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  • Joshua McWhirter

  • Theories of Urban Practice (MA)

    Joshua McWhirter Alumni  -

    After graduating from the MA Theories of Urban Practice program, urbanist, writer, and audio producer Joshua McWhirter became the managing editor of Urban Omnibus and the senior editor of Failed Architecture. These online spaces are leading critical discourses on urban culture and citymaking.

    After earning a BA in Political Science from the University of North Texas and working as an audio producer, Joshua McWhirter joined the MA Theories of Urban Practice (TUP) program, completely shifting the direction of this career. “I owe much of my career to the MA TUP program. My thesis research became a springboard for several writing and consulting projects after graduation leading to other opportunities.” His experience at Parsons and its rich learning environment were also vital in shaping his current practice. “My employment as a research assistant during the second year of the program gave me my first taste of editorial work,” he recalls. “Readings, coursework and discussions with faculty and fellow students...deeply shaped my understanding of the social, cultural and political-economic forces shaping urban space and experience.”

    Josh’s thesis Dispositioning Systems: Infrastructures of affect in the locative city, was the culmination of several months of research into the emergence of geolocative, mixed-reality media as novel forms of urban practice and as harbingers of new, network-driven urbanization processes. One of the goals of this project was challenging urban scholars and designers alike to radically rethink geolocative interfaces as a powerful distributed site of critical pedagogy, speculative design, and sociopolitical critique and action.

    Currently, Josh is the managing editor of Urban Omnibus, the digital publication of the Architectural League of New York. He is also a senior editor for Failed Architecture, an Amsterdam-based platform for critical urban discourse. “I have worked with architects, planners, journalists, artists and activists on stories about technology, housing, waste, and the climate crisis, while my own writing focuses largely on the intersection of digital media, infrastructure, and urbanization.”

    Since graduating, Josh has also collaborated on a special workshop series with the Magnum Foundation, given talks at the Radical Networks and Theorizing the Web conferences, and contributed a chapter to the forthcoming Routledge Guide to Mobile Media Art.

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