New Journal Delves into the Political Realities of Architecture and Urban Planning

The debut issue of Take Shape, which centers on the re-use of lofts, features a mix of long-form journalism and critical essays.

take shape journal architecture urban planning
The debut issue of Take Shape—a new journal about the intersection of architecture and politics—is devoted to lofts and includes a wealth of textual and visual perspectives and resources on the contemporary built environment. Courtesy Take Shape

Who says design publishing is dying? Take Shape—a new journal devoted to architecture and politics—is the brainchild of editors Nolan Boomer (formerly of Princeton Architectural Press), who was interested in urban design but wanted to look deeper into the political realities of planning, and Ozzy Llinas Goodman, a legal reporter on labor and civil rights who also wanted to cover the effect of urban planning on individuals.

“We wanted to bring these spaces together to create something informed by both artistic and political methods of information gathering,” says Llinas Goodman, who enlisted a third editor, Cole Cataneo, and designer Sean Suchara. “Take Shape unites a broader audience invested in understanding the experiential realities linked to the built environment. For us, this means including work by both the users and creators of buildings, in a way that neither elevates experts over everyday users nor ignores the broader systemic causes of urban planning problems.”

The debut issue, centered on industrial reuse—specifically lofts—features a mix of long-form journalism and critical essays, as well as more unusual pieces such as a satirical visual proposal to reclaim foreclosed McMansions for artists’ space and a list of DIY safety tips crowd-sourced from loft dwellers and fact-checked by a volunteer architect. The publication’s next iteration will focus on commuting. Says Llinas Goodman: “We aim to explore how community action and urban design can shift outdated conceptions of travel from point A to point B.”

You may also enjoy “2018 Game Changers: 5 Remarkable Individuals Who Are Transforming Architecture, Design, and Cities.”

Recent Viewpoints