• New Geographies 09: Posthuman
    Mariano Gomez-Luque and Ghazal Jafari
    Harvard University Press, 2018
    Harvard University–Graduate School of Design

Benjamin Grant/Daily Overview, Qinhuangdao Coal Terminal, 2015. Courtesy of the author.

New Geographies journal aims to examine the emergence of the geographic, a new but for the most part latent paradigm in design today—to articulate it and bring it to bear effectively on the social role of design. Through critical essays and design projects, New Geographies seeks to position design's agency amid concerns of scale, infrastructure, ecology, and globalization, with the “geographic” condition reflecting a desire for a synthetic scalar practice that links attributes understood to be either separate from each other or external to the design disciplines, opening through that a range of technical, formal, and social repertoires for architecture. Building upon the legacy of the journal, New Geographies 09: Posthuman takes a more explicitly introspective, inward-looking stance, examining the agency, boundaries, and politics of design in the age of post-anthropocentric, cognitive capitalism, and the role that design thinking plays in the identification and analysis of—and ultimately, potential intervention within—the "expanded frontiers" implicit under the label of "new geographies." By embedding the interrelated questions of "geography" and "design" within a posthumanist framework of understanding of the "human and nonhuman environment," NG09 attempts to map their implications in the construction of the vast planetary machine that encompasses the landscapes of "distributed cognition" of contemporary urbanization.

Neil Brenner is professor of urban theory at Harvard University’s Graduate School of Design (GSD). His writing and teaching focus on the theoretical, conceptual, and methodological dimensions of urban questions. His work builds upon, and seeks to extend, the fields of critical urban and regional studies, comparative geopolitical economy and radical socio-spatial theory.  Major research foci include processes of urban and regional restructuring and uneven spatial development; the generalization of capitalist urbanization; and processes of state spatial restructuring, with particular reference to the remaking of urban, metropolitan and regional governance configurations under contemporary neoliberalizing capitalism. Prior to his appointment to the GSD, Brenner was professor of sociology and metropolitan studies at New York University, where he also served as director of NYU's Metropolitan Studies Program.  Brenner has co-supervised doctoral research in sociology, geography, history, political science, American studies, law and society, urban planning, and architecture, among other fields.

Mariano Gomez Luque is a practicing architect and urban designer from Argentina; a doctor of design candidate at Harvard University’s Graduate School of Design; a research fellow in the Urban Theory Lab and the Office for Urbanization; and editor of the New Geographies journal. Gomez's research investigates the complex relations between architecture and the dynamics of planetary urbanization, its associated processes of radical technological change, and the production of space at multiple scales under contemporary capitalism. He holds an MArch degree (with honors) from the GSD and a BA (with honors) from the National University of Cordoba, Argentina.

Ghazal Jafari is a researcher and urban designer based in Cambridge and Toronto; a PhD design candidate at Harvard University’s Graduate School of Design; a research fellow at the Weatherhead Center for International Affairs and Urban Theory Lab at Harvard University; an Aga Khan Fellow; and editor of New Geographies journal. Jafari's current research investigates codes, systems, and territories of logistics corporations in relation to transforming urban geographies and regional economies. She holds an MDES in landscape, urbanism, and ecology from the GSD and a MUD from the University of Toronto. She is the co-organizer of #decoding, a DDes Conference at the GSD (2016), and her works have been published in Volume, Azure, and Monu, among others.

The mission of Harvard University’s Graduate School of Design is to advance the professions concerned with the planning and design of buildings and landscapes, together with their urban, suburban, and rural settings; and to matriculate students poised to challenge the conventions of design and transform the built environment in an increasingly complex and competitive global landscape. New Geographies is a student-edited journal, founded in 2008.