Rendering of the U.S. embassy in London, designed by KieranTimberlake.

The role of architects, while clear to those in the profession, is something entirely different to nearly everyone else. Recently several prominent architects and the Bureau of Overseas Building Operations (OBO)have come under fire from Congress for their role in the Design Excellence Program, a program intended to improve the design of US embassies throughout… Read More

Separate, but not equal

It appears that in New York a developer has proposed a new housing development, 40 Riverside Boulevard, whereby tenants will use separate entrances if they live in affordable housing or in the “premium” housing above. The developer, Extell Development Company, is essentially splitting the building into two, where the second through sixth floor are affordable housing and… Read More


The ADPSR was originally formed in the 1980s to advocate against nuclear proliferation. Since then they have expanded their efforts notably to include an architectural boycott of prisons and sponsorship of the Lewis Mumford Awards, honoring ” people and organizations whose work exemplifies social responsibility.” Architects / Designers / Planners for Social Responsibility works for… Read More

A good documentary film about the need for human scale interventions in cities throughout the world. The movie features a lot of people and work associated with Jan Gehl. Jan’s work is famous for taking an ethnographic approach to his research and analysis of the city. In many ways my thesis, mapping the movements of… Read More

Urban Social Theory

Let’s start with the obvious: I am not a social scientist and I am not likely to ever be one. That being said, because of some of my recent readings I have been thinking a lot about the social sciences. I have been reading a lot about urban theory and development, specifically in Africa. The… Read More

Ok, so I’m back from my trip and I’ve tried to gather my thoughts on the informal settlements, Liberia, and developing a thesis. I thought I knew where I was going to go with this project, but I was thrown for a loop yesterday by my thesis adviser. He was concerned that I may be… Read More

Community Center

In the Paul Farmer book, “Pathologies of Power“, he talks about the idea, many times, of structural violence. Now when most of us think about violence we tend to think about physical violence: fighting, rape, guns, or if we are thinking a little deeper perhaps verbal abuse and things of that nature. What structural violence… Read More

Thesis Research

Saturday, June 8, with Henry Foko, an old friend and driver from DAI (Development Alternatives Inc.) I had the opportunity to visit several of the informal settlements in Liberia. I got a tour of West Point (generally considered one of the worst/most dangerous slums in Western Africa), Buzzi Quarter (directly adjacent to the executive mansion),… Read More