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Photo: Patrick Feller

Annual Lawndale Art Center/Design Council Lecture “In Praise of Man-Made Nature”

Wednesday, Apr 23, 2014
6:30 p.m. - 7:30 p.m.

Law Building, Lower Level
1001 Bissonnet Map & Directions


Presented by Karrie Jacobs, School of Visual Arts, New York.

The real lesson of New York City's celebrated High Line is not that every city needs an elevated linear park, but that the features of our cities that we've long disused, ignored, and written off as blight are actually valuable components of our unnatural natural environment. Long regarded as liabilities, abused rivers like Newark's Passaic, the Los Angeles River, and Houston's Buffalo Bayou are being transformed into assets.

Even the most obstructive, no-man’s-land-generating form of urban infrastructure—the elevated expressway—can, with skill and imagination, be incorporated into metropolitan form of nature. While Frederick Law Olmsted's 19th-century landscapes afforded an escape from the urban life, the 21st-century approach to man–made nature offers a deeper immersion into our changing cities.

Karrie Jacobs is a professional observer of the man-made landscape. For 10 years she wrote the "America" column for Metropolis magazine about how ideas and strategies in architecture and design play out in the real world. She's currently a faculty member at DCrit, the School of Visual Arts' graduate program in design criticism; a contributing editor at Travel + Leisure; and a frequent contributor to Architect. She is author of The Perfect $100,000 House: A Trip across America and Back in Pursuit of a Place to Call Home (Viking, 2006) and was the founding editor in chief of Dwell Magazine. Prior to launching Dwell, Karrie served as the architecture critic of New York Magazine and was also the founding executive editor of Benetton’s Colors Magazine.

A reception to meet the speaker follows the program. This annual lecture kicks off Design Fair 2014 at the Lawndale Art Center.

Reserve your free ticket in advance! Use the “Get Tickets” button above and print at home; call 713.639.7771; or visit any MFAH admissions desk.

Education programs receive generous funding from the Kinder Foundation; the Institute of Museum and Library Services; ExxonMobil; the Favrot Fund; Mr. William J. Hill; Occidental Petroleum Corporation; the National Museum of Korea; the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation; Susanne M. and Melbern G. Glasscock;
The Brown Foundation, Inc.; The Americana Foundation; Houston Junior Woman’s Club; The Crain Foundation; TMK IPSCO; Cameron International Corporation; Aggie and Joe Foster; the Sterling-Turner Foundation; and The Susan Vaughan Foundation.