- Perspecta 49: Quote
An exploration of quotation, appropriation, and plagiarism, arguing that quotation and associated operations are ubiquitous, intentional, and vital in architecture.
Every intellectual endeavor relies upon an existing body of knowledge, proven and primed for reuse. Historically, this appropriation has been regulated through quotation. Academics trade epigraphs and footnotes while designers refer to precedents and manifestos. These citations--written or spoken, drawn or built--rely on their antecedent, and carry the stamp of authority.
In the field of architecture, appropriation is faster, easier, and more conspicuous than ever, but also less regulated. These displacements are no longer self-referential games. Instead, buildings are copied before construction is completed. Digital scripts are downloaded, altered, and re-uploaded--transposing the algorithm, not the object itself. Design bloggers "curate" texts and images--copying and pasting, copying and pasting. In the sea of memes and GIFs, tweets and retweets, quotes are both innumerable and viral, giving voice to anyone with access to these channels.
Traditionally, the practice of quotation has inoculated the author against accusations of plagiarism. Today, the quicksilver nature of contemporary communications obscures chains of reference. Must we jettison conventions of authorship or will we establish new codes of citation?
This issue of Perspecta--the oldest and most distinguished student-edited architectural journal in America--explores the uneasy lines between quotation, appropriation, and plagiarism, proposing a constructive reevaluation of contemporary means of architectural production and reproduction. Although architecture is a discipline that prizes originality and easily ascribed authorship, it is important to recognize that quotation and associated operations are ubiquitous, intentional, and vital, not just palliatives to the anxiety of influence. These are perhaps the most potent tools of cultural production, yet also the most contested. Perspecta 49 welcomes the contest.
- Perspecta 50: Urban Divides
Explorations of spatial, cultural, and social divides in the city.
Globalization promised an interconnected world, yet our cities are increasingly divided. In the past decade, for example, thousands of miles of new border walls have been constructed, many in urban contexts. People embrace the idea of walls out of fear, and leaders make promises that only reinforce divisions. Boundaries, of course, are not a new phenomenon. They have historically defined communities for cultural, political, and economic purposes. As urbanization increases and economic inequality reaches record levels, however, urban divides are becoming more pervasive. This volume of Perspecta--the oldest and most distinguished student-edited architectural journal in America--investigates divides as a mechanism of urbanism, both spatially and socially complex.
Spatial urban divides are often perceived as binary: separating one entity from the other with walls, fences, and infrastructure--symptoms of conflict or of a failed society. Yet, with intensifying gentrification and ghettoization, urban divides are often not merely walls.
In texts, images, and studio projects, Perspecta 50 explores broad questions facing urbanism and architecture today, including the effect on urban housing of migration and the blurred boundaries between the formal and informal city. The contributors--architects, urbanists, and academics--identify and critique distinct urban typologies and architectural devices used globally to divide. Among the contributions are Dana Cuff's essay on spatial politics in Los Angeles, Jenny Holzer's reminiscence of guerilla art in the 1970s and 1980s, Gary McDonough's investigation of "soft portals" in global Chinatowns, and Studio Gang's vision of "Polis Station." Perspecta 50 invites readers to question the inevitability and ubiquity of urban divides.
Marisa Angell Brown, Jon Calame, City Reparo, Andreea Cojocaru, Dana Cuff, Kian Goh, Jenny Holzer, Jyoti Hosagrahar, Jeffrey Hou, Andres Jaque, Meghan McAllister, Gary McDonogh, Mitch McEwen, Alishine Osman, Todd Reisz, Mahdi Sabbagh, Anooradha Iyer Siddiqi, Michael Sorkin with Terreform, Studio Gang, Tatiana Bilbao Estudio, Guy Trangos, Urban-Think Tank, Jesse Vogler, Annabel Jane Wharton, Theresa Williamson
- Identity and the Natural Environment: The Psychological Significance of Nature
The often impassioned nature of environmental conflicts can be attributed to the fact that they are bound up with our sense of personal and social identity. Environmental identity-how we orient ourselves to the natural world-leads us to personalize abstract global issues and take action (or not) according to our sense of who we are. We may know about the greenhouse effect-but can we give up our SUV for a more fuel-efficient car? Understanding this psychological connection can lead to more effective pro-environmental policymaking.Identity and the Natural Environment examines the ways in which our sense of who we are affects our relationship with nature, and vice versa. This book brings together cutting-edge work on the topic of identity and the environment, sampling the variety and energy of this emerging field but also placing it within a descriptive framework. These theory-based, empirical studies locate environmental identity on a continuum of social influence, and the book is divided into three sections reflecting minimal, moderate, or strong social influence. Throughout, the contributors focus on the interplay between social and environmental forces; as one local activist says, "We don't know if we're organizing communities to plant trees, or planting trees to organize communities."
- Melancholia and Moralism: Essays on AIDS and Queer Politics
Essays challenging the increasing denial of the AIDS crisis and the rise of conservative gay politics.
- Exploratory Analysis and Data Modeling in Functional Neuroimaging
Functional imaging tools such as fMRI (functional magnetic resonance imaging), PET (positron emission tomography), EEG (electro-encephalogram) and MEG (magneto-encephalogram) allow researchers to record activity in the working brain and draw inferences about how the brain functions. This book provides a survey of theoretical and computational approaches to neuroimaging, including inferential, exploratory and causal methods of data analysis; theories of cerebral function; and biophysical and computational models of neural nets. It also emphasizes the close relationship between different approaches, for example, between causal data analysis and biophysical modelling, and between functional theories, and computational models.