Take Shape, No. 1 — Loft


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Charting the waters of architectural, legal, and political thinking, Take Shape's first issue takes up the topic of industrial reuse, with a focus on lofts. Lofts—residential spaces created from former commercial and manufacturing space—provide affordable housing and often serve as a respite from the profit-driven real estate market. Simultaneously, they can be co-opted by property developers and local officials to justify rising rents and increased policing in newly “safe,” “artistic,” and desirable neighborhoods. In this issue, we present all of these factors side by side, seeing them not as contradictions, but as essential components of how such spaces function.

This issue features a satirical proposal on converting vacant mansions into artist studios by Palacit; an upcoming artist’s housing complex in DC by MOS Architects; and a reexamination of The Yellow Building, a drawing by William Powhida that promotes the formation of tenant organizations for artists. It includes illustrated safety tips for DIY living spaces; a watercolor series by Jimmy Mezei on his late father-in-law’s loft; an ode to the general contractor by Simone Kaplan-Senchak; a longform consideration of NYC’s Loft Law by Julia Goodman; a polemic against Oakland’s reaction to the Ghost Ship fire and artist gentrification by Jaime Omar Yassin; a response to Antikraak policies in the Netherlands by Bernd Upmeyer; a DIY housing reading list by Sam Winks; and a reflection on the South Street Seaport in Chris Kraus’s short film How to Shoot a Crime by Nolan Boomer. Finally, the publication highlights conversations with video artist Ericka Beckman and Chicago-based organizer Marguerite Horberg on the importance of ad hoc spaces in their practices.

Edited by Nolan Boomer and Julia Goodman

Designed by Sean Suchara

Published by Take Shape, 2017

Softcover, 80 pages, Risograph duotone with color insert, 8 × 10 inches

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