writing

I write about architecture, design, information, technology and culture. Sometimes, this means the history of interactivity in architecture, sometimes it’s translations from German to English of art critics in the 1920s, sometimes it’s book chapters on my research on mobile phone use (such as in urban India). At the core, regardless of the decade or application, I write and research the same things: systems, technologies, and how they’re applied to our worlds.

My book Architectural Intelligence: How Designers and Architects Created the Digital Landscape will be published by MIT Press in Fall 2017. It probes the mostly-unexplored history of the relationship between artificial intelligence, cybernetics, architecture, and design, often funded by Department of Defense interests, and examines how these collaborations set the groundwork for today’s digital media landscape. Its deep case studies on Christopher Alexander, Richard Saul Wurman, Cedric Price, and Nicholas Negroponte, draw on over a decade of archival research that I conducted, as well as technical papers and interviews. These intersections gave rise to a variety of contemporary computational practices, including virtual reality, military simulators, object-oriented programming languages, information architecture, and ubiquitous computing. 

I’ve been a writer and editor since 1990. I have written scores of articles and columns about music, technology, culture and design for newspapers, magazines and web sites including The Onion (AV Club), Wired News, Netscape, I.D., The Fray, College Music Journal, Business 2.0 and the former “What is Burning Man” text for the Burning Man website. I was also a contributing editor for interactions, published by the ACM.

Writing includes: