Farming Cuba — A new model for cities and countries facing threats to food security brought on by the end of cheap oil

Following the collapse of the Soviet Union in the early 1990s, Cuba found itself solely responsible for feeding a nation that had grown dependent on imports and trade subsidies. Citizens began growing their own organic produce anywhere they could find space, on rooftops, balconies, vacant lots, and even school playgrounds. By 1998 there were more than 8,000 urban farms in Havana producing nearly half of the country’s vegetables. What began as a grassroots initiative had, in less than a decade, grown into the largest sustainable agriculture initiative ever undertaken, making Cuba the world leader in urban farming. Learn more in Farming Cuba: Urban Agriculture from the Ground Up, by Carey Clouse, available now from PAPress.


Studio Life—Karolina Gnatowski

…Gnatowski showed me her fabric collection, stored in a set of suitcases. “I got the cases because they are Amelia Earhart—a really strange brand name. It is a success story but at the same time ended so tragically,” she said. She spotted an item and held it up—a multicolored shawl made by her grandmother from spare yarn.

From the book Studio Life.


Great article over at Metropolis Mag by Alexandra Lange: “Why Charles Moore (Still) Matters”. The Moonraker Athletic Center (above), completed by MLTW/Moore-Turnbull in 1966, was as much landscape as architecture, protecting the pool from sea breezes and containing small, skylit changing rooms. Barbara Stauffacher Solomon painted highly influential supergraphics inside the Swim Club, further altering perceptions of its small scale. Moore is one of the architects profiled in The Sea Ranch, a new revised edition was released in 2013.


Robert Dawson (The Public Library) receives Guggenheim Award

The response to our new book The Public Library has been nothing short of ecstatic. We couldn’t be more proud of the book and its author Robert Dawson, who we are thrilled to report, was just awarded a John Simon Guggenheim Fellowship. Dawson was also just interviewed by Scott Simon on NPR Weekend Edition and the book is popping up everywhere.


“Software is a tool for the mind. While the industrial revolution produced tools to augment the body, such as the steam engine and the automobile, the information revolution is producing tools to extend the intellect. [ … ] But using software is not only about increasing our ability to work with large volumes of information; it also encourages new and different ways of thinking.”
Form + Code In Design, Art, and Architecture 
by Casey Reas, Chandler McWilliams, and Jeroen Barendse 


Big congratulations to Andrea Cochran—she has been honored with the 2014 Design Medal, presented by the American Society of Landscape Architects. The Design Medal recognizes an individual landscape architect who has produced a body of exceptional design work at a sustained level for a period of at least ten years. Also, a belated congrats for winning the 2014 National Design Award for Landscape Architecture, presented by the Smithsonian’s Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum. In 2009, Princeton Architectural Press published the monograph Andrea Cochran: Landscapes.


Casa Alta presents the breathtaking results of a nearly three-decade-long labor of love—an abandoned courtyard house in a small Andalusian village in Southern Spain, restored and renovated by Victor Carrasco and Elizabeth McMillan. Stunning photographs by acclaimed photographer Richard Barnes capture the lived-in details of the house, part sanctuary and part labyrinth, from vibrant tiles and textiles to calming plants and pools. Book design by 2013 AIGA medalist Lucille Tenazas.