Sunday, May 31, 2009


A kind commenter directed me to the site Alt/Urbs. An online journal billed as 'an electronic potlatch', the site is open for submissions of unpublished work related to 'alternative urbanization, design, and radical urban geography'. It's an interesting usage of the term 'potlach' to describe the process - but overall the idea is good... and some of the minimal content so far is interesting. One significant piece of scholarship is related to urban farming...

:: image via Alt/Urbs

... and a more visual exploration via multiple posts called Diagramming (U)topophillia, which "...has searched for the place of ‘utopia’ in relation to cyberspace, the public commercial centre, and the private home/work place. Currently, it appears as if the ‘souk’ is the last form of ‘public’ space. Cyberspace, on the other hand, represents a metaphoric free zone of nothingness that takes a likeness to general utopian theory."

:: images via Alt/Urbs

From the site: "What we’d like to see: articles, case studies, book reviews, research, design projects or any other data on alternative urbanisms. The subject matter and extent of your effort can vary depending on your agenda, whether it is a short paragraph and images, or an extensive focus on particular subject matter, (i.e. social issues, geographies, ecologies, built environments, utopias, anarchies, etc.) The intent is to disseminate information on different, or uncommon types of living throughout history."

It will be interesting to see how popular this model becomes as a forum for work - particularly as the site expands and is more known... and definitely interesting to see is a coherent and readable narrative comes out of an open and minimally guided call for contributions. One of those ideas that make the new modes of communication very interesting. Looking forward to seeing more, and if you have something to contribute, additional information on submittal requirements is available on the site.

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