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Research Platforms

INFRANET LAB
Co-Director

THE PETROPOLIS OF TOMORROW
Research Director

THE URBAN WORKS AGENCY
Co-Director

Publications

PUBLICATION LIST
2007—Present

THE PETROPOLIS OF TOMORROW
Actar, 2013

URBANISM FROM WITHIN
SF Planning Department, 2015

BRACKET 4 [TAKES ACTION]
Actar, 2016

BRACKET 2 [GOES SOFT]
Actar 2013

THE AGENT
Urban Works Agency, 2013—Present

PAMPHLET ARCHITECTURE 30
Princeton Architectural Press, 2010

—ARIUM
Hatje Cantz, 2010

THE INFRASTRUCTURAL SPACE OF APPEARANCE
OWS, 2007

SUBURBIA AFTER THE CRASH
Volume / Archis Magazine, 2006

 

Bracket [Takes Action]
Neeraj Bhatia & Mason White(Editors)
Actar (Publisher)
Softcover, Forthcoming

“When humans assemble, spatial conflicts arise. Spatial planning is often considered the management of spatial conflicts.”
—Markus Miessen

Hannah Arendt’s 1958 treatise The Human Condition cites “action” as one of the three tenants, along with labor and work, of the vita active (active life). Action, she writes, is a necessary catalyst for the human condition of plurality, which is an expression of both the common public and distinct individuals. This reading of action requires unique and free individuals to act toward a collective project and is therefore simultaneously ‘bottom-up’ and ‘top-down’. In the more than fifty years since Arendt’s claims, the public realm in which action materializes, and the means by which action is expressed, has dramatically transformed. Further, spatial practice’s role in anticipating, planning, or absorbing action(s) has been challenged, yielding difficulty in the design of the ‘space of appearance,’ Arendt’s public realm.

Our young century has already seen contested claims of design’s role in the public realm by George Baird, Lieven De Cauter, Markus Meissen, Jan Gehl, among others. Perhaps we could characterize these tensions as a ‘design deficit’, or a sense that design does not incite ‘action’, in the Arendtian sense. Amongst other things, this feeling is linked to the rise of neo-liberal pluralism, which marks the transition from public to publics, making a collective agenda in the public realm often illegible. Bracket [takes action] explores the complex relationship between spatial design, and the public(s) as well as action(s) it contains. How can design catalyze a public and incite platforms for action?

The fourth edition of Bracket invites design work and papers that offer contemporary models of spatial design that are conscious of their public intent and actively engaged in socio-political conditions. It is encouraged, although not mandatory, that submissions documenting projects be realized. Positional papers should be projective and speculative or revelatory, if historical.

The editorial board and jury for Bracket 4 includes Pier Vittorio Aureli, Vishaan Chakrabarti, Adam Greenfield, Belinda Tato, Yoshiharu Tsukamoto as well as co-editors Neeraj Bhatia and Mason White

Please visit www.brkt.org for more info.