A conversation on spatial logistics

The Five Thousand Pound Life: Land, Spatial Logistics (Part 4)

September 26, 2018

In the final part of the Spatial Logistics panel, Klatskin, Holmes, and LeCavalier join Coral Davenport of The New York Times in conversation to consider multiple ways that design intersects with logistics. All three believe that design — a creative process that is, by nature, inefficient — should learn from logistics. As Holmes describes it, design disciplines should co-opt this set of techniques and orient them to a set of values other than economic efficiency, thus playing a proactive rather than reactive role in determining the kinds of spaces we as a society want. Klatskin cites two examples of the implications of the continued pursuit of efficiency in design: the shift in e-commerce distribution strategies from distant warehouses to the urban core and the design and production of customized packaging as “the new frontier for efficiency.” An important message from the entire session is well summarized by LeCavalier: the language of logistics should “become more a part of our vocabulary” so that we can all talk about where our things come from and where they go.

Coral Davenport covers energy and environmental policy for The New York Times.


The Five Thousand Pound Life: Land was a symposium on rethinking land and its value in light of climate change organized by The Architectural League and co-sponsored by The Cooper Union Institute for Sustainable Design in September 2014.

The Spatial Logistics panel invited an industrial real estate developer and two designers and academics to unpack the spatial dimensions of the sometimes hidden networks of logistics and debate their consequences — the good, bad, and unknown — for design and society.