Julia Christensen (MFA '05) releases new book

Julia Christensen (MFA '05) releases new book

Date 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.
$29.95/£19.95 (CLOTH)

Available now for pre-order



"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 suburban-exploration hero."
–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 adjustments."
–Markus Miessen, Principal Studio Miessen, Partner of Miessen & Ploughfields, and Director, Architectural Association Winter School Middle East


National Public Radio, "Once A Wal-Mart: The New Lives of Big Boxes," reported by Elizabeth Blair, 10/20/08

Architect Magazine, Excerpt, Big Box Reuse, October 2008

The Chronicle of Higher Education, "Superstore Spaces," by Kacie Glenn, 10/20/08

National Public Radio, "Retail in the Coming Storm," On Point with Tom Ashbrook, 10/23/08

Readymade Magazine, Oct./Nov. issue, page 16, Dust Jacket, book review of Big Box Reuse by Matt Dorville

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, "Artist shows how communities are reusing big box stores," by Patricia Lowry, 9/03/08

Rhizome at the New Museum, 9/03/08"Rhizome News: Exploring Big Boxes, In and Out of the White Cube," by Marisa Olsen

USA Today, "Towns Recycle Abandoned Stores," by Haya El Nasser, 8/25/08

The New York Times, "Thinking Inside the Big Box," by Eve Kahn,5/12/05

Rensselaer Magazine, "Recycling the Big Box," by Jodi Ackerman Frank, Summer 2005

"Yahoo Pick of the Week," 12/12/04



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