MAS Context Spring Talks 2019
Tobias Armborst

 

Video shot and edited by Isabel Owen of Lucid Creative Agency.

 

Lecture by architect and urban designer Tobias Armborst as part of the MAS Context 2019 Spring Talks in Chicago. The lecture took place on Tuesday, May 14, 2019 at the Society of Architectural Historians.

 

The Arsenal of Exclusion & Inclusion

Urban History 101 teaches us that the built environment is not the product of invisible, uncontrollable market forces, but of human-made tools that could have been used differently (or not at all). The Arsenal of Exclusion & Inclusion is an encyclopedia of 202 tools—or what we call “weapons”—used by architects, planners, policy-makers, developers, real estate brokers, activists, and other urban actors in the United States use to restrict or increase access to urban space. The Arsenal of Exclusion & Inclusion inventories these weapons, examines how they have been used, and speculates about how they might be deployed (or retired) to make more open cities in which more people feel welcome in more spaces.

The Arsenal of Exclusion & Inclusion includes minor, seemingly benign weapons like no loitering signs and bouncers, but also big, headline-grabbing things like eminent domaon and city-county consolidation. It includes policies like expulsive zoning and annexation, but also practices like blockbusting, institutions like neighborhood associations, and physical things like bombs and those armrests that park designers put on benches to make sure homeless people don’t get too comfortable. It includes historical things that aren’t talked about too much any more (e.g., ugly laws), things that seem historical but aren’t (e.g., racial steering), and things that are brand new (e.g., aging improvement district).

With contributions from over fifty of the best minds in architecture, urban planning, urban history, and geography, The Arsenal of Exclusion & Inclusion offers a wide-ranging view of the policies, institutions, and social practices that shape our cities. It can be read as a historical account of the making of the modern American city, a toolbox of best practices for creating better, more just spaces, or as an introduction to the process of city-making in The United States.

 

Tobias Armborst, as part of Interboro, contributed to our Boundary issue with the article “The Arsenal of Exclusion & Inclusion.” You can read it online at www.mascontext.com/issues/17-boundary-spring-13/the-arsenal-of-inclusion-and-exclusion.

 

Tobias Armborst is an architect and urban designer, principal and co-founder of Interboro. Interboro is an award-winning architecture, urban design, and planning firm based in Brooklyn, New York. They are leading experts in public space design and community engagement. Tobias received a Diplom Ingenieur in Architecture from RWTH Aachen and a Master of Architecture in Urban Design from the Harvard Design School. He is Associate Professor of Architecture and Urban Studies at Vassar College. Along with Daniel D’Oca and Georgeen Theodore, principals and co-founders of Interboro, he is the author of the book The Arsenal of Exclusion & Inclusion (ACTAR, 2017).
www.interboropartners.com | @access_wars

 

The Arsenal of Inclusion and Exclusion © Courtesy of Interboro



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