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.




  • Despina Stratigakos
  • Alan Thomas
  • david-heymann
  • Simon Sadler

Despina Stratigakos

Despina Stratigakos is a columnist for Places. She is an internationally recognized historian and interim chair of the architecture department at the University at Buffalo.

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Alan Thomas

Alan Thomas is a columnist for Places. He is Editorial Director for the Humanities and Social Sciences at the University of Chicago Press and a photographer specializing in urban landscape.

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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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Simon Sadler

Simon Sadler is a columnist for Places. He teaches the history and theory of architecture, design, and urbanism across several programs at the University of California, Davis, where he is a professor in the Department of Design.

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