New Interfaces in the Automated Landscapes of Logistics


  • Jesse LeCavalier NJIT



Metaphors of flows are often used to describe aspects of logistics, thereby suggesting smooth and inevitable operations while also obscuring the frictions and contingencies that characterize the industry. This article explores the consequences and possibilities of these modes by first elaborating some aspects of logistical operations in order to connect them to the contemporary built environment. It looks at the architectural components of the company Walmart in order to present hypothetical scenarios related to the future of the logistical landscape. By connecting these visual experiments to questions of representation, automation, and systems thinking, the article explores the ways we might challenge and extend the possibilities of logistics.

Author Biography

Jesse LeCavalier, NJIT

Jesse LeCavalier’s work explores the architectural and urban implications of contemporary logistics. He is the author of The Rule of Logistics: Walmart and the Architecture of Fulfillment (University of Minnesota Press, 2016) and an associate professor of architecture at the New Jersey Institute of Technology. He is currently the Daniel Rose Visiting Assistant Professor at the Yale School of Architecture. LeCavalier was the recipient of the 2015 New Faculty Teaching Award from the Association of the Collegiate Schools of Architecture (ACSA) and the 2010–11 Sanders Fellow at the University of Michigan. His work has appeared in Cabinet, Public Culture, Places, Art Papers, and Harvard Design Magazine. His installation ‘Architectures of Fulfillment’ was part of the 2017 Seoul Biennale for Architecture and Urbanism as his project ‘Shelf Life’ was one of five finalists for the 2018 MoMA PS1 Young Architects Program.


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