With three billion more humans projected to be living in cities by 2050, all design is increasingly urban design. And with as much data now produced every day as was produced in all of human history to the year 2007, all architecture is increasingly information architecture. Praised in the New York Times for its "intelligent enquiry and actionable theorizing," Local Code is a collection of data-driven tools and design prototypes for understanding and transforming the physical, social, and ecological resilience of cities. The book's data-driven layout arranges drawings of 3,659 digitally-tailored interventions for vacant public land in San Francisco, Los Angeles, New York City, and Venice, Italy. Between these illustrated case studies, critical essays present surprising and essential links between such designs and the seminal work of urbanist Jane Jacobs, artist Gordon Matta-Clark, and digital mapping pioneer Howard Fisher, along with the developing science of urban nature and complexity. In text and image, Local Code presents a digitally prolific, open-ended approach to urban resilience and social and environmental justice; at once analytic and visionary, it pioneers a new field of enquiry and action at the meeting of big data and the expanding city.
Nicholas de Monchaux is Associate Professor of Architecture and Urban Design at UC Berkeley. He is the author of Spacesuit: Fashioning Apollo, winner of the Eugene Emme award from the American Astronautical Society and shortlisted for the Art Book Prize. His design work has been exhibited widely, including at the 2010 Biennial of the Americas, the 2012 Venice Architecture Biennale, and San Francisco's SFMOMA. A recipient of the 2013-2014 Rome Prize, he has received additional fellowships from the Macdowell Colony, Hellman Family Fund, Santa Fe Institute, Smithsonian Institution, and Van Alen Institute.