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Vast American urban landscape, skeletal trees in foreground, on khaki cover, Mise-en-Scène The Lives and Afterlives of Urban Landscapes in black font above


By (author) Chris Reed
By (author) Mike Belleme
By (author) Sara Zewde
By (author) Nina-Marie Lister
By (author) De Nichols
By (author) Mimi Zeiger
By (author) Julia Czerniak


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  • Richly illustrated and designed to appeal to a broad audience of architects, designers, photographers, and general public interested in the contemporary city
  • Critical yet accessible examination of the current state of planning, urbanism, and civic design across America
  • Unique collaboration between an urbanist and a photographer
  • Mike Belleme’s work has been featured on the cover of TIME Magazine, and regularly appears in the New York Times
  • Book design by award-winning graphic design and editorial studio IN-FO.CO
  • Chris Reed is a longtime professor of landscape urbanism at Harvard Graduate School of Design and his studio Stoss Landscape Urbanism is a winner of the Cooper Hewitt National Design Award for Landscape Architecture
Full Description
Mise-en-Scène is an immersive exploration of the social lives of urban landscapes – the actors and actions that compose the daily theatre of urban life. Conceived as a unique collaboration between an urbanist, Chris Reed, and a photographer, Mike Belleme, the book combines photo essays, original maps and drawings, newly commissioned essays, excerpts from historical writings, and interviews with residents. The result is a rigorous and artful examination of the social, cultural, environmental, and economic challenges of life in American cities today.   Richly illustrated and designed to appeal to a broad audience of architects, designers, photographers, and general public interested in the contemporary city, the book is centred around seven visual case studies depicting life in seven American cities: Los Angeles, Galveston, St. Louis, Green Bay, Ann Arbor, Detroit, and Boston. Each case study combines black-and-white photography – taken from street level, often in intimate detail – with annotations and drawings that highlight urban forms. An inherent interconnectedness across geographies, scales, and situations emerges throughout the book. Reed and Belleme demonstrate how a celebratory moment can be felt equally in Green Bay’s compact downtown or amidst the chaos and sprawl of Los Angeles, and how while the tensions present in the redevelopment of previously inundated waterfronts in Boston or Galveston can be understood in parallel with an urgent set of conversations on race and identity in St. Louis.   Six essays by a diverse and interdisciplinary group of contributors prompt further reflection on the visual case studies. Chris Reed writes on the social lives of cities, designer Sara Zewde on the image of the city, artist De Nichols about social equity and identity, ecologist Nina-Marie Lister on the climate imperative, curator Mimi Zeiger on cities and culture, and architect Julia Czerniak on design practice.   Through this thoughtful exploration of everyday moments and the urbanism that supports them, Reed and Belleme present new opportunities for creating direct interaction between citizens and propose an ecological and social focus for city-building around a concept of common ground.
About the Author
Chris Reed is founder and Design Director of Stoss Landscape Urbanism, a design and strategic planning practice in Boston and Los Angeles, and professor in practice of Landscape Architecture at the Harvard Graduate School of Design. He is a leading voice on issues related to climate adaptation, racial and social equity, urban landscape, and the sociability of cities. Mike Belleme is a freelance photographer based in Asheville, North Carolina. His work ranges from long-form documentary projects to assignment-based editorial work, photojournalism, and portraiture. His practice involves photographing from a space of emotional availability and vulnerability and exploring themes involving connection and disconnection from that space. Sara Zewde is founding principal of Studio Zewde, a design firm in New York City practicing landscape architecture, urbanism, and public art. The studio is devoted to exploring the "aesthetics of being" and creating enduring places where people belong. She also serves as Assistant Professor of Practice at Harvard University Graduate School of Design. Nina-Marie Lister is an ecologist and planner, Graduate Program Director and Associate Professor in the School of Urban + Regional Planning at Ryerson University in Toronto. She is the founder and director of the Ecological Design Lab at Ryerson University. De Nichols is a communications designer and artist activist who serves as the Social Impact Design Principal of Civic Creatives in St. Louis. Her work champions the power of design and storytelling to inspire and equip change makers to protest social injustices and design civic solutions for progressive change across American communities. Mimi Zeiger is a Los Angeles-based critic and curator. She was co-curator of the U.S. Pavilion for the 2018 Venice Architecture Biennale and curator of Soft Schindler at the MAK Center for Art and Architecture. Julia Czerniak is associate dean and professor of architecture at Syracuse University where she teaches on landscape theory and criticism. Her work focuses on the physical and cultural potentials of urban landscapes.
ORO Editions
23rd Mar 2022
World excluding USA, Canada, Australasia & Asia (except Japan; China non-exclusive)
273 mm x 203 mm
256 Pages
220 color
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