Jonathan Solomon ’00 saw a void in the architectural press: Academic journals and consumer publications weren’t addressing the issues that he and other young architects were discussing. So with a group of fellow young architects, Solomon created a new journal, 306090: A Journal of Emergent Architecture + Design, to highlight the projects and ideas that were being ignored in the existing architectural press.

A third-generation architect, Solomon grew up thinking about design and its impact and speaking the language of architecture and design. “I’ve known pretty much since age 6 or so that architecture was something I wanted to do,” he says. “It’s like when you grow up in a household that speaks a second language. I’ve known forever that architecture is the language that I wanted to speak.” After receiving his degree in urban studies with a focus in architecture at Columbia, Solomon continued his studies at Princeton, earning a master’s in architecture.

During Solomon’s second year in his master’s program, he and classmate Jenny Ferng came up with the plan to start a journal that published student work. They wanted it to be more than a house organ for the architecture school, instead conceiving of something that could challenge and criticize the architectural establishment, including their own education. The first issue included the work of several young designers and a conversation with architectural critic Philip Nobel. After Ferng graduated, Solomon took 306090 to New York and incorporated it, bringing on new staff members, including architecture major Emily Abruzzo ’00. Partially funded with grants from the Richard H. Driehaus Foundation and the Graham Foundation for Advanced Studies in the Fine Arts, 306090 has a circulation of 2,000.

The first issue was launched with a simultaneous show at the Storefront for Art and Architecture, named “eMeRGenT” as a nod to the journal’s subtitle. A number of subsequent issues also have had a concurrent “eMeRGenT” show, designed as a way for contributors and readers to meet and to see the objects in the journal. The events have given 306090 more exposure and brought new and established designers together.

Solomon, Abruzzo and the other editors strive to create a mix of the new and old, finding fresh ways to look at traditional topics. Architect Michael Sorkin wrote about the possibility of an Olympics in the Bronx, which was followed by the work of five students who had developed models and proposals to put the plan into action. Another article explored Nathaniel Kahn’s documentary, My Architect, about his struggle to understand his father, Louis Kahn. Abruzzo says the editors would like to see more student work, maybe publishing “the very, very good competition entries that get lost when they don’t win.” Solomon is interested in working with “young people who are practicing in offices that nurture and appreciate their work, and also people whose offices are suppressing their work but are doing interesting work on the weekend.”

The theme for the third issue was “Collectives and Manifestoes.” Solomon wants to open a dialogue for architects and designers and exhorts his colleagues to join in. He jokes that his Columbia years were a great preparation, as “the best students are the troublemakers” and the Columbia education “can instill a very strong belief in making waves.” It was this belief in challenging the status quo, combined with his four years of editorial experience at Spectator, that led to the forming of 306090.

Distributed nationally through the Princeton Architectural Press, 306090 is available from bookstores, online booksellers, and from its Web site.

Originally published in Columbia College Today, July 2003

Posted in profiles, Uncategorized, Writing at July 18th, 2009.

When Honolulu-based Lizzy Murakami and Kara Sugihara weren’t able to find Jennifer Aniston’s trendy Friends outfits in stores, they channeled their sartorial frustration into The site, which launched last summer, features fashions from stylish TV shows and flicks with links for online shopping. Now fans can have Adam Brody’s Paul Frank tees or Mischa Barton’s Marc Jacobs frock as well as Aniston’s Rachel-wear. Best of all, the site also tracks down knockoffs. “The O.C. is our biggest show because the clothes are in a price range that people can actually afford,” says Sugihara. Next up, music-video wardrobes. We know you’ve been hankering for Christina Aguilera’s chaps…

Posted in etc., Uncategorized, Writing at July 18th, 2009.


If you have 20 cents, you can recapture your childhood on the Wildwood boardwalk. For that price, you can play a round of Flipper’s Fascination, a strangely hypnotic, and once widespread, midway game that is a cross between bingo and Skee-Ball. And if you keep playing and Randy Senna, the owner of the joint, is feeling generous, he might call out, “Next game on the house,” and you, like everyone around you, will focus all your energy into rolling a ball into one of 25 little holes, hoping for the lights on your board to go off, indicating that you have triumphed over all the other crazy vacationers.

Wildwood, New Jersey, is one of the few seaside towns that offer the attractions of nearly extinct pleasures, a place where you can still play Fascination, bocce, and shuffleboard; where you can wander the two-mile-long boardwalk with a Polish ice in one hand and a giant pretzel in the other; where drive-through windows are meant for bikes, not cars; and where riding down a giant slide in a burlap bag is still worth paying for. But the “doo wop” motels that give the town its distinctive look, buildings that seem to come straight out of “The Jetsons,” are being razed in favor of condominiums, and Skee-Ball has been pushed aside for louder arcade machines. The demolition of Wildwood has been so swift and unrelenting that last year the National Trust put the doo-wop motels on its list of Most Endangered Historic Places, hoping to call attention to their charms before Wildwood, like Asbury Park, becomes just another memory. Read More…

Posted in history, travel, Uncategorized, Writing at July 18th, 2009.