PhD Candidate, Ford Dissertation Fellow
BA 1999 (Architecture) Cornell University; MS 2004 (Architecture and Urbanism) Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Research interests: architecture, design, landscape, urban history, internet & society
Regional focus: U.S. Cities; California
My official education in geography started at Berkeley, but having been trained first as an architect, I figure that I have been interested in spatial issues for a long time. My work has moved me somewhat away from the individual building scale of my professional background, but architectural design opened the path to seeking out the underlying politics that mold the city as a whole. My curiosity about vernacular landscapes, architecture, and the politics of memory drew me to geography as an inquiry into the shaping of spaces. Previous writing I've done has centered on post-Cold War military landscapes that come to influence ideas of nature. I wrote about the case of Vieques, Puerto Rico, in my master's thesis, condensed into an article that appeared in Traditional Dwellings and Settlements Review (PDF). In my dissertation I seek to understand the transformation of former military areas into urban parks in California's cities, especially the San Francisco Bay Area. More info in 2011-2012 about presentations and writing.
2010. "Dangers in the Air: Aerosol Architecture and its Invisible Landscapes". Alphabet City: Air. Number 15. MIT Press and Alphabet City Media. / An excerpt appears at Design Observer, October 21, 2010. (Amazon)
2005. "Vieques, Puerto Rico: From Devastation to Conservation and Back Again" (CLICK FOR PDF). Traditional Dwellings and Settlements Review. Volume XVII, Number 1. Berkeley: The International Association for the Study of Traditional Environments.
2005. “Nature’s Home” (with Mitchell Joachim and Lara Greden). 306090 – 08: Autonomous Urbanism. Kjersti Monson and Alex Duval, editors. (New York: Princeton Architectural Press). pp. 39-44. Link on Google Books
Websites of interest
Javier.est.pr | selected posts: "High Quality Replica Rolex Watches" (talk at MIT History, Theory and Criticism Forum, April 7, 2009). | Architecture Imagined as Ecological | Toshiko Mori interview | Who’s Afraid of ‘Slumdog’ (and in love with the slums)?