Matthew Johnson is faculty at the University of Houston Gerald D. Hines College of Architecture and Design.
Johnson, together with Jason Logan, runs a Houston-based architectural practice called LOJO: Logan and Johnson Architecture. The award-winning firm was founded in 2011 as a research office at the intersection of architecture, urbanism, and landscape. LOJO regards architecture as a social and ecological practice that is at once speculative and practical—dedicated both to understanding twenty-first century urban conditions and to expanding architecture’s role within those conditions. Johnson is also the author of numerous essays on contemporary urbanism and architecture.
Houston Genetic City
Peter Zweig, Matthew Johnson, Jason Logan No city in the United States is synonymous with unbridled growth and land speculation as the sprawling Texas city of Houston. Though Houston is described as a city, its massive size makes it regional or even megaregional in scale—including a patchwork of satellite downtowns and suburbs, a vast floodplain of bayous and coastal prairie, as well as a long stretch of Gulf Coast. This fragile landscape is increasingly beset by global problems, from flooding to rampant growth to congestion. Its lack of zoning means ad hoc developments scatter across the landscape with little formal planning, where urban developments are always provisional and negotiable. Houston Genetic City is a collaborative and speculative book about Houston’s future, and by extension the future of urbanism in unplanned cities globally. Using maps, photographs, timelines, and collages, the book lays out the conditions for new urbanization in this fragile landscape. We