Essay: Mapping Desire


I seek out desire lines. I write about architecture and cities for a living, but I am not a critic of stone and mortar. I do not parse aesthetic. Rather I tease out the hidden, the obfuscated. I am a detective, investigating the effect of edifice, of urban plans, of policy. You might ask: Why pass the grandest architecture, the lauded buildings, to look instead at the quotidian? Why consider the monotony of a cinderblock wall, or the ruptured shrapnel of an impassable sidewalk, and the paths that splinter off of these? Because desire lines act like contrails of human existence. They have a story to tell.

This essay titled “Mapping Desire” was born out of a collaboration with photographer Nate Larson. We explore the concept of “desire lines” through writing and imagery. Our piece originally appeared in BmoreArt, a Journal of Art + Ideas. Read the Full Mapping Desire Essay.


November 23, 2015