Author Archives: Laurin Baumgardt

Laurin is an anthropology PhD Student at Rice University and holds an M.A. in Cultural Anthropology from Leipzig University. His research interests center on development and design, housing and home-making, urban histories and architecture, as well as infrastructure theory.
Six bright yellow double-story houses. Someone is painting red lines to decorate them. People are walking down the street near these houses.

Urban Acupuncture Design Theory: Researching New Development Practices in South Africa

Sometimes it only takes a “spark,” a “simple, focused intervention,” a “single stroke of genius,” or “the single prick of a needle” to release the flows and create new energies. This is the defining assumption of “urban acupuncture,” an urban design theory that has become very popular among socially engaged architects and urban planners in recent years. Urban acupuncture borrows from traditional Chinese medicine to analogously think about, and also treat, the existing urban fabric as a living body with flows and blockages, wounds, and pain. (read more...)