Karrie Jacobs


January 9, 2012

Tyng in Trenton.

Anne Tyng’s ideas about geometry helped shape Louis Kahn’s  iconic Trenton Bath House.

I was reading the obits for architect Anne Tyng, who just died at the age of 91.  She was a theorist who is best known for having worked closely with the architect Louis Kahn, the father of her daughter,  Alexandra.

I read this paragraph in the New York Times obit:

Kahn broke with Oscar Stonorov in 1947,

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January 5, 2012

Queens Goes Vegas?

An Arquitectonica rendering of the proposed Aqueduct convention center and casino.

The proposal floated in Governor [Andrew] Cuomo’s state-of-the-state address yesterday to transplant NYC’s convention center to Queens strikes me, surprisingly, as the first good idea I’ve heard from my state government in a long, long time.  In short, the idea is to let a Malaysian company, the Genting Group,

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October 17, 2011

What I Didn’t Say About the Future

Two streetscapes in IJBurg, the newly built section of Amsterdam.

My story about the city of the future, which wound up mostly being about Almere in the Netherlands, is  in the current issue of Travel + Leisure.  And while Almere,  founded in the 1970s,  is  an extraordinary open-air museum exhibiting successive decade’s visionary schemes, it leaves something to be desired as a city.

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September 26, 2011

Somewhat Still, Definitely Not Silent

The view of Lower Manhattan from Fort Jay on Governors Island and the view of Ground Zero from the 46th floor of 7WTC.

Initially my interest in stillspotting nyc, a project by the Guggenheim Museum, was motivated by the research I’ve done for my book on silence.  My sense is that finding reservoirs of silence within the city is more essential than going off to some remote,

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September 11, 2011


Lower Manhattan, photographed by Ann Rhoney.

What I’ve noticed in recent days is that a lot of people have found my website by searching for 9-11 photos.  I don’t have any.  I prefer to commemorate the life of the World Trade Center, rather than its death.  I prefer to remember the Twin Towers as an out-sized architectural conceit that, by the time of its destruction,

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September 9, 2011

Notes on Reality

the transfinite by Ryoji Ikeda at the Park Avenue Armory (top) and Rainbow City by Friends With You near the High Line (bottom).

In part because Travel + Leisure asked me to figure out what the term “city of the future” might mean at this juncture (see the upcoming October issue) and in part because Metropolis asked me to review Talk to Me at MoMA (in the September issue,

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August 9, 2011

Regarding Doug Garofalo

The Korean New York Presbyterian Church of Queens.  (Photo by Archidose.)

Yesterday morning, I glanced at the weekly email newsletter from The Architect’s Newspaper and saw Doug Garofalo’s name.  Without really reading the headline, I clicked on the link and was stunned to find myself staring at his obituary.

Doug died young.  He was  about to turn 53. 

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July 21, 2011

The Perfect $150,000 House

One very sweet house outside Charlottesville, Virginia.

Back in 2003, I began the 14,000 mile road trip for my book, The Perfect $100,000 House, at a two week intensive workshop on designing and building houses at a school in Vermont called Yestermorrow.   The formula was simple; in the morning we learned to design and in the afternoon we learned to build. 

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