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Book Review: Common Ground in a Liquid City

Book Review: Common Ground in a Liquid City

A few months ago I picked up Common Ground in a Liquid City off a friend’s shelf. It’s a collection of essays by Matt Hern that are tied together by a few common themes. After reading just a few randomly chosen pages, I can honestly say I now look at differently at cities I visit, […]


Notes on ‘A History of the Highrise’

3333 Broadway, Tower Block, New York. Photo by pdstahl via Creative Commons / Flickr

The New York Times has a new multimedia presentation called “A Short History of the Highrise.” As an overview of dense, urban living, it’s pretty great. The interactive feature touches on many themes and subjects already addressed in this blog. For example: Social Status. The role of high-rise buildings as instruments of social hierarchy is […]


Kowloon – Once the Densest Place on Earth

Kowloon Walled City circa 1989. Photo by  Jidanni / Wikimedia Creative Commons.

A fantastic series of photos of the old Kowloon Walled City (Hong Kong) has been circulating recently. These were taken over five years by Greg Girard and Ian Lamboth before the city was raised in 1992, to be replaced by a park that occupies the space. The photos may be seen at Girard’s website here. […]


Home Economics: Affordability and the “Tiny House”

Home Economics: Affordability and the “Tiny House”

Yesterday the Huffington Post  reported that 68 percent of “small-space dwellers” (we must come up with a better term for them) do not have a mortgage, as opposed to 23 percent of all home owners in the United States. The article reposts a well-circulated poster by The Tiny Life blog:       This blog is […]


Would You Live in This House?

A typical house in the Vennelyst area of Copenhagen, Denmark. Approx. 85 s.f.

  Or this infill?     This 4-ft-wide house comes as close to compressing your life into two dimensions as any: Yes, that is daylight in the gap. Which makes this home in Seattle seem downright oversized…     Finally, somewhat less outstanding in its context is this sliver of a house in Ahmedabad, India […]