14 Articles by:

Douglas Murphy

Douglas Murphy is a writer, teacher, and architect. His latest book is Nincompoopolis: The Follies of Boris Johnson (Repeater, 2017).

Make Do and Mend

However you read the statistics, the climate crisis has to mean less building. What does a future of living in old buildings hold for the future of architecture?

The Dialectics of Space

A new book on the history of space exploration explores the utopian dreams that drive us towards the stars – but also the capitalist realities that make outer space a plaything of billionaires.

Art School Confidential

New research on Vkhutemas, the Moscow school of design dubbed the ‘Soviet Bauhaus’, reveals the sheer scale of revolutionary ambitions – but also a mismatch between mundane tasks and extravagant dreams.

Something in the Air

A new book on modern architecture and climate researches the passive cooling strategies that immediately preceded the age of air-conditioning. In the age of accelerating climate change, can we learn anything from them?

The First Metropolis to Disappear

Patrick Keiller’s classic 1994 film ‘London’ combines a left-wing critique of the development of Britain’s capital with an ambitious aesthetic – but more than 25 years later, even its version of the city seems utopian.

The Business Park Parliament

The story of the Greater London Authority’s move away from its purpose-built headquarters to a docklands business park sums up the relationship between local government and developers that defines the capital city.

All Kinds of Folk

The late Alasdair Gray was Glasgow’s finest – a talent worthy of the great city he depicted both in his murals and monumental novels.

Lidos for All

Under capitalism private rooftop pools atop lavish apartment blocks dot the skylines of our cities – but, under socialism, the public pool could be a civic investment in the good life.

The Addison Act at 100

A century ago, the Addison Act made working class housing a responsibility of the state – and paved the way for the construction of hundreds of thousands of council homes.