• Spatial Politics and the Architectural Essay
    James Graham
    Columbia Books on Architecture and the City, 2017
    Columbia University-Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation

Silent protest of African-Americans in New York City, 1917. Copyright: Underwood & Underwood, NY.

The field of architecture has long looked to publication as a means of disseminating the work and ideas of its practitioners. These publications often define a form of social engagement by which architectural ideas come into contact with a larger body politic, with potentially transformative effects. Architecture’s complicities in the structures of power are built into the environments we live in, and publicatory practices—particularly the genre of the critical essay—are a way of both recognizing and naming those relationships. Documenting important forms of thought that have become integral parts of architectural practice (including its entanglements with power, finance, and resources), and expanding the kinds of documents through which we might consider the work of architecture and urbanism more broadly, Spatial Politics and the Architectural Essay will be published in both print and online form, and will collect essays from some of the field’s leading thinkers and practitioners.

Amale Andraos is dean of Columbia University’s Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation and a principal of WORKac, which she cofounded with Dan Wood in 2003. WORKac has achieved international recognition for projects such as the Centre de Conferences in Libreville, Gabon; the New Holland Island Cultural Center master plan in St. Petersburg, Russia; and the Edible Schoolyard at PS216 in Brooklyn. Andraos has taught at numerous institutions, including Princeton, Harvard, and the American University in Beirut. Her publications include 49 Cities, which rereads visionary cities through an ecological lens, and the forthcoming Architecture and Representation: the Arab City. Born in Beirut, Lebanon, Andraos serves on the board of the Architectural League of New York and is a member of the faculty steering committees for the Columbia Global Centers, Middle East, and the Columbia Global Centers, Turkey.

James Graham teaches at Columbia University's Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation (GSAPP), where he also serves as director of publications and is completing his dissertation. He is the founding editor of the Avery Review, a monthly digital journal of critical essays on architecture, and has edited several of the volumes on the GSAPP Books imprint. His writing has appeared in Grey Room, AA Files, Manifest, JSAH, Aggregate, and the New Inquiry.

Columbia University (founded 1754) is one of the world's most important centers of research, while at the same time, a distinctive and distinguished learning environment for undergraduates and graduate students in many scholarly and professional fields. The university recognizes the importance of its location in New York City and seeks to link its research and teaching to the vast resources of a great metropolis. It seeks to attract a diverse and international faculty and student body, to support research and teaching on global issues, and to create academic relationships with many countries and regions. It expects all areas of the university to advance knowledge and learning at the highest level and to convey the products of its efforts to the world.