Essays by Professor of Practice Mary-Ann Ray and Associate Professor Jason Young featured in Distributed Urbanism: Cities After

Taubman College Architecture Alum Gretchen Wilkins has published a collection of essays titled Distributed Urbanism: Cities After Google Earth. Professor Mary-Ann Ray and Associate Professor Jason Young are two of fifteen selected essayists directly or indirectly exploring urban forms beyond the proliferation digital satellite imagery.

Ray’s essay, written in conjunction with StudioWorks and BASEbeijing partner Robert Mangurian, is entitled “Rural urbanism: thriving under the radar – Beijing’s villages in the city.” Urban villages are a phenomenon swallowing rural villages due to the exploding population of the city. Ray, Mangurian and their students at BASEbeijing (a study abroad program at Taubman College) have been exploring the unique economies and structures of these villages, which exist outside of the logic of the rest of the city.

The essay “Density of Emptiness” by Young explores the unique and sometimes disturbing spatial conditions of Detroit as “a city under erasure.” He takes a new look at concepts of figure and void by comparing the materially dense – though vacant of population – downtown with the density of emptiness in the rest of the city. Given these densities, Young argues that Detroit has formed a new type of urbanism.