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.

I am at work on a book manuscript, Architectures of Interactivity, which probes the mostly-unexplored history of the relationship between cybernetics, artificial intelligence, architecture, and design, often funded by Department of Defense interests, and examines how these collaborations set the groundwork for today’s digital media landscape. 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. The book also draws on a longer history of information and communication systems at the scale of buildings and cities, such as the impact of post, telegraph and pneumatic tube services in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.

Architectures of Interactivity is an expansion and reorganization of my dissertation at Princeton University, “Architectures of Information: Christopher Alexander, Cedric Price, and Nicholas Negroponte & the MIT Architecture Machine Group,” defended in 2014.

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.

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