Surfers Paradise Highrise
A highrise in Surfers Paradise. Photo by Erik Veland.

The New York Times has a really cool interactive documentary up called “A Short History of the Highrise” starting with Roman insula and ending with futuristic skyscrapers. Here’s an excerpt of the introduction from the feature’s creator, Katerina Cizek:

When I set out to tell this story for Op-Docs, I came to realize that the history of the high-rise building is in many ways the history of humanity. I was faced with a daunting challenge: how to tell a 2,500-year global history in a short film? The solution was to expand the project into an ambitious four-part interactive series. I was inspired by the ways storybooks have been reinvented for digital tablets like the iPad. We used rhymes to zip through history, and animation and interactivity to playfully revisit a stunning photographic collection and reinterpret great feats of engineering.

I really enjoyed it; let me know what you think.

4 Replies to “New York Times Short History of High-Rise”

  1. Here’s a chart of US Urban vs. Rural poplation from 1960 to today:

    Google Chart

    While most of your readers will note the increase in urban population, I also note the constancy of the rural population. It makes me wonder about something that I read that cities are ways to handle overpopulation. So when the natural carrying capability of the land is exceeded, cities become buffers. And as those buffers fill, we build vertically. However, I wonder if that is a good or desirable thing.

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