Richard Ingersoll received his PhD from the University of California at Berkeley, under the direction of Spiro Kostof. He has taught courses in Renaissance and contemporary art, architecture, and urbanism at Rice University, the ETH Zurich, Università di Ferrara, Syracuse University’s Florence program and Politecnico di Milano.
Ingersoll was the editor of "Design Book Review" and art director for the film "Esther.” His recent books include Sprawltown, Looking for the City on Its Edges (2006). His articles appear regularly in "Arquitectura Viva," "Il Giornale di Architettura," "Harvard Design Magazine," "Architecture," and "Bauwelt." His recent book World Architecture: A Cross-Cultural History builds upon Spiro Kostof's global vision and social context (in A History of Architecture: Settings and Rituals) integrating extensive coverage of world and contemporary architecture in order to provide the most comprehensive survey in the field.
Eat the City: The case for civic agriculture
"Urban development during the past half century has eaten away the clear edges of cities, leaving ambiguous empty spaces. While the resulting disorderly appearance betrays the expectations of coherent urban morphology, I have come to realize that one must have compassion for such patchy areas. They are part of the lived experience of at least half of humanity and for this deserve attention as spots of potential quality."
In the article Eat the city, IIngersoll explores how innovative landscape architects and urbanists are grappling with these "patchy areas," and he proposes an alternative approach he calls "civic agriculture" — the reconceptualization of cities as diverse agricultural zones, from productive parks to allotments, with the ultimate goal of a richer public realm. He discusses landscape designs and artworks by Gilles Clément, Alan Sonfist and Carlo Scoccianti; as well as models of urban farming in Denmark, Germany, Spain, Italy, and the United States.
Richard Ingersoll, “Eat the City,” Places Journal, June 2013.