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.


Think your neighbors are hard to get along with? They’re nothing compared to the family of tap dancing kangaroos, the cat who gives singing lessons, the pig family that loves to cook smelly food, and the other animal tenants of The Brownstone. The only children’s book ever written by Paula Scher, this charming, timeless story is also a hugely entertaining brain teaser filled with colorful and clever drawings by illustrator and cartoonist Stan Mack.

More here:
Brain Pickings
Shelf Awareness Starred Review
The New York Times Book Review
The Wall Street Journal


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.


Outside the Box: Hand-Drawn Packaging from Around the World
by Gail Anderson, Foreword by Debbie Millman

In this exhaustive and lavishly illustrated survey, organized by four types — DIY, art, craft, and artisanal — Gail Anderson pulls back the curtain on the working processes and inspirations of forty letterers, illustrators, and designers from all around the world through insightful interviews, process sketches, and her infectious love of the medium.


Peter Jenny’s Learning to See series has added two new books to its roster, Unlearning to Draw and The Kitchen Art Studio. Both out today!

Each feature fun, unconventional exercises for aspiring artists of all skill levels to utilize. Unlearning to Draw makes use of personal family photos, asking you to think outside the box when using them as inspiration for your drawings. In contrast, The Kitchen Art Studio is about finding the beauty in kitchen messes. Playing with food is highly encouraged.

Happy creating!


Now back in print is Cuba Style: Graphic from the Golden Age of Design

In the wake of the recent thawing of relations between the United States and Cuba, Steven Heller and Vicki Gold Levi present hundreds of vintage graphics of Cuba from the 1920s to the 1959 revolution. Cuba Style recalls the days of glory when the island was a veritable resort colony for Americans and Europeans who came in search of music, dancing, gambling, tropical romance, and the best beaches in the Americas.

The first book of its kind, Cuba Style reproduces a treasure trove of graphics from popular magazines, packaging, posters, and indigenous products such as liquor and cigars. It is a visual history of Cuba in its golden age as well
as a wellspring of capitalist extravagance, seen here through the rare graphics of its extraordinary and now lost popular culture.