Plurale Tantum will contribute a virtual space for ideas on the urban design of cities and how they condition – and are conditioned by – the multiplicity of social identities that inhabit them. The potential of this discourse is to inform and strengthen planning and design practices to achieve a diverse, enjoyable, and sustainable urbanism.
Plurale Tantum’s literal translation from Latin is “plural only.” In English, the phrase refers to nouns that only have a plural form (i.e., “clothes” or “glasses”). The phrase communicates a belief that urbanism does not have a singular narrative and should be articulated through various perspectives. Black Urbanism, Queer Space, Latino New Urbanism, the spatial practices of borderless nations, and various other marginalized and otherwise existent cultural spatial practices can shed new light on the future of urbanism.
Leila Bozorg | Sloan Dawson | Sarah Nusser | Sara Zewde
Leila Bozorg | Zakcq Lockrem | Sarah Nusser | Sara Zewde
Leila Bozorg was raised in Amherst, Massachusetts. She is interested in urban policy and politics, their impacts on urban development, and their implications for social and spatial equity and identity. Leila currently lives in the South West quadrant of Washington DC, where she also works as a Presidential Management Fellow at the Department of Housing and Urban Development. She has a BA in Government Studies from Wesleyan University, and a Master in City Planning and Certificate in Urban Design from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Zakcq Lockrem zlockrem (at) gmail.com is originally from Minneapolis, but has spent most of his adult life roaming from Berlin to Boston before settling in for a time in Houston, where his partner is working on a PhD in urban anthropology at Rice University. His interests began in the spatial results of the politics of national identity, post-coloniality and sovereignty. His thesis at Harvard Graduate School of Design focused on the development of Montréal through the lens of Québécois nationalism. Since graduation, he has become increasingly interested in depictions of the urban in film and media and how discourse shapes perceptions and development of real urban places. He is as an urban designer and planner for Asakura Robinson in Houston’s 6th Ward where he works on bridging his theoretical background with the everyday practice of urban design. He is also on the editorial committee for the Rice Design Alliance’s magazine Cite. When he isn’t thinking about cities (which isn’t very often), you’ll probably find him on his bike or homebrewing. He will be welcoming a new little urbanist to his home in September.
Sarah Nusser grew up in Fayetteville, AR and Louisville, KY, although her family moved frequently in her early childhood and since her mid-teen years. Her family’s roots are in the midwest, and as a queer woman growing up in the south, she has long been interested in gender and sexual identity and expression and their intersections with place, class, and race. She wrote her MIT masters thesis on the experiences of queer people in everyday urban spaces and implications for planning and design. She recently moved to Fresno, CA to participate in the White House’s ‘Strong Cities, Strong Communities‘ (SC2) initiative as a representative of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. She likes to spin music in her spare time, particularly jazz, r&b, soul, hip hop, rock and music that bridges one or more of these genres.
Sara Zewde sara.zewde (at) gmail.com grew up in Slidell, Louisiana and Houston, Texas. As a Black woman in the south with Ethiopian roots, she has long had a keen interest in the cultural spatial production of Afro-diasporic peoples and its potential to inform design and planning. This research question has led her to study and work in Brazil, South Africa, and New Zealand among other places, and inspired her to write her masters thesis at MIT on Black Urbanism as a design strategy for the potential removal of the Claiborne Expressway in New Orleans. Sara is currently studying Landscape Architecture at the Harvard Graduate School of Design and continues to consult on issues of transportation, urban design, and landscape. In her free time, she enjoys samba, rooting for the New Orleans Saints, and recently, painting.
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