Category Archives: Social Norms

Teaching Los Angeles

Los Angeles is so often criticized in this century as a failed city, an anti-city lacking the traditional hierarchies and radial density gradient that we have come to take for granted as key characteristics of functioning large cities.  That which … Continue reading

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Language, Architecture and Anthropology

The following paragraphs will seek to shed some light on the anthropological drivers of architects using jargon and superfluous language and the role it plays in architecture. Continue reading

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Storytelling and Surveillance

I just read an interesting blog post from Richard Smith about the possibility of self-fulfilling prophecies driving the increase in urban surveillance networks. He wrote that while attending a conference on surveillance cameras, a presentation was given examining the public … Continue reading

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Behavior-based Architecture and Design

Josh Owen has designed and developed a portable Stoop Bench for use in varied urban environments. He writes, “Philadelphia is a city of stoop dwellers. Stoops entered into the vernacular of American architecture during the colonial times…The Philadelphia stoop functions … Continue reading

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Architecture, Anthropology, Skyscrapers and Economics

Nick Gogerty has put together an interesting and brief post on the coinciding events of economic bubbles and skyscrapers. The latest example of this is of course the Burj Khalifa in Dubai, which began five years ago in a boom. … Continue reading

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Architectural Folklore

After completing the previous post of Storytelling, Cultural Transmission and Architecture I began to wonder if there are any architectural folklore or stories, and if there are, how they affect the built environment and people’s preferences toward architecture and cities. … Continue reading

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Storytelling, Cultural Transmission and Architecture

Storytelling has a great value among societies as a method of cultural transmission and social learning. I have recently reread an anthropology article entitled Cross-Cultural Comparison of Learning in Human Hunting. The goal of the article was to examine the … Continue reading

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Architecture and Anthropology in The House of Mirth

This fall I read The House of Mirth by Edith Wharton on the recommendation of a former professor. It is a tale of a young woman in New York’s high society in the early 1900s and follows her social rise … Continue reading

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Social Intelligence and Storytelling

I recently finished reading 1,001 Arabian Nights, a book I was interested to read after recalling some of my anthropology lectures. In 1,001 Arabian Nights, an Arabian king named Sharyar discovers his wife has been unfaithful to him. After years … Continue reading

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The Viral Influence of Social Networks

This article, The Buddy System: How Medical Data Revealed Secret to Health and Happiness, was published in Wired magazine in September 2009. Two researchers began to pour over decades of health information found about the population of Framingham, MA. The … Continue reading

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