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Rania Ghosn _ El Hadi Jazairy




This week is a conversation with the architects Rania Ghosn + El Hadi Jazairy about their recent book Geostories: Another Architecture for the Environment.

(Bcck cover blurb) How do we make sense of the Earth at a moment in which it is presented in crisis? Geostories is a manifesto for the environmental imagination that renders sensible the issues of climate change and through geographic fiction invites readers to relate to the complexity of Earth systems in their vast scales of time and space. The series of architectural projects becomes a medium to synthesize different forms and scales of knowledge on technological externalities, such as oil extraction, deep-sea mining, ocean acidification, water shortage, air pollution, trash, space debris, and a host of other social-ecological issues. The book is organized into three sections–terrarium, aquarium, planetarium, each of which revisits such devices of wonder that assemble publics around representations of the Earth. Through design research, Geostories brings together spatial history, geographic representation, projective design, and material public assemblies to speculate on ways of living with such legacy technologies on the planet.




Design Earth is a collaborative practice led by El Hadi Jazairy and Rania Ghosn. The office’s work engages the geographic to open up a range of aesthetic and political concerns for architecture and urbanism. Literally, ‘earth-writing’ from the Greek geo (earth) and graphia (writing), the practice of making geographies involves the coupled undertakings of “writing about,” projecting or representing the earth and also “writing on,” marking, forming or presenting again a world.

Design Earth is based in Ann Arbor, MI and Cambridge MA.

Rania Ghosn is an architect, geographer and partner of Design Earth. She is currently assistant professor at Massachusetts Institute of Technology School of Architecture + Planning. Her work critically frames the urban condition at the intersection of politics, aesthetics and technological systems – be they energy, trash, or farming. Rania holds a Doctor of Design from Harvard University Graduate School of Design, a Master in Geography from University College London, and a Bachelor of Architecture from American University of Beirut. Prior to joining MIT, she was an Assistant Professor at University of Michigan and a Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow at Boston University. Rania is founding editor of the journal New Geographies and editor-in-chief of NG2: Landscapes of Energy. Some of her recent writings have been published in GSD Platform, Journal of Architectural Education, MONU, Thresholds, Bracket, San Rocco, and Perspecta.

El Hadi Jazairy is a licensed architect and a founding partner of Design Earth. He is currently assistant professor of architecture at the University of Michigan. His research investigates spaces of exception –such as institutional campuses, free zones, and city-states– as predominant forms of contemporary urbanization. El Hadi holds a Doctorate of Design from Harvard, a Master of Architecture from Cornell, and a Bachelor of Architecture from La Cambre in Brussels. Prior to his appointment at the University of Michigan, El Hadi was Lecturer at MIT, and a Postdoctoral Fellow at Harvard. El Hadi is founding editor of the journal New Geographies and editor-in-chief of NG4: Scales of the Earth. Some of his recent work has been published in Journal of Cultural Geography, GSD Platform, Topos, Journal of Architectural Education, San Rocco, and MONU.

Design Earth Website


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