So exciting: 99% Invisible interviewed me about pneumatic tubes for the first episode of their new season!
If you’re not familiar with it, it’s a wonderful podcast by Roman Mars, with help from Sam Greenspan on architecture and design. It became the most funded journalism Kickstarter project ever a few months ago (2nd in publishing).
Want to know more about pneumatic post? Read my article in Cabinet, “Interfaces to the Subterranean” from summer 2011.
Roman and I met 2 years ago in San Francisco on Parking Day in San Francisco in a tiny tent outside of Ritual Roasters. He told me about the show then, and two years later… it really is a series of tubes. He and Sam are so very talented, and it’s a big deal to be on the show. Pneu. Ma. Tique! Swoosh.
As of January 2013, I will be joining the University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Journalism & Mass Communication faculty as an assistant professor, where my focus will be on digital media. I could not be more delighted. In 1994, 18 years ago this month, I did my first web project in that program; now I will count the professor who led that project as my colleague.
When I explain to people where I’m going next, they ask, how do you go from architecture to journalism and communication? The fact is, my work has always been about the materiality of communication and information. My dissertation is about how architecture materialized information in the 60s and 70s in the work of Nicholas Negroponte, Cedric Price and Christopher Alexander, but my research on pneumatic tubes and postal services deals with the same thing.
So now I’m back in Umeå, Sweden as a visiting researcher and guest of the HUMLab—the same people I visited last year. The Ume River flows by outside the Arts Campus, the days grow longer, the air grows more blustery each day. I’m finishing my dissertation, arguing with my arguments and developing some courses for the new school year.