Call For Submissions: SCENARIO 5 Extraction

Welcome back to Scenario Journal.  If you’re a regular reader, you may have noticed us laying low for the last couple of months, as we’ve been focusing on teaching, recovering from our latest issue, Scenario 4: Building the Urban Forest, and taking a bit of time to recuperate and refocus on our primary mission — curating and developing original content that brings together a trans-disciplinary conversation at the intersection of design, science and technology. Back with fresh energy, we are happy to launch our latest call for submissions, looking at the landscapes of extraction that sustain urbanization. The call for Scenario 5: Extraction is now open; we hope to see many of you submit critical essays, provocations, original photography, and design projects on this fascinating and urgent topic.

Scenario 5 Call for Submissions

Deadline for Submissions: January 31st, 2015

Extraction sustains our society. We rely on energy to power the technology in our lives, but are disconnected from the landscapes that must be exploited in order to yield that energy. We dig and blast materials to build and repair the physical infrastructure of our cities, but rarely think about the places from which they come. As the world population becomes more urban and more spatially removed from the landscapes that supply its raw materials and energy needs, as supply chains elongate and become more globalized, our reliance on remotely extracted natural resources only continues to increase, while our relationship to the landscapes of extraction recedes ever-further from daily view.

The logistical and infrastructural connections of the city to its hinterland effectively expand the urban territory— connecting sites of extraction, transmission and consumption. How do these landscapes fit into the larger urban social, economic, and ecological systems? What meaningful connections can contemporary cities make to their extraction landscapes? How can designers, mangers, and researchers operating on these sites engage public narratives, make visible natural resource flows, and energize cultural production? How might these sites engender new ecological opportunities, experiment with new techno-landscapes, and jump-start new possibilities for settlement? How do landscapes of extraction bridge the spatial disconnect between city and hinterland?

Scenario 5: Extraction welcomes the submission of critical essays, provocations, and design projects that explore the role, reality, and potential offered by landscapes of extraction.

Submission Requirements:

  • Design projects and photo essays should have a clear and focused text no longer than 1000 words, accompanied by 6-10 images.
  • Article-based submissions should range in length from 1000 to 4000 words.
  • We prefer to receive submissions as Microsoft Word documents with images embedded with the text. All sources and citations should be clearly indicated and included as footnotes or endnotes according to the Chicago Manual of Style.
  • Please alert us if work has been previously published or if it has been submitted simultaneously to another publication.
  • Send submissions to, with ‘ISSUE 5 Submission′ in the subject line. Submissions will be reviewed on a rolling basis.
  • DEADLINE: Submissions are due January 31st, 2015.
Image (above): Open coal mine Garzweiler by Bert Kaufmann

Exhibit: Lebbeus Woods At The Drawing Center


Lebbeus Woods, Architect.
April 17, 2014 – June 15, 2004
THE DRAWING CENTER 35 Wooster Street, New York, NY

Lebbeus Woods, Architect, on exhibit at The Drawing Center, traces the career of Lebbeus Woods, a visionary architect whose responses to the sites of trauma have given us haunting designs — intricate, beautiful, full of memory, and ultimately optimistic. The show includes a number of Woods’ projects spanning 40 years of work, from the dynamic tensioned and cantilevered pods of bombed-out Sarajevo, to the “Freespaces” of Berlin during the time of the Wall, to the “ecological utopia” of his Demilitarized Zone in Korea, and to the San Francisco Earthquake houses. Impossibly intricate styrene study models, meticulously annotated sketchbooks, and fragments of writing accompany the powerful drawings in a space that is small yet filled with palpable humanism and love of craft.

While at first glance many of the projects appear futuristic or dystopian, his writing reveals an optimism, compassion, and resilience in the aftermath of trauma. By going to the deep, dark places of war and destruction, Woods tried to understand how to build on and with, these layers of trauma.

The show reveals the work of an architect and urbanist who cared deeply about the memory embedded in the physical apparatus of the city. His work projects a desire to grapple with and make sense of the past, rather than erasing the wounds of war. The work insists that the destruction of war-torn landscapes might create the preconditions of a new, and better, city and society.

Though he did not leave many built projects, Lebbeus Woods’ work and words have left a lasting influence on the many designers for whom he was a teacher, a mentor, a critic and an inspiration. This exhibit at the Drawing Center reminds us of the power of a few well-placed lines on paper.

Draw. Drawing is the tool of the architect on the move, on the run, the architect who is first of all a citizen of the stricken city and the new, dynamic stability. Pen, pencil, and paper are cheap, accessible. They can be used anywhere, and, if necessary, concealed. Drawings, too, can be easily hidden, or can be exhibited, published, filmed, digitized, and therefore widely disseminated, when the architect is ready to place them in the public domain. Until that time, the architect is freed by drawing’s inherent intimacy to explore the unfamiliar and the forbidden, to break the old rules and invent new ones. Drawings can be made anywhere there is light enough to see. They are instruments of spontaneous experimentation, fluidity of thought, mobility of invention. Unlike models, drawings can describe an immense range of scales with subtlety. And, most of all, drawings are fast. This is important because the architect’s work should not, by virtue of too-arduous labor, become an end in itself. All effort in projection aims at realization in building, and thus in living. This aim cannot be compromised by the fact that not all of the architect’s projections will, can, or should be built.”

Lebbeus Woods, Radical Reconstruction 1997


Lebbeus Woods, Architect closes this weekend at the Drawing Center.
Please go and see it if you can.

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