Notes Toward A History of Change

The extraordinary David Bowie was a shape-shifting avatar of the postmodern era. His passing is a prompt to consider the curious nature of change in an era that seems to have given up on progress — an era during which design practice downscaled from the grand ambitions of high modernism to the modesty of design thinking and problem solving.

The remarkable career of David Bowie was defined by restless transformation. His passing is a prompt to consider the curious nature of change in an era that’s given up on progress.




  • Naomi Stead
  • shannon-mattern-new2
  • david-heymann
  • Aaron Rothman

Naomi Stead

Naomi Stead is a columnist for Places. She is an architecture critic and senior research fellow at the University of Queensland, Australia.

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Shannon Mattern

Shannon Mattern is a columnist for Places. She is Associate Professor in the School of Media Studies at The New School in New York.

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David Heymann

David Heymann is a columnist for Places. He is an architect, and the Harwell Hamilton Harris Regents Professor in Architecture at the University of Texas, Austin.

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Aaron Rothman

Aaron Rothman is the photo editor of Places, and an artist and writer whose work explores contemporary issues in landscape.

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