Julia Christensen (MFA '05) releases new book
Julia Christensen (MFA '05) releases new bookDate posted: 2008-11-04 10:10:00
Big Box Reuse by Julia Christensen
MIT Press, Fall 2008
What happens to the landscape, to community, and to the
population when vacated big box stores are turned into
community centers, churches, schools, and libraries?
10 x 10, 220 pp., 91 color illus.
ENDORSEMENTS / REVIEWS
"Tirelessly crisscrossing the nation, documenting resourceful and
unexpected examples of reused big boxes, open-mindedly listening to the
tales of schoolteachers, curators, preachers, or assorted activists,
finding something interesting in the most deadened-seeming mall strips,
taking hilariously deadpan photos–Julia Christensen is a true
–Eve Kahn, contributing editor, I.D. Magazine
"Christensen's selection of stories from
across the country creates a portrait of a contemporary America at
apogee, and of people making what they can with what they have been
left with, as the tidal wave of consumerism washes through their town.
Appropriately too, this book is outside the box, and not from any
definite place, like urban studies, architecture, or social
scholarship. Christensen approaches the issue freshly and directly, on
a personal level, like the communities and projects she describes. The
book is an inspiring product of someone astounded by the variety and
richness of the extra-ordinary American landscape, and who takes us on
a journey, trying to figure it out."
–Matthew Coolidge, Director, Center for Land Use Interpretation
"This timely book reveals stories of community activism and the
attempts to recontextualize massive pieces of architecture into
something that one might call the public domain. Whether through
adaptation, reuse, or new definitions of program, these attempts are
dealing with the consequences of 'siteless,' and often senseless,
meta-planning. This publication is an essential read for everyone who
acknowledges that there is a world beyond 3d-modeling and surface
–Markus Miessen, Principal Studio Miessen, Partner of Miessen & Ploughfields, and Director, Architectural Association Winter School Middle East
PRESS AND REVIEWS
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