Chasing the City : Models for Extra-Urban Investigations book cover
1st Edition

Chasing the City
Models for Extra-Urban Investigations

ISBN 9780815384892
Published October 25, 2018 by Routledge
248 Pages 96 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

Historically, many architects, planners, and urban designers solicit idealistic depictions of a controllable urban environment made from highly regulated geometrical organizations and systematically defined processes. Rather than working as urban "designers" who set out to control and implant external processes, we shift our approach to that of urban "detectives," who set out to chase the city.

Charged with approaching the city more responsively, we investigate what we do not know, allowing the city to direct our work. As urban detectives, we have the ability to interrogate and respond to the elaborate patterns emerging from self-generated, internalized urban interactions. Chasing the City asks what are the current design trends shaping how we, first, understand the cities of today to, then, produce informed decisions on the continuously undefined evolving city of tomorrow. Intentionally, the work here does not adhere to rudimentary notions of supposed singularities or rely upon past generations of idealistic utopian models. Rather, Chasing the City delineates current models of urban investigation that seek to respond to the nature of cities and develop heretofore-urban strategies as concurrently negotiated future urbanism.

This edited volume provides a collection of innovative design research projects based on shared notions of Chasing the City through three bodies of strategic frameworks: (1) Mapping, (2) Resource, and (3) Typology. This structure ultimately allows readers, as fellow urban detectives, access to exploratory tools and methods of detection that accumulate from our environs, both practical and projective in our chase of the city.

Table of Contents


Notes on Contributors

Foreword: Chasing the City in the Age of New Geography

David Grahame Shane

Chapter 1: Introduction: Chasing the Neo-utopian Paradox

Joshua M. Nason and Jeffrey S. Nesbit

Chapter 2: Chasing the Awkward City

Joshua Nason

Chapter 3: Chasing #Antidrone

Derek Hoeferlin

Chapter 4: Chasing the Logistical City and Its Spatial Formations

Clare Lyster

Chapter 5: Chasing and Rewiring Resource Territories

Neeraj Bhatia

Chapter 6: Chasing Military Logistics in the Urban Void

Jeffrey S. Nesbit

Chapter 7: Chasing Lines of Engagement

Edward Becker

Chapter 8: Chasing Strategies for the Post-crisis

Emmanuelle Chiappone-Piriou

Chapter 9: Chasing Ambiguous Conditions of Coexistence

Peter Winston Ferretto

Chapter 10: Chasing a Genealogy of X

Choon Choi

Afterword: Chasing Composition

David Salomon


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Joshua M. Nason, educated at Cornell and Texas Tech, is an Associate Professor of Architecture at the University of Texas at Arlington as well as the director of the experimental design research firm Iterative Studio. His teaching, research, and design work explore dynamic and dependent contextual relationships and issues of city identity through analytic mapping processes.

Jeffrey S. Nesbit, a doctoral candidate at Harvard University’s Graduate School of Design, studies sporadic development, dismantled landscapes, and the evolution of military infrastructure in the 20th century. He is founding director of Haecceitas Studio, a design-research group, director of Seoul Studio, a research program in South Korea, and has taught architecture and urban design at the University of North Carolina Charlotte and Texas Tech University.


"Nason and Nesbit have brought together a daring group of thinkers to reimagine the techniques and tools available to urban citizens, and map makers alike, in capturing the urban construct— one that unfolds in front of us as this ubiquitous field of seemingly infinite manipulations and possibilities. Within this context, Chasing the City gives us the unique opportunity to seriously explore the emergent urban landscape in its full capacity." - Petra Kempf, author of You Are the City, Observation, Organization, and Transformation of Urban Settings

"Chasing the City presents a counter perspective on city making. Rather than setting out to impose a mental and physical control on the constantly shifting urban terrains and processes, this edited volume asks the audience to begin by first seeing and investigating the city with the level of rigor and intensity demanded by the rich, complex, layered, incomplete, incongruent, and even contradictory realities of the lived environment. More than looking at the city as-is, Chasing the City offers a critical lens for re-positioning ourselves relative to the city as a dynamic field." - Jeffrey Hou, Professor of Landscape Architecture, University of Washington, Seattle