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As architects of the public realm, a critical component of our job is to thoroughly understand the needs of our clients in order to generate a successful project on multiple levels. Design realized without the careful study of who will be using the space and in what ways can result in a ghostly landscape absent… Read more »

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When it opens this summer, the 632-meter-high Shanghai Tower will be the second tallest building in the world and the tallest in China. It shares a site on Pudong with two other iconic towers, Jin Mao and the Shanghai World Finance Center, where four different ground levels contribute to a public open space. John Wong,… Read more »

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A childhood friend recently posted a photograph of children encircling her elementary school playground. The playground and school are about to undergo major renovations, and the playground will be forever changed. She expressed acute sadness at the thought of this important personal landscape disappearing or being radically altered. It was a beautiful image that clearly… Read more »

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Moscow, Russia’s capital and most populous city, having had a tumultuous history since the dissolution of the USSR , did not have the resources to prioritize the design of public space in the last twenty five years. Only a handful of urban spaces were constructed, with most of the effort directed at maximizing commercial space… Read more »

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Gentrification stems from the term “gentry,” which is French for “people of gentle birth.” It was introduced in the 19th century to describe the movement of middle-class families into working-class neighborhoods across Europe, particularly in Rome, London, and Paris. Historically, abandoned industrial neighborhoods displayed the evidence of gentrification, where leftover architecture formed the basis for… Read more »

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On my second trip visiting Arizona, I hiked, biked, and drove to explore some unique art installations. Some were far-flung, in the desert, and some in the middle of urban life. One such location in Scottsdale is the Soleri Plaza, designed by artist Paolo Soleri. The plaza, intended to celebrate the solar calendar, uses a… Read more »

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