Issue 11
DATE
STORY TYPE
AUTHOR
10
PERSPECTIVE
06.03.2024
An Ode to Garages
by Charlie Weak
10
THE BUILT ENVIRONMENT
05.28.2024
In Search of Domestic Kintsugi
by Edwin Heathcote
10
THE BUILT ENVIRONMENT
05.13.2024
The Perils of the Landscapes We Make
by Karrie Jacobs
10
PERSPECTIVE
05.06.2024
Using Simple Tools as a Radical Act of Independence
by Jarrett Fuller
9
PERSPECTIVE
04.29.2024
Why Can’t I Just Go Home?
by Eva Hagberg
9
THE BUILT ENVIRONMENT
04.22.2024
Why Did Our Homes Stop Evolving?
by George Kafka
9
ROUNDTABLE
04.08.2024
Spaces Where the Body Is a Vital Force
by Tiffany Jow
9
BOOK REVIEW
04.01.2024
Tracing the Agency of Women as Users and Experts of Architecture
by Mimi Zeiger
9
PERSPECTIVE
03.25.2024
Are You Sitting in a Non-Place?
by Mzwakhe Ndlovu
9
ROUNDTABLE
03.11.2024
At Home, Connecting in Place
by Marianela D’Aprile
9
PERSPECTIVE
03.04.2024
VALIE EXPORT’s Tactical Urbanism
by Alissa Walker
8
PERSPECTIVE
02.26.2024
What the “Whole Earth Catalog” Taught Me About Building Utopias
by Anjulie Rao
8
THE BUILT ENVIRONMENT
02.19.2024
How a Run-Down District in London Became a Model for Neighborhood Revitalization
by Ellen Peirson
8
THE BUILT ENVIRONMENT
02.12.2024
In Brooklyn, Housing That Defies the Status Quo
by Gideon Fink Shapiro
8
PERSPECTIVE
02.05.2024
That “Net-Zero” Home Is Probably Living a Lie
by Fred A. Bernstein
8
PERSPECTIVE
01.22.2024
The Virtue of Corporate Architecture Firms
by Kate Wagner
8
PERSPECTIVE
01.16.2024
How Infrastructure Shapes Us
by Deb Chachra
8
THE BUILT ENVIRONMENT
01.08.2024
The Defiance of Desire Lines
by Jim Stephenson
7
THE BUILT ENVIRONMENT
12.18.2023
This House Is Related to You and to Your Nonhuman Relatives
by Sebastián López Cardozo
7
THE BUILT ENVIRONMENT
12.11.2023
What’s the Point of the Plus Pool?
by Ian Volner
7
BOOK REVIEW
12.04.2023
The Extraordinary Link Between Aerobics and Architecture
by Jarrett Fuller
7
PERSPECTIVE
11.27.2023
Architecture That Promotes Healing and Fortifies Us for Action
by Kathryn O’Rourke
7
objects and things
11.06.2023
How to Design for Experience
by Diana Budds
7
CHRONICLES OF CULTURE
10.30.2023
The Meaty Objects at Marta
by Jonathan Griffin
6
OBJECTS AND THINGS
10.23.2023
How Oliver Grabes Led Braun Back to Its Roots
by Marianela D’Aprile
6
THE BUILT ENVIRONMENT
10.16.2023
Can Adaptive Reuse Fuel Equitable Revitalization?
by Clayton Page Aldern
6
PERSPECTIVE
10.09.2023
What’s the Point of a Tiny Home?
by Mimi Zeiger
6
CHRONICLES OF CULTURE
10.02.2023
A Book Where Torn-Paper Blobs Convey Big Ideas
by Julie Lasky
6
THE BUILT ENVIRONMENT
09.24.2023
The Architecture of Doing Nothing
by Edwin Heathcote
6
BOOK REVIEW
09.18.2023
What the “Liebes Look” Says About Dorothy Liebes
by Debika Ray
6
OBJECTS AND THINGS
09.11.2023
Roy McMakin’s Overpowering Simplicity
by Eva Hagberg
6
OBJECTS AND THINGS
09.05.2023
Minimalism’s Specific Objecthood, Interpreted by Designers of Today
by Glenn Adamson
5
ROUNDTABLE
08.28.2023
How Joan Jonas and Eiko Otake Navigate Transition
by Siobhan Burke
5
OBJECTS AND THINGS
08.21.2023
The Future-Proofing Work of Design-Brand Archivists
by Adrian Madlener
5
THE BUILT ENVIRONMENT
08.14.2023
Can a Church Solve Canada’s Housing Crisis?
by Alex Bozikovic
5
CHRONICLES OF CULTURE
08.07.2023
In Search of Healing, Helen Cammock Confronts the Past
by Jesse Dorris
5
THE BUILT ENVIRONMENT
07.31.2023
What Dead Malls, Office Parks, and Big-Box Stores Can Do for Housing
by Ian Volner
5
PERSPECTIVE
07.24.2023
A Righteous Way to Solve “Wicked” Problems
by Susan Yelavich
5
CHRONICLES OF CULTURE
07.17.2023
Making a Mess, with a Higher Purpose
by Andrew Russeth
5
ROUNDTABLE
07.10.2023
How to Emerge from a Starchitect’s Shadow
by Cynthia Rosenfeld
4
THE BUILT ENVIRONMENT
06.26.2023
There Is No One-Size-Fits-All in Architecture
by Marianela D’Aprile
4
THE BUILT ENVIRONMENT
06.19.2023
How Time Shapes Amin Taha’s Unconventionally Handsome Buildings
by George Kafka
4
SHOW AND TELL
06.12.2023
Seeing and Being Seen in JEB’s Radical Archive of Lesbian Photography
by Svetlana Kitto
4
PERSPECTIVE
06.05.2023
In Built Environments, Planting Where It Matters Most
by Karrie Jacobs
3
PERSPECTIVE
05.30.2023
On the Home Front, a Latine Aesthetic’s Ordinary Exuberance
by Anjulie Rao
3
PERSPECTIVE
05.21.2023
For a Selfie (and Enlightenment), Make a Pilgrimage to Bridge No. 3
by Alexandra Lange
3
THE BUILT ENVIRONMENT
05.08.2023
The Building Materials of the Future Might Be Growing in Your Backyard
by Marianna Janowicz
3
BOOK REVIEW
05.01.2023
Moving Beyond the “Fetishisation of the Forest”
by Edwin Heathcote
2
ROUNDTABLE
04.24.2023
Is Craft Still Synonymous with the Hand?
by Tiffany Jow
2
OBJECTS AND THINGS
04.17.2023
A Historian Debunks Myths About Lacemaking, On LaceTok and IRL
by Julie Lasky
2
THE BUILT ENVIRONMENT
04.10.2023
How AI Helps Architects Design, and Refine, Their Buildings
by Ian Volner
2
SHOW AND TELL
04.03.2023
Merging Computer and Loom, a Septuagenarian Artist Weaves Her View of the World
by Francesca Perry
1
THE BUILT ENVIRONMENT
03.27.2023
Words That Impede Architecture, According to Reinier de Graaf
by Osman Can Yerebakan
1
CHRONICLES OF CULTURE
03.20.2023
Painting With Plaster, Monica Curiel Finds a Release
by Andrew Russeth
1
PERSPECTIVE
03.13.2023
Rules and Roles in Life, Love, and Architecture
by Eva Hagberg
1
Roundtable
03.06.2023
A Design Movement That Pushes Beyond Architecture’s Limitations
by Tiffany Jow
0
THE BUILT ENVIRONMENT
02.07.2023
To Improve the Future of Public Housing, This Architecture Firm Looks to the Past
by Ian Volner
0
PERSPECTIVE
02.07.2023
The Radical Potential of “Prime Objects”
by Glenn Adamson
0
SHOW AND TELL
02.20.2023
Xiyadie’s Queer Cosmos
by Xin Wang
0
CHRONICLES OF CULTURE
02.13.2023
How Michael J. Love’s Subversive Tap Dancing Steps Forward
by Jesse Dorris
0
SHOW AND TELL
02.07.2023
Finding Healing and Transformation Through Good Black Art
by Folasade Ologundudu
0
BOOK REVIEW
02.13.2023
How Stephen Burks “Future-Proofs” Craft
by Francesca Perry
0
ROUNDTABLE
02.27.2023
Making Use of End Users’ Indispensable Wisdom
by Tiffany Jow
0
OBJECTS AND THINGS
02.07.2023
The New Lessons Architect Steven Harris Learns from Driving Old Porsches
by Jonathan Schultz
0
PERSPECTIVE
02.07.2023
The Day Architecture Stopped
by Kate Wagner
0
OBJECTS AND THINGS
02.07.2023
The Overlooked Potential of Everyday Objects
by Adrian Madlener
0
ROUNDTABLE
02.07.2023
A Conversation About Generalists, Velocity, and the Source of Innovation
by Tiffany Jow
0
OBJECTS AND THINGS
02.07.2023
Using a Fungi-Infused Paste, Blast Studio Turns Trash Into Treasure
by Natalia Rachlin
Untapped is published by the design company Henrybuilt.
Untapped is published by the design company Henrybuilt.
PERSPECTIVE
06.03.2024
An Ode to Garages

These shape-shifting spaces show how our homes might help us better connect to ourselves, and to one another.

Childhood photograph of writer Charlie Weak with his maternal grandfather in his workshop garage in Juniata, Nebraska.
The author, center, with his maternal grandfather in his workshop garage in Juniata, Nebraska. (Photo: Emily Weak)


One of my earliest memories is of my grandpa Jim, my mom’s dad, helping me build a pinewood derby racer in his garage in Juniata, Nebraska. I vaguely remember him showing me how he used an old band saw and belt sander to shape the racer’s aerodynamic body, whittling down compartments under the nose to fit weights so that the car would accelerate more rapidly.

Grandpa Jim’s enthusiasm for wind drag and optimal weight distribution was lost on my preteen self and, even as an adult, I don’t quite share his fervor for engineering balsa. But how he kept his garage has stuck with me: filled with projects in different states of completion, littered with tools (you’d swear it was disorganized, but he knew where everything was), and always frosted with a fine coat of sawdust.

He wasn’t the only elder family member with a passion for tinkering. My dad’s dad, Lannie, had multiple garages, the largest of which was bigger than any apartment I’ve ever rented. It housed a full woodshop, his 4x4 ATV, the classic car he was working on at the time, and, notably, a full bathroom, complete with a shower. His wife, Sharon, forbade any of us from entering her “nice, clean house” without washing off whatever mess we had gotten ourselves into that day.

Growing up in garages has forever cemented my appreciation for them as dirty, non-precious spaces set aside for residents to transform into a stage for activities not accommodated elsewhere in the home. Grandma Sharon’s “nice, clean house” rule always felt like an acknowledgment of the garage’s consequential role in our lives as the space where we prepared ourselves for the rarefied domestic interior. For people like us, garages are the front door to a vital part of the house. For others, garages can be an entryway to thinking about how we might harness our living spaces to better suit our needs, and how our homes might better connect us to one another.

My grandpas used their garages as de facto workshops, but a workshop is just one thing a garage can be. In their 2017 publication Rebel Garages, Ann Lui and Craig Reschke of the architectural practice Future Firm documented a series of retrofitted garages from around their headquarters in Chicago that had come to do more than store cars—and instead host things like artists’ studios, a music venue, and an agricultural pickup spot—showing how these shape-shifting spaces offer places for community and culture. The authors go on to describe alleys, those urban cousins of garages that do everything from store trash to host block parties, as the connective tissue that stitches together experiments in DIY placemaking with a city’s built environment.

Unprogrammed space, like unprogrammed time, allows for creative freedom. For Alessandro Orsini and Nick Roseboro of the studio Architensions, that freedom is born when we shelve modern sensibilities around the separation of work and play. “The creation of spaces and programs for free time—such as the park and the stadium—speak about the artificial institution of division in the urban context,” they wrote in a 2022 essay called “Log-in Labor, Log-in Leisure.” The pair proposes reorganizing our homes and cities based on Dutch cultural theorist Johan Huizinga’s principles of play in his 1938 book Homo Ludens, which posits that play should be organized but free, and not done solely to create something physical and of value.

It’s not a bad idea. My parents wouldn’t like to hear that I grew up around power tools—but in my grandpa’s workshops, those tools were their medium for play. Did they ever produce things of “value” in their garages? Maybe, but that certainly wasn’t the point. Classic cars, refurbished table legs, and a semi-functional trebuchet came into existence in those entropic spaces. The end result was always second in importance to figuring out how to make it.

In garages, ephemerality often accompanies entropy. Flexible architecture invites people to mold their spaces to fit their lifestyles—which may not adhere to a floor plan, furniture layout, or traditional definitions of domestic space. Andrés Jacque’s architectural performance series “Ikea Disobedients” (2011–12) underscores this reality. Carried out on a set of a residential interior built with objects from Ikea—whose advertisements have historically depicted the home as sunny, apolitical spaces for primarily young, blond, healthy families who either have children or are about to—the project, first performed in Madrid, hosted live, public conversations and activities by local community members that were typically done in private. In showing how the normative behaviors associated with living spaces aren’t necessarily followed by everyone, the performances celebrate alternative models of domesticity and the areas that allow for it.

Our homes ought to allow for more subtle forms of self-expression, too. My dad’s garage isn’t augmented to the degree that my grandpas’ were, but there are still things about it that speak to me about who he is. Inside, band and concert posters cover nearly every inch of drywall, a blank slate for his own embellishing. They’re the first thing that greets me as I arrive home (and enter through the garage, of course), and they help me understand my dad’s relationship with a community of music junkies.

Among the posters is a set of old nylon fold-out camping chairs. While unassuming, these seats are crucial to many midwestern households. When thunderstorms come through in spring and early summer (provided that there aren’t any sirens, and that the beloved Nebraska weatherman Bill Randby isn’t on TV), the garage momentarily transforms into a storm-viewing deck for watching the rain and wind roll through. Once the storm passes, the garage goes back to being unprogrammed until it needs to be something else: a movie theater, a practice space, a workshop, or whatever we want it to be.