Across Gymnasium Bridge


“We have the mind, body, and the mind/body all organizing this building,” offers architect Chris McVoy, metaphorically describing the Campbell Sports Center that opened this fall at Columbia University. The building is the outward expression of an athlete’s inner journey. In a short film, McVoy and his partner and mentor, Steven Holl, discuss their design intentions and the character of experience they’ve created.

Julia PikeAcross Gymnasium Bridge

The Art Palace of the West


emery collection

I am a sixth-generation Texan who married a fiercely native New Yorker, which means I have a keen appreciation for the ways in which places shape lives. When I moved to Cincinnati, Ohio, in the dead of winter last year, it was an odyssey that once again challenged my sense of identity. Cincinnati is worlds apart from both Texas and New York, and unlike those proudly parochial states, this city can lay a strong claim as the heart of America. It was settled in 1788 on the banks of the Ohio River, and at the turn of the century, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow named it “the Queen of the West”:

Julia PikeThe Art Palace of the West

Lab of Literary Architecture


Last month I enjoyed following media coverage of an unusual writing workshop and design studio held at Columbia University. Italian architect and writer Matteo Pericoli originated his “Laboratory of Literary Architecture” course in Turin, and brought it to New York this spring as a joint course for students of the School of Writing and the Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation.

Julia PikeLab of Literary Architecture

From Place to Place: The Portrait Photography of Lauri Lyons


Curated by Alicia Lubowski-Jahn

man selling newspapers

Although the photographer Lauri Lyons calls New York home, she is ever on the move through her creative projects. Her current body of work spans Africa, Australia, Brazil, Mexico, Europe, and the United States, and has connected the globe through African diaspora and identity formation themes. Often pictures and languages within her portrait photography evoke origins that are both ancestral and geographic. She is the Founder and Editor-in-Chief of the photojournalism magazine NOMADS, which is also dedicated to the peripatetic state. 

Emma CroweFrom Place to Place: The Portrait Photography of Lauri Lyons

Interpreted for Viewing


Curated by Jeff Bergman

man in suit fallen on sidewalk

Jeremiah Dine records moments of brisk movement, still unreflective silence, and unstinting labor with equanimity. The images that sit obligingly still now are the distillation of activity by the artist and the subject. Dine uses his lens to interpret the field of view and render the whole image from minute elements linked by chance and purpose. Each fragment flattens, and what is left becomes the single instance worthy of illumination. Each image is now interpreted for viewing as RAW file. In the past, the practice of printing an image signaled a work’s finality. With Dine and many other contemporary photographers, an image’s final state can be digital—it need not be printed and exhibited. Of thousands of images and the wide range of themes that Jeremiah Dine records, certainly not all could be reviewed in one exhibition. These images were chosen because they exemplify a single moment of candid street photography.

Emma CroweInterpreted for Viewing

Speculative Summer School


At the threshold of summer, the sunglasses are on. Running in blue-sky mode, I’ve been talking up some ideas for multiplying the writing workshop times the architecture studio. Their product would be a format for storytelling across media, an alignment of complimentary strengths really well suited to engage the built environment.

Julia PikeSpeculative Summer School

“Open Air”

Curated by JULIA COOKE 


Rafael Lozano-Hemmer, “Open Air, Relational Architecture”, 2012. Commissioned by the Association for Public Art, Philad


Twenty-four searchlights, all high-powered, were set on rooftops around Philadelphia’s Benjamin Franklin Parkway last September and October. They were programmed, however, to avoid shining their spotlights on any physical objects: no buildings, no naked windows, no trees. Instead, they glimmered straight up into the sky: twenty-four columns of light responding — here solid, there faint, twitching and beating and sweeping across the sky together, then separating — to the voices of Philadelphia residents.

Julia Pike“Open Air”

Manoa Lo’i


Leaves by studio walls.

New media artist Steve Bull creates augmented reality installations by adding three-dimensional graphics and sound via global positioning satellites onto real life places. The result can only be seen through a free Junaio browser downloaded to smartphones or tablets. Using the browser as a window, the viewer wanders through the augmented reality construct in any direction. Touching the object, the viewer can hear an associated audio recording. The browser can also be used to capture a still image of this combined world of the virtual and real.

Julia PikeManoa Lo’i