THE PLAN Journal (TPJ) intends to disseminate and promote innovative, thought-provoking and relevant research, studies and criticism in architecture and urbanism. The criteria for selecting contributions will be innovation, clarity of purpose and method, and potential transformational impact on disciplinary fields or the broader socio-cultural context. The ultimate purpose of the TPJ is to enrich the dialog between research and professional fields, in order to encourage both applicable new knowledge and intellectually driven modes of practice. (Maurizio Sabini)


 Open Access
In Memoriam

Remembering Robert Venturi, a Modern Mannerist

by: Maurizio Sabini VOLUME 4/2019 - Issue 1 , Pages: 1 - 7 doi: 10.15274/tpj.2019.04.01.1, published: 2018-10-05

 Open Access
Exhibition Review

"FREESPACE" and the Citizen: Stories of Generosity from the Venice Architecture Biennale 2018

by: Carla Brisotto , Cristina Cassandra Murphy , Martha Battaglin Ramos VOLUME 4/2019 - Issue 1 , Pages: 9 - 24 doi: 10.15274/tpj.2019.04.01.2, published: 2018-10-30

 Open Access

New Paradigms

by: Maurizio Sabini VOLUME 3/2018 - Issue 2 [THE SHARED PROJECT], Pages: 269 - 271 doi: 10.15274/tpj.2018.03.02.11, published: 2019-02-13
 Subscribers only

Collective Creativity in a Geodesign World: The DC-Baltimore Futures Studio

by: Jana VanderGoot , Dan Engelberg , Gerrit-Jan Knaap VOLUME 3/2018 - Issue 2 [THE SHARED PROJECT], Pages: 377 - 400 doi: 10.15274/tpj.2018.03.02.9, published: 2019-02-12

In the spring of 2018, the National Center for Smart Growth (NCSG) invited architects at the University of Maryland to engage a project called PRESTO (Prospects for Regional Sustainability Tomorrow). PRESTO is believed to be the first attempt at addressing the long-term sustainability of the DC-Baltimore region using advanced algorithmic modeling and scenario analysis techniques to examine the impacts of fuel costs, technological advancement, and government regulation. This article highlights contributions of the DC-Baltimore Futures: Designing XL to XS studio as it engaged the multi-disciplinary NCGS team on PRESTO, which is described in this article as a geodesign project. The impact of collective creativity as part of DC-Baltimore Futures studio pedagogy is discussed as one of the many ways that the PRESTO algorithms were tested. The article concludes with reflections on the role and potential of collective creativity in open source modes of geodesign and “senseable” city design.

 Subscribers only

Fluid Urbanism: How Information Steered Architecture Might Reshape the Dynamics of Civic Dwelling

by: Sharon Wohl , Reny Revariah VOLUME 3/2018 - Issue 2 [THE SHARED PROJECT], Pages: 401 - 426 doi: 10.15274/tpj.2018.03.02.8, published: 2018-12-20

This paper speculates on how new forms of dwelling might be re-conceived as more nimble, flexible components: ones capable of deploying to different sites and atmospheres, while simultaneously providing more broadly distributed access to amenities that otherwise remain limited to the privileged few. Specifically, it examines the notion of a mobile dwelling architecture that could be deployed to various sites across the city - each site being characterized by particular “niche” offerings. Here, rather than dwelling units being considered as static entities within the urban fabric, they are re-considered as nimble, deployable agents - able to relocate to different sites and settings in accordance with different parameters that are customized through individual cost-benefit analyses and feedback dynamics. Accordingly, over time, bottom-up, self-organizing “niches” of fit inhabitation emerge. The paper associates this kind of designed environment with the dynamics of complex adaptive systems - where emergent global features arise from the bottom-up. Here, a kind of “swarm” urbanism is deployed: one adjusting over time in response to atmospheric variables.

 Subscribers only

Crowdsourcing + Shared Architecture

by: Niloufar Vakil , Joe Colistra VOLUME 3/2018 - Issue 2 [THE SHARED PROJECT], Pages: 363 - 373 doi: 10.15274/tpj.2018.03.02.7, published: 2018-12-19

This paper describes a participatory development strategy that leverages the cooperative nature of a sharing economy. Three case studies will be explored that provide unique strategies for empowering community. These crowdsourced projects pool resources and expertise in order to design and build projects that resist gentrification, stimulate investment, and build community. Residents utilize the participatory actions of establishing a pro forma, acquiring land, securing financing, selecting professional engineers and contractors, and ultimately constructing the project all as larger components of community building. The models of community development presented here offer an alternative to the traditional designer-client dichotomy and allow the once-clear boundary between architect and client to be redrawn. Also, by sharing resources, community members are able to become active participants in their built environment.

 Subscribers only

The Engaged Project: Representation, Dissent, and the Architecture of Public Space

by: Jennifer Akerman VOLUME 3/2018 - Issue 2 [THE SHARED PROJECT], Pages: 341 - 362 doi: 10.15274/tpj.2018.03.02.6, published: 2018-12-20

Vandalism is an alternative form of design narrative, a subversive practice of reading architecture and urban systems, and a fundamental way key voices can be heard. Architects, city planners, officials and the public should value such reads as constructive engagement enriching the life of a built work. Architecture usually results from elaborate systems of power, capital, and privilege - though its presence affects everyone in the city. In the periphery of public space, dynamic alternative practices emerge that communicate and critique. Vandalism, especially in areas of contested “ownership” in public space, is an architectural counterpoint, a dissent available to people without conventional means of power. It is intrinsically linked to the pedestrian experience of cities, and therefore opens reconsideration of walking as knowing, especially in an urban terrain vague [empty lot]. Technologies of sharing allow us to broadcast transgressions, track goings on, exploit urban problems for artistic gain, and conduct vandalism in public space. Focusing attention on a public farm building designed collaboratively within an urban park will frame broader discussion of these complex relationships at work, specifically considering vandalism as a form of engagement.

 Subscribers only

Using Digital Data for Office Design. "The Case Study of the Agnelli Foundation"

by: Carlo Ratti , with Antonio Atripaldi , Melanie Erspamer , Daniele Belleri VOLUME 3/2018 - Issue 2 [THE SHARED PROJECT], Pages: 315 - 325 doi: 10.15274/tpj.2018.03.02.5, published: 2018-11-28

In the nineties, it was widely assumed that, because of the internet and widespread connectivity, the importance of physical space would be greatly reduced. Many prophecies at the time dealt with the “death” of distance, of cities and of offices, among others. While such predictions have not materialized so far, technology is nonetheless having an effect on how we use physical space. In particular, office spaces are undergoing a profound transformation. In this article, we review a recent project from Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s (MIT) Senseable City Lab, which used the analysis of digital data to better understand the use of office space and scientific collaboration on the MIT campus. We then show how some of these preliminary findings can be used in the design of the co-working space at the Agnelli Foundation in Turin, Italy - and how digital data can then provide real-time monitoring of built spaces.


 Open Access

In This Issue [1/2018]

by: Maurizio Sabini VOLUME 3/2018 - Issue 1 , Pages: 5 - 6 doi: doi: 10.15274/tpj.2018.03.01.14, published: 2018-08-02