3659 Proposals about Data, Design, and the Nature of Cities
With three billion more humans projected to be living in cities by 2050, all design is increasingly urban design. And with as much data now produced every day as was produced in all of human history to the year 2007, all architecture is increasingly information architecture. Praised in the NewYork Times for its "intelligent enquiry and actionable theorizing," Local Code is a collection of data-driven tools and design prototypes for understanding and transforming the physical, social, and ecological resilience of cities. The book's data-driven layout arranges drawings of 3,659 digitally-tailored interventions for vacant public land in San Francisco, Los Angeles, New York City, and Venice, Italy. Between these illustrated case studies, critical essays present surprising and essential links between such designs and the seminal work of urbanist Jane Jacobs, artist Gordon Matta-Clark, and digital mapping pioneer Howard Fisher, along with the developing science of urban nature and complexity. In text and image, Local Code presents'a digitally prolific, open-ended approach to urban resilience and social and environmental justice; At once analytic and visionary, it pioneers a new field of enquiry and action at the meeting of big data and the expanding city.
- de Monchaux's first book, Spacesuit: Fashioning Apollo (2011), was best book of the year on numerous design and technology lists.
- Focuses on the ecological and social potential of underutilized and unmaintained public land---like that under billboards in Los Angeles, along dead-end alleys in San Francisco, and in city-owned vacant lots in New York City.
The Dirt (American Society of Landscape Architects)
In Local Code, Nicholas de Monchaux pushes us to assign new value to forgotten pieces of our urban fabric--- the dead-end alley, the vacant corner lot; infrastructure's leftovers. While many cities deem vacant parcels as unusable remnants of development, Local Code makes the case for aggregating them to build urban resilience. Ultimately, Local Code encourages us to read between the lines, or buildings, and see new opportunities in forgotten spaces.