PIN–UP 26 SPRING SUMMER 2019, THE DESERT ISSUE: Homes! Dreams! Hallucinogens!

Hot, dry, and hostile to (human) life, deserts the world over continue to be the subject of both fascination and fear. Their indomitable conditions have posed a challenge to many an adventurous spirit, from artists, architects, and businessmen to engineers and even entire governments. Perhaps these self-anointed pioneers are looking to widen their consciousness, or to build glitzy oases of glass and steel; maybe they’re erecting scientific test sites, or simply using the “wild” as a nuclear dump; but what they all have in common is their preconception of the desert as an empty space, a tabula rasa, an outlet for the perpetual human urge to conquer, colonize, build, and generally do whatever they want. (An illusion that’s digitally reinforced by the popularity of sandy OS screensavers.) The fact is, the desert is many things but it’s certainly not an uninhabited void. Instead it’s a space with its own rules, life, order, and ecosystems, teeming with flora and fauna and bursting with geological and biological histories. The mythical emptiness of the desert is thus a conceptual state of mind; like a blank slate for the human imagination, it stands for a can-do belief that anything is possible. In PIN–UP 26 we explore the work of architects, artists, designers, and thinkers who deal with the intangible and the seemingly insurmountable, both in the actual desert but also outside of it — from dream homes to man-made caves, from re-adapting and re-appreciating local vernacular to negotiating the challenges of an increasingly techno-rural world. “Deserts and ‘desertness,’” writes Shumon Basar in the introduction to the PIN–UP DESERT EXTRA SPECIAL, “allow for the fantasy of imagining an earth without us, or, at the liminal point when the ‘us’ is about to be no more.” In the age of climate change and the Anthropocene, what could be at once more fearfully sublime and more dreadfully liberating? PIN–UP’s desert issue is born from this spirit of exploration, of facing down fear, and facing up to the limits of your own time. You have six months to buy this issue. Now, go!

Felix Burrichter
Editor/Creative Director


The issue contains a 64-page DESERT EXTRA SPECIAL with thoughts on desertness by Shumon Basar; Ra Paulette’s man caves New Mexico, a road trip through the sultanate of Oman photographed by Kuba Ryniewicz, OMA’s desert adventures in the American West, Studio Anne Holtrop's material explorations in Bahrain, everyday street beauty in Iran, and work by Bureau Spectacular, Jürgen Mayer H., Charlap-Hyman & Herrero, Frank Gehry, Ed Ruscha, among many others. PLUS: A machine elf’s guide to desert flora by Carlos Sáez.

Also in the issue:

The husband and wife team has forged a practice that spans China’s past and future, cities and countryside. The pair’s more outspoken half expounds on the cultural battle for the heartland and the country’s unflagging pursuit of the new.
Interview by Andrew Ayers
Portraits by Hailun Ma

From outdoor desert installations to major museum shows, this unconventional painter’s work threads together architecture, explorations in perspective, and a love for 90s rap divas.
Interview by Mahfuz Sultan
Portraits by Rafik Greiss

Branching out on her own, the playful New York architect and educator creates vital spaces that bring people together, from a public pool in the East River to a spectacular funicular in her native Romania.
Interview by Pierre Alexandre de Looz
Portraits by Asger Carlsen

As elusive as he’s accomplished, this Milanese master and quick-witted nonagenarian has made inquisitive nuance his signature architectural style. A quick recap on 60 years of practice.
Interview by Hans Ulrich Obrist
Portraits by Omar Golli

And: The Israeli State attacks in the Negev explained by Eyal Weizman for Forensic Architecture; desert architecture by Arthur Elrod; Noor Al-Samarrai reminisces on Baghdad displacement and drought; a three-day philosophy rave in Nevada hosted by Chris Kraus; Michael Anastassiades’s retrospective in Cyprus; a close look at master weaver Gunta Stölzl; Tiffany Lambert explains the phenomenon of Trash Aesthetics; New York designer Leon Ransmeier shares his favorite chaises longues; an interview with Caryn Blair on fighting food deserts, with artwork by Elliott Jerome Brown Jr.; Messgewand’s digital furniture; a modular cork landscape by Bernard Dubois; a visit to Chen Chen & Kai Williams’s studio; New York’s New Establishment of architecture and design curators with José Esparza Chong Cuy, V. Mitch McEwen, and Alexandra Cunningham Cameron; Finland’s 10,000-year history of material culture; the history of Herman Miller; an encyclopedia of scale figures by MOS; a review of Blow Up, an exhibition about scale, nostalgia, and queer space; Audrey Large’s digital vases; Stromboli Associates’ sets and interiors; and two special design portfolios featuring home textiles and magic lamps.

Film by Philip Vanderhyden for PIN–UP.

Soundscape by Lafawndah for PIN–UP.