• Architecture
  • Robinson Redux

    In Milan, down a side street I first became acquainted with architect and philosopher Sarah Robinson in 2012 when I came across her book Nesting at one of my favorite bookstores in San Francisco. After falling under the spell of Juhani Pallasmaa‘s extraordinary book, The Eyes of the Skin, I sensed immediately that Robinson was […]

  • Aesthetics
  • No Logic Here

    “Book for Architects,” by Wolfgang Tillmans (Photo: Francesco Galli) Over the past ten years, I have photographed buildings in ordinary and extraordinary contexts in thirty-seven countries on five continents. Displaying the complexity and the irrationality—sometimes madness—and at other times the beauty of architecture, these pictures in their totality seem to me a little daunting but […]

  • Aesthetics
  • Ada Louise: Fierce Grace

    Ada Louise Huxtable photographed in the 1960s (Photo: Landmarks45.org) During my coming of age as an artist, Ada Louise Huxtable‘s architectural criticism informed so many of my ideas about buildings, cities, preservation, city life, aesthetics. One of the first books I read after moving to Manhattan in the early 70s was Will They Ever Finish […]

  • Aesthetics
  • Sagrada Familia

    The first time I went to Barcelona, Franco was still in power. Catalan, like the rest of Spain, was cautious and dark, well aware of the harsh boot of his repressive regime. That was 1970. My photos from that visit are buried in a box somewhere in my basement, but I remember making a pilgrimage […]

  • Antiquities
  • The Gift of Time

    Two women stroll among the walls of Halebid, built in the 9th century Sharing experiences from travels is a bit like sharing dreams: The iconography and narrative are personal and not well suited for public discourse. So other than sharing the rudimentaries, my report on my time in India will be succinct. A phrase or […]

  • Aesthetics
  • The Lure of the Minimal

    John Pawson’s monastery in Bohemia The gap that exists between theory and practice is a challenge in so many pursuits, and Minimalist architecture is just one that struggles with that perennial problem. In 1908, Adolf Loos wrote a memorable essay, “Ornament and Crime,” that advocated for a more streamlined aesthetic. And yet to create that […]

  • Architecture
  • Zumthor: Essentialist of the Sensual

    The Therme Vals, by Peter Zumthor (Photo: ArchNow!) Michael Kimmelman’s New York Times piece about the architect Peter Zumthor is full of nuggets worth keeping on hand, easily accessible. I first began paying attention to Zumthor after visiting his Kolumba museum in Cologne. It was such an unexpected blend of old and new (Zumthor incorporated […]

  • Aesthetics
  • Passion Distilled: James Magee

    View of The Hill, James Magee’s masterwork in west Texas I finally received my copy of James Magee, The Hill, by Richard R. Brettell and Jed Morse. This publication accompanies a show of Magee’s work currently on exhibit at the Nasher Sculpture Center in Dallas through November 28. The Hill is hard to describe. Yes, […]

  • Aesthetics
  • The Perspectival Eye

    Waiting for Hurricane “My Name is Earl” to gather over the Northeast. We will be descending nonetheless on Cape Ann for a weekend of nuptial celebrating with Alexis and JP. So begins a month of wonderful wedding weekends. Life happens like that, big shifts that occur all at once, like the culmination of storm systems […]