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Vol. 27, No. 2: Built / Unbuilt

Front Porch: Built/Unbuilt

by Tom Rankin

I have always been drawn to those places that mark the landscape, serve as our monuments of remembrance and guide our way and knowledge of the local, seeming to last in our consciousness even when they have nearly disappeared on a return to their previous unbuilt state. “It’s over there where Cedric’s house used to be,” we might say, giving directions to someone. I am also forever lured into those landscapes where humanmade structures seem to insist on inevitable presence with a kind of naïve arrogance, precariously attempting to coexist with the natural world at the peril of both. Surveying the southern landscape, we find countless examples of the built world that project confident illusions of permanence, environments created for singular and communal purposes that are fully a part of what’s truly here, but also what is perpetually going and destined to be gone. This Built/Unbuilt special issue, so beautifully guest edited by Burak Erdim, brings insight and conversation to all of this, from the nuances of building a home in a new place to our collective quest to discover paradise in tarnished, overbuilt landscapes.

This article appears as an abstract above, the complete article can be accessed in Project Muse
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