“Getting under the surface, past the image, is something words can do well— and should, if we are to broaden how design is valued.” — Brad Leibin, Trace SF.
A common rhetoric of architects, designers, urbanists and connoisseurs of the built environment is that good communication and relevant platforms for consistent conversation don’t exist. Yet the recent increase in recent websites and publications, however–particularly location-based and topic-based sites such as Trace SF: Bay Area Urbanism in San Francisco or Visualizing Systems from Harvard–are demonstrating a willingness to engage and perhaps expand the conversations around the complexity of design.
While the recent essay by Adam Greenfield hints at the fact that the inherent complexity in city undertakings makes them hard to comprehend, let alone communicate–we at Landscape Urbanism are excited by the apparent increase in (digital) places and possibilities for dialogue. This Fall, we had the chance to sit down with the founders and editors of Trace SF to talk about San Francisco’s urban scene and the broader need for communication and dialogue about the future of our rapidly-changing cities.
Landscape Urbanism: What led to the founding of TraceSF?
Yosh Asato: The desire for more critical discussion about the evolution of San Francisco and the greater Bay Area—in all its physical, social and cultural dimensions—has manifested in different publications over the decades. TraceSF is the most recent response. It’s an independent forum for a diverse community of contributors interested in the Bay Area urban environment and the many forces, design included, that shape the region’s culture and future.
LU: What do you think TraceSF has accomplished so far, and how do you hope it will evolve?
Yuki Bowman: Cities are multidisciplinary organisms that require multidisciplinary perspectives in order to be considered in new ways. Our lack of institutional affiliation Continue reading