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Articles by Lisa Selin Davis

Lisa Selin Davis's articles on architecture, real estate, and the environment, among other topics, have appeared in The New York Times,, OnEarth, and many other publications. She's the author of the novel Belly and lives in Brooklyn, NY

Featured Article

It was one of those days when Manhattan felt like it was underwater: The air was soupy with August humidity, and a sheet of sweat covered my body as I made my way to 46th Street and Broadway. I had convinced exactly zero friends to come with me to see conceptual artist Mel Chin’s new exhibit about climate change, not because they weren’t interested in the subject but because of its location; New Yorkers will do anything to avoid Times Square. It’s like being in a crowded rush-hour subway, except you’re surrounded by seven-story billboards and thousands of tourists.

Damp and dewy, I arrived at Unmoored, a “mixed reality experience” that “imagines a future in which New York is underwater, as projected by climate scientists,” according to the exhibit’s website.

About 10 people in Disney character costumes were milling about, hoping tourists would take pictures with them and then tip them. I could see the sweat glistening in openings of the polyester costumes of Olaf, Elsa, Minnie Mouse, Mickey Mouse, Iron Man, and two identical Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.

The exhibit has two parts: The first is Wake, a 60-foot long sculpture that evokes the skeleton of a ship... Read more

All Articles

  • Climate change, my microbiome, and me

    We blame a lot on global warming -- but science might not be ready to indict it for tummy troubles.

  • The secret mall gardens of Cleveland

    Photo: Gardens Under GlassThe shopping mall is not dead. In Cleveland, in fact, it’s growing green: cucumbers, lettuce, herbs and even flowers.   In the former Galleria at Erieview mall, a project called Gardens Under Glass is taking root, part of a grand plan to transform malls into greenhouses. It’s just one of many Cleveland-based projects, […]

  • McMansion modular

    Remember when modular homes were going to be part  of the “green” future?  In the post-Dwell, post-postmodern architecture era, pre-fab was going to be cheap, green, hot and hip.  Yes, finally, an antidote to McMansions and an affordable alternative to ballooning home prices.  As if that were not enough,  these stylish boxes were set to […]

  • Nothing will drive the suburbs away

    Photo: FrankMaurer FlickrThe news that GM will cease production of Hummers revived the brewing argument that suburbia is in fatal decline.  Hummers are the perfect corollary to McMansions, symbols of excess, leftovers from the roaring aughts that now seem outlandish, indulgent and environmentally offensive. No buyers for Hummers plus no buyers for homes in far […]