[thinking and writing about urban culture, space, identity, and design]
gdouglas [at] nyu [dot] edu
I am a writer, researcher, and photographer of urban places and cultures. I recently completed my PhD in sociology at the University of Chicago, and am now a postdoctoral research fellow at NYU's Institute for Public Knowledge, where I am working on the Rebuild by Design initiative. My writing and photography have appeared in Urban Studies, Architect Magazine, City & Community, GOOD and elsewhere. I recently served as project research director and curatorial advisor for "Spontaneous Interventions," the U.S. Pavilion at the 13th Venice Architecture Biennale, for which I also co-edited the exhibition catalogue. My work centers on issues of local cultural identity, urban development, environmental change, and people's interactions with their physical surroundings in cities around the world.
My forthcoming book concerns the creation of unauthorized "DIY urban design" contributions and what these informal improvement efforts tell us about the state of the contemporary city. Additional recent studies have focused on how the ideologies of contemporary first-wave gentrifiers influence the geography of neighborhood change at the 'urban frontier' (link), the impact of local cultural expectations on the urban development process (link), and the role mass transit design can play in promoting community identity (link). My research seeks to inform how (and for whom) our cities are organized, designed and understood, as well as contribute to the discourse on urban political economy and critical social theory. I sometimes write about my work and other thoughts and projects concerning urban space and culture on twitter and on my blog.
I hold Masters degrees in Sociology from the University of Chicago, in Global Media from the London School of Economics, and in Global Communication from the University of Southern California Annenberg School for Communication. I have a Bachelors degree in International Relations from USC. I'm also an avid cyclist, gardener, and neighborhood enthusiast. Born in London, England and raised in Davis, California, I currently divide my time between New York, Los Angeles, and Chicago.
Some recent bits of writing are available below (see C.V. for up-to-date list and full citations):
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