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UR authors at Brass Screw 2019

Hilary Huckins-Weidner

Mahometan & Celestial, LLC. Invited Lecture: “Seeing Everything, or, Miss Brambleflips and the Amazing Aeroship Teatime.”

Brass Screw is the Pacific Northwest's immersive Steampunk Festival. This year’s event was held in Port Townsend, Washington, one of three US Victorian seaports.

Mahometan & Celestial, LLC. were also invited to lecture at 2017 and 2018 Brass Screw.

Mahometan & Celestial’s Encylopaedic Guide to Modernity

Comprising A Manual Of Useful Instruction Essential To Attainment Of The Urbane By The Savage, The Barbarous, And The Half-Civilized Alike

By Steven Flusty with Pauline C. Yu

The lavishly illustrated book leads the reader through an alternative universe of alt-imperial modernism, resistances, and peculiar material cultural trappings. - Evergreen State College

Steven Flusty is the nom de plume of Tepan Fyodorovich “Hezârfenzade” İfritoğlu Yoldaş-Paşa, noted metropolographer and founder of the Constantinopolitan aëronautical concern Tophane Çelebifabrikası. In conjunction with the celebrated natural historian, polar expeditionist and larval vivisectionist Dr. Celeste Tian, who under the pseudonym of Pauline C. Yu assisted extensively with the preparation of this volume, he is also co-proprietor of the firm Mahometan & Celestial LLC, a foremost purveyor of modernization to crowned heads the world over since the 18th of October 1860.

Flusty is author of books including De-Coca-Colonization: Making the Globe from Inside Out (Routledge, 2004) and Spaces of Postmodernity: Readings in Human Geography (Oxford: Backwell Publishers, 2001), co-edited with Michael Dear. Yu was awarded Post-doctoral Fellow by the National Science Foundation Office of Polar Program where she studied “Effects of ocean acidification on developmental physiology of the Antarctic sea urchin, Sterechinus neumayeri.”

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:

UR in AIGA 50 Best Books

Hilary Huckins-Weidner

Michael Sorkin in Architect Magazine

Hilary Huckins-Weidner

What do you hope your legacy will be?
More kindness. Less evil.

What does this award mean to you?
Honor. Joy. Vegas.

More from Architect Magazine.

Earlier this year the AIA recognized Michael Sorkin with the 2019 Collaborative Achievement Award. Along with Jan Gehl Hon. FAIA and Dr. Anne Taylor Hon. AIA. The award recognizes “the excellence that results when architects work with those from outside the profession to improve the spaces where people live and work.”

At the AIA Conference in Las Vegas, the awardees presented, “Observations on the School, the City...and the Planet.” They discussed key concepts developed over years of research and analysis on how architecture can support a human-centered approach.

Zoned Out! Gowanus Rally

Hilary Huckins-Weidner


Zoned Out! editor, Tom Angotti, and contributor, Philip DePaolo, rallied with Gowanus residents last Wednesday arguing “that the cleanup of the toxic Gowanus Canal should take precedence over a rezoning.” More from Brooklyn Daily Eagle, article and photo by Scott Enman.

'Clean It Before You Rezone It,' Gowanus Activists Tell City by Anna Quinn in Patch - Gowanus.

In 2008, Angotti “The Race to Develop a Toxic Waterway” (Gotham Gazette).

The Gowanus Canal in south Brooklyn at the center of a formerly active industrial area once bustled with ocean-going ships. Today, it bustles with real estate investors who are pressing to convert industrial properties to condos and reinvent the canal as a miniature Venice.

At a recent public meeting with the city's water experts many Gowanus residents did not exactly break out the sparkling to celebrate. Some remembered that when the flushing tunnel, which first opened in 1911, failed in 1961, it took the city almost 40 years to repair it. Over the years, the city has taken major action on water pollution -- building sewage treatment plants, stopping ocean dumping and addressing sewage overflows - only when the courts have forced it to.

Photo by Jim in Times Square, 2008

Photo by Jim in Times Square, 2008

In 2013, Angotti: “New York City after Sandy: Who Benefits, Who Pays and Where’s the Long-Term Planning?” (Seventh Generation)

Bloomberg’s rezoning of Coney Island included new opportunities for condos and commercial development near the waterfront. He has been outspoken in his support for new condos in Gowanus and Newtown Creek, both located in the floodplains of Brooklyn and saturated with toxic waste. He ignored calls from community activists to clean up Gowanus before promoting new residential development, and the administration even opposed a federally funded Superfund cleanup. The mayor argues that the best hope for cleaning up the toxic land and water lies in private real estate development, which would improve each site as it develops. However, this would only shift the problem from one property to another and still expose new and older residents and workers to toxic waste.

In perhaps the most dramatic rezoning, the City overcame substantial opposition by neighborhood groups and in 2005 rezoned the waterfront in Brooklyn’s Williamsburg and Greenpoint neighborhoods. This unleashed a frenzy of luxury condo development on the waterfront, resulted in the displacement of thousands of industrial jobs and virtually wiped out one of the last remaining city neighborhoods to combine industry and housing.

See Philip De Paolo’s analysis of the effects of Bloomberg’s rezoning of Brooklyn’s Williamsburg and Greenpoint neighborhoods in Zoned Out: Race, Displacement, and City Planning in New York City.

“New York is a city of neighborhoods, but Angotti, Morse, and their coauthors show that city planning policies systematically disenfranchise and displace low-income New Yorkers who live in historic communities of color. They urge us to rethink what ‘affordable’ housing means, and develop the political will to aim for a radically different system of public resources and community plans.” — Sharon Zukin, Brooklyn College and CUNY Graduate Center

“New York is a city of neighborhoods, but Angotti, Morse, and their coauthors show that city planning policies systematically disenfranchise and displace low-income New Yorkers who live in historic communities of color. They urge us to rethink what ‘affordable’ housing means, and develop the political will to aim for a radically different system of public resources and community plans.” — Sharon Zukin, Brooklyn College and CUNY Graduate Center

Editor’s note: In one of the final written statements about urban planning, the legendary Jane Jacobs (1916-2006) commented on the future of the Williamsburg-Greenpoint waterfront:

April 15, 2005

Mayor Michael Bloomberg and all members of the City Council

c/o City Council President Gifford Miller

Dear Mayor Bloomberg,

My name is Jane Jacobs. I am a student of cities, interested in learning why some cities persist in prospering while others persistently decline; why some provide social environments that fulfill the dreams and hopes of ambitious and hardworking immigrants, but others cruelly disappoint the hopes of immigrant parents that they have found an improved life for their children. I am not a resident of New York although most of what I know about cities I learned in New York during the almost half-century of my life here after I arrived as an immigrant from an impoverished Pennsylvania coal mining town in 1934.

… More via Brooklyn Rail.

On Speculation and Smartness: Vyjayanthi Rao at Columbia GSAPP

mariacecilia fagel

Terreform co-director Vyjayanthi Rao’s lecture, “On Speculation and Smartness: Urban Practices and Forms of the 21st Century “:

Her lecture, was part of The Lectures in Planning Series (LiPS), an initiative of the Urban Planning program at Columbia University’s Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation.Urban Planning program.


For nearly a century, the city has served as a metonym for modern life. Both as geographical entity and as heuristic concept, the city gave birth to the modern social sciences as forms of knowledge in the quest for understanding newly emergent forms of social life. The idea of modernity gave the city and urbanism the power to stand in for emerging forms of social life, even as older forms were breaking down with the advent of mass society. At the beginning of the 21st century, urban studies is preoccupied with discussions about the endless city and the end of the city, the homologous association between capitalization and urbanization and the intimate relationship between climate change, planetary urbanization and the end of human life on earth as we now know it. In part, this talk will argue that these debates signal the breakdown of the association of the city as spatial form with modern civic life.

In this talk Rao explores the transformation of the modernist association of city form and civic life into a set of speculative practices and inchoate forms that are gathered together under the rubric of the ‘urban’. She argues that the rise of speculation as a distinct feature of urban practice - where speculation broadly signifies the production of value from states of uncertainty - has undermined the association between modernity and newness and a distinct sense of the future, instead replacing the modern sense of a progressive future with a multitude of speculative alter-realities.

See Vyjayanthi Rao’s body of work as an anthropologist and writer studying architecture, infrastructure and social life in large cities.

NYCxDesign Week Open Studio: Terreform and Michael Sorkin Studio

Hilary Huckins-Weidner

Join the architects, designers, researchers, and editors of Terreform Center for Advanced Urban Research and Michael Sorkin Studio at our pint-sized utopian dream factory for an evening of drinks, snacks, and informal conversation, plus a behind the scenes look at recent and upcoming projects.

Wednesday, May 15, 2019
6-8 PM
180 Varick Street #1514, New York, NY, 10014

Space is limited, please RSVP

Discover UR (Urban Research) books. Up to 50% off at event and online for #NYCXDesign.