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Introduction “June Jordan was an architect,” or so declares the black feminist writer and blogger Alexis Pauline Gumbs.[1] This declaration involves some political risk on Gumbs’ part, as Jordan is more popularly known as a writer, playwright, and poet. Several rhetorical questions immediately come to mind when one considers the veracity of her claim. Questions such as, […]

Postcard (front)

An exhibit that I collaborated on had a soft opening this past Monday (the 14th). The show, entitled “Primitive Parametric: Biology as Architectural Catalyst” investigates the formal and cultural meaning of biological metaphors in design from the nineteenth century to the present. The subject of this show grew from my own interests in the cultural […]

I recently had a lovely conversation with Caroline McMillan Portillo of the Charlotte Observer about the historical roots of the reuse of railways cars in contemporary architecture. Portillo was especially interested in the architectural firm that had completed work for the Democratic National Convention last year. We spoke about the historical integration of wartime materials and assembly processes […]

I don’t know about you, but when I was growing up I routinely watched shows like Seinfeld and Friends without feeling anxious about the relative absence of black characters on either show. I would like to say this was the result of very farsighted philosophical commitments to multiculturalism and diversity. However, it was  more likely […]

Darell Fields, Architecture in Black (Athlone Press, 2000) It is somewhat curious that Architecture in Black has not received more recognition for its study of race in architecture. Not only does it have a critical Introduction by Cornell West, but it is an unconventional take on architectural history. This text is a Janus faced contemplation of racial […]