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City Transformation
Photo: Dominic Morel
The headline on the cover of the October 2006 Dwell magazine caught my eye: “New Homes, Transformed Cities.” Opening the issue, I found fascinating profiles about dwellings in three different parts of the United States: Kansas City, Missouri; Jackson, Wyoming; and New Orleans, Louisiana.

The introduction to these profiles focuses on creating context. “In 1941, New Yorker architecture critic Lewis Mumford published his seminal book "The South in Architecture", pushing for architects to chart a new course for building in response to their time and place.”

Each of the three cities has different challenges. Kansas City is being revitalized. Jackson has soaring market prices yet innovative design is hard to find. Rebuilding New Orleans after devastation by Hurricane Katrina in August 2005 presents the opportunity to serve as a model of development for the future.

What Cities Have to Offer

Other cover stories of Dwell:  At Home in the Modern World” might indicate a design magazine—“Our Expert Picks the Best Armchairs” and “10 Materials that will Change Your Life.” However, there is a deeper dimension--examining how design affects daily life. Take note of the description of the Editor’s Note, “A street full of every imaginable housing type near editor-in-chief Allison Arieff’s home represents the best of what cities have to offer—but is it still possible today?”

The contents page tells us that in the article “Perpetual Motion, Vol. 2” on page 201, “Robert Sullivan explores the Midwest to examine how transportation shapes the way we live.”

Another article in this issue highlights recycling-friendly containers to encourage this necessary element of life—especially in crowded urban settings.

For more details, check this link:  www.dwell.com

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