When I shuttered my independent architectural design practice to attend graduate school, I knew I would return to private practice some day, even if I didn't know when. Last year, I decided it was time and I founded Studio Plat, a geospatial research and development practice. Studio Plat is the outcome of my several-years ruminations on what it would mean to establish a practice not just as a designer, but as an historian as well. I didn't have too many examples of "history practices" to look to, but I did become inspired by the many hybrid design practices out there that push beyond conventional boundaries of how architects and urban planners are expected to do their work.
Thus Studio Plat is my vision of a "history practice," a way of engaging the production of architectures and urbanisms through the lens of historical and geospatial analysis using the latest in digital technologies. Our tag line is "solving spatial problems with data, humanism, and design," which reflects my ongoing interest in the convergence of people, places, and processes.
Our work specifically concerns urban informatics and data mapping, with a special focus on collecting, analyzing, and mapping historical data. In addition to working with clients, we are also initiating our own projects, most of which revolve around creating tools to aid in research on architecture and cities. Our flagship project, PARCi (a public archive of architecture and cities), is a digital historical atlas of the world's cities. PARCi is still in development but we will be releasing test versions of it over the coming weeks. Sign up on the PARCi website if you're interested in testing it out.