Shadows: Confinement in Counterinsurgencies

New Terreformers!

Hilary Huckins-Weidner

Meet our new 2019 team members!

Anthropologist and spatial strategist DeNeile Cooper and environmental consultant Oliver Wright are contributing research to Waste Not, the second installment of New York City (Steady) State. Theo Brandt is a student and NYC native assisting on New York City (Steady) State: Home Grown. Casey Breen and Alex Serbanescu are visiting us from the University of Chicago and contributing to South Side Stories.

Learn more about them and the rest of the Terreform team at People.

From left to right: Oliver Wright, Theo Brandt, Casey Breen, DeNeile Cooper, and Alex Serbanescu.

From left to right: Oliver Wright, Theo Brandt, Casey Breen, DeNeile Cooper, and Alex Serbanescu.

Zoned Out in dDAB

mariacecilia fagel

dDAB Commentary: …The diversity of subject matter, the quality of the scholarship, and the progressive ideals shared by the various subjects are highly commendable in the case of those three books. The same can be said of Zoned Out!, which features six chapters on the role of zoning in displacing low-income communities of color in New York City.

More at dDAB.

“In March, when my book  NYC Walks  was released, I was fortunate enough to be in conversation with Michael Sorkin at Rizzoli Bookstore. Following our talk and me signing a few copies of my book, I passed by titles from Sorkin's UR Books (an imprint of his nonprofit Terreform) conveniently located by the register. The product placement worked…”  More at dDAB .

“In March, when my book NYC Walks was released, I was fortunate enough to be in conversation with Michael Sorkin at Rizzoli Bookstore. Following our talk and me signing a few copies of my book, I passed by titles from Sorkin's UR Books (an imprint of his nonprofit Terreform) conveniently located by the register. The product placement worked…” More at dDAB.

In Conversation: NYC Walks (Prestel Publishing, 2019) - John Hill - Michael Sorkin

In Conversation: NYC Walks (Prestel Publishing, 2019) - John Hill - Michael Sorkin

Deen Sharp at The New School

Hilary Huckins-Weidner

This Friday, Terreform co-director Deen Sharp will take part of SASE’s 30th Anniversary Conference, “Fathomless Futures: Algorithmic and Imagined”. Sharp will present on the wildly eccentric and insightful Thorstein Veblen. From his abstract:

In outlining this concept of capitalized urbanization, which I contend has become central to the workings of contemporary capitalism, I draw on central debates in old institutionalism and more recent work in Science and Technology Studies (STS).

Specifically, I engage the work of the American scholar Thorstein Veblen who argued that the corporation had more to do with the organization of social power than with economic efficiency or the production of material goods. Veblen claimed that the corporation was structured by capitalization, which represents the present value of a future stream of earnings, and is the central mechanism through which the corporation is able to order society.

More recent scholarship by Nitzan and Bichler, has extended Veblen’s insights, to argue that capitalization (the engine of capitalism) encompasses society’s interaction with the broader environment. In line with Veblen, Nitzan and Bichler insist that capital is not a material object or a social relationship embedded in material entities – capitalization is not a narrow offshoot of production but a broad representation of power.

I argue, however, that while capitalization may not be embedded in material entities, power–as STS scholarship has shown us–always is. Urbanization has emerged as central to the capitalization process because it offers the corporation a durable structure to guarantee a stream of income.

I focus on the corporation’s ability to organize socio-spatial relations through the capitalization of urban space, the urbanization process has been central to capitalization and therefore capitalism, as the railways were in the 19th-century.

Friday - 10:15am - 11:45am University Center U201

Veblen Seen Anew: Power, Social Class, and the New Economy

Session Organizers: Teresa Ghilarducci, The New School / William Milberg, New School for Social Research / Alondra Nelson, Columbia University

Moderator Teresa Ghilarducci, The New School

Participants:

Building a Future into the Present: Capitalized Urbanization / Deen Sharp, MIT

On the Status Enhancing Potential of Invisible Consumption / Craig Lair, Gettysburg College

Veblen on Productivity: Reclaiming the Distinction between Production and Business / Jody Knauss, University of Wisconsin - Madison

Veblen‘s Theory of Predation in the Age of Algorithm. The Techno-feudal Hypothesis. / Cédric Durand, Université Paris 13

Discussant: Teresa Ghilarducci, The New School

The Society for the Advancement of Socio-Economics (SASE) is an international, inter-disciplinary academic organization including disciplines such as economics, sociology, political economy, political science, organization studies, management, psychology, law and history.

Full conference schedule.

“Resisting Displacement and Dispossession” — 2019 Planner's Network Conference

Hilary Huckins-Weidner

“Making Connections with Julie Mehretu” - Deen Sharp

Hilary Huckins-Weidner

Terreform Co-director and AKPIA@MIT Post-Doc Fellow Deen Sharp was in discussion with artist Julie Mehretu as part of a panel organized by the Aga Khan Program at MIT.

Panelists included:
Julie Mehretu, New York based artist
Miriam Cooke, Professor Emerita, Duke University
Asma Naeem, Curator, The Baltimore Museum of Art
Nasser Rabbat, Director, AKPIA@MIT
Deen Sharp, AKPIA@MIT Post-Doctoral Fellow

Early on in the process of putting together Beyond the Square, Deen had approached Julie Mehretu about including her work on Egypt–specifically, Mogamma (A Painting in Four Parts) (2012) and Cairo (2013). Asking her felt like a long shot so we were both over the moon when she agreed to be involved. (Co-editor Claire Panetta in Jadaliyya).

Beyond The Square: Urbanism and the Arab Uprising (Urban Research 05) Edited by Deen Sharp and Claire Panetta. With contributions from Khaled Adham; Susana Galán; Azam Khatam; C. Lanthier; Ed McAllister; Julie Mehretu; G. Ollamh; Duygu Parmaksizoglu; Aseel Sawalha; Helga Tawil-Souri. Cover art courtesy of Julie Mehretu, Marian Goodman Gallery. Cover design by Isaac Gertman / The Independent Group.

Terreform in PLOT Volume 8

mariacecilia fagel

“Designing for Re-Engtanglement” by Terreform was recently published in PLOT Volume 8: Cookbook. The essay derives from forthcoming Urban Research book Home Grown.

As designers and planners, our natural impulse is to seek out metrics for quantitative improvement wherever we work, but acting on that motivation often cause us to overestimate the importance of the built environment and underestimate its context. Like the sanitary mapping of 1865 that sought to link environmental nuisances with public health, today’s mapping treats food environments as abstract territory rather than lived space and misses opportunities to leverage these systems within broader city policies and funding streams.

In Home Grown, we are proposing strategies that re-entangle food with broader planning and design goals to connect with other facets of the city metabolism not through the universal development of completely closed loop systems, but rather by reimagining food as a public utility supported by greater university investment that forges connections both locally and in the greater region.

….

Cover Photo PLOT Vol 8: Cookbook is Beef Tartare by Emma Bessel.

PLOT is the annual student-edited journal of the Landscape Architecture Program of the Spitzer School of Architecture at The City College of New York. The journal is guest edited and coordinated by Michael King and Associate Professor Denise Hoffman Brandt and designed by Isaac Gertman. Last year, PLOT received the 2018 Douglas Haskell Award for Student Journals from the Center for Architecture.

PLOT Cookbook

Vanessa Keith - In Conversation with Peter B. Collins

mariacecilia fagel

UR author, Vanessa Keith, in conversation with independent news analyst and radio host, Peter B. Collins — includes a multimedia overview of 2100: A Dystopian Utopia.

More on architect and author Vanessa Keith:

I’m Italian, Jamaican, and Chinese, born in Jamaica and raised in the US. After I finished my Master of International Affairs at Columbia’s School of International and Public Affairs (SIPA), many of the jobs I was interested in required some level of technical expertise, so I decided to go to architecture school for an M.Arch at PennDesign at the University of Pennsylvania. I also chose architecture because I had studied urban planning as a focus area while at SIPA, so I was already very interested in how cities shape and reflect who we are. Saskia Sassen, who wrote the preface to my book, 2100: A Dystopian Utopia—The City After Climate Change, was one of my favorite professors while I was at Columbia and has definitely had a hand in shaping my thinking about all things urban…

Featured Member: Vanessa Keith, AIA; Interview by Alexander Luckmann

Correspond. Collaborate. Let Vanessa and her team know what you think: info@studioteka.com