thinking about and working on

  • working on the completion of English editions/translations of two books by Bruno Munari: Design e comunicazione visiva (1968) and Fantasia (1977); which will be appearing with Inventory Press in later 2024.
  • Innovation (in 10 Keywords). Working up a short book that consists in a lexicon of 10 + 1 micro-essays written in the style of Raymond Williams’ acclaimed Keywords. The words are: Change > Progress > Disruption > Renewal > Evolution > Revolution > Invention > Tradition > Metamorphosis > Translation.
  • gathering materials and working out aspects of the argument of a large-scale book on the artist/designer/design educator BRUNO MUNARI; I’m way behind on this, but still chipping away at it with pleasure.
  • working on a cultural history of the 20th century approached from the standpoint of the careers of new materials.  Chapters: “Rayon/Marinetti” (The Fabrics of Modern Times), “Glass/Terragni” (The Strange Tale of the Man of Glass [Who Was Made of Plastic]); “Luminous Aluminum” (A Biography of the Moka); “Cement/Gladkov” (Poesie Concrete); “Asphalt” (The Romance of the Tarmac); “Styrene Song/Queneau” (Plasticity); “Cardboard/Fuller” (The Dream of Paper Furniture).

unpublished manuscripts, other writing in progress

  • gathering materials on the history of public address systems and their impact upon the design of public spaces from the 1930s through the present as part of a broader inquiry into the prehistory of the electronic public sphere.
  • Quickening (an anthropology of speed).  Slowest book that I’ve ever written (ergo, still in progress after a decade and a half). I’ve published snippets here and there, in West 86th Street, among other places, but have hundreds of pages begging for attention in my desk’s top drawer.
  • “Sweat,” essay on sudor in medieval moral philosophy, medicine, and literature.
  • “Rubber Sole,” article on Ferragamo shoes and the Autarchy campaign of the 1930’s.


topics on which I’m gathering materials

  • looking for interesting materials about the history of CARDBOARD, especially cardboard housing and furniture, not to mention poetry and stories about cardboard; ditto for a couple of other materials: VULCANIZED RUBBER, SILICON, TITANIUM, STAINLESS STEEL, CARBON FIBER
  • the history and design of DISCOTHEQUES and light shows
  • quantitative notions of selfhood: biography as lab experiment (from Jules Michelet’s Journals to Piero Portaluppi and Bucky Fuller’s self-archiving practices to the Quantified Self movement

 other websites that I’ve been known to post on

Carbon Fiber