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CITY PLANAR

Balthazar Korab, TWA Flight Center in JFK International Airport (Queens, New York), 1964, gelatin silver print, 11 x 14". © Korab Image.

“THIS WILL KILL THAT!” So proclaims Archdeacon Claude Frollo, the villain of Victor Hugo’s Gothic romance The Hunchback of Notre Dame. Standing before the titular cathedral, he brandishes a cutting-edge device: a book. Though the novel takes place not long after the invention of the printing press, Frollo presciently understands that this revolutionary new technology will obviate architecture’s role in acculturating and indoctrinating the masses. But by the time Hugo published the novel in 1831, his compatriots Nicéphore Niépce and Louis Daguerre had already produced the world’s first photographs, setting in motion a series of at least equally cataclysmic shifts that would, in time, render the printed volume as quaint as an edifice of hand-carved stone.

These days, books are the least of architecture’s worries. How can the field keep up with the graphic effects that allow Hollywood

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