On The Ground, 9/15

On the Ground is BACK! On The Ground is compiled from tips and suggestions received by the editorial staff. Submit at https://www.suggestionox.com/r/paprika   Shopping week: students at YSoA sent hundreds of ingratiating emails to faculty seeking to beat the Jacobson Algorithm and land highly coveted spots in elective courses. Students […]

Danchi Dreams

Thaddeus Lee, B.A. ’17 It is said that at the westernmost point of the largest city on earth, there is a fence that stands against the foot of a hill. Beyond that fence sits a shrine, right at the start of a forest that expands to form the horizon. Looking […]

Ambos Nogales

Leah Motzkin, B.A. ’16 The twin cities of Nogales, Arizona, United States and Nogales, Sonora, Mexico exist in conversation with each other. Here Interstate 19 meets Federal Highway 15, one of the only roadways for almost a hundred miles in either direction that allows drivers to travel north and south.[1] […]

The Extraterritorial Hotel

Paul Lorenz, M.Arch ’17 I relearned how to walk in Southern India. So many of my assumptions about streets are completely useless halfway across the globe. Walking down the street, one has to predict the movement patterns of not only cars, trucks and pedestrians, but also auto rickshaws, carts pulled […]

How to Mow a Lawn

Wes Hiatt, M.Arch ’17 To maximize efficiency, it’s important to push the mower in as straight a line as possible, parallel to the strip you just cut. It’s a shame to cut the same grass twice, or worse, leave a patch of unshorn blades. Foregoing the possibility of a fence, […]

Wild Territories

Margaret Marsh, M.Arch ’18 As the culmination of a year-long ecology course, my high school class trekked through South Africa. The trip was three weeks, and we spent each week in a different ecosystem: a wildlife wetlands, a dry safari country, and the mountains. Accompanied by a guide and a […]

Canned Sardines

Dima Srouji, M.Arch ’16 My grandparents’ house in Bethlehem is a thirty minute drive to the Mediterranean. At least for an Israeli it is, but for a Palestinian it’s impossible to access without a permit. During lunch there this summer, my grandmother Layla admitted that she had not eaten fresh […]

Cold Cash in Cuba

Tess McNamara, MEM & M.Arch ’18 The US Embassy in Havana, Cuba sits along the Malecón; its gridded, brutalist-facade a sheer cliff rising out of the glimmering sea. A horde of 150 bare poles stands sentinel in front. At one time, all wielded Cuban flags to obscure anti-communist messages displayed […]

The Ring Road

Tory Grieves, MEM & MBA ’18 Cinching a gut bloated with rice & cheap beer, Kathmandu’s ring road – the worn belt – girdles the city’s mayhem without grace. Approaching it, I pull my bandana down around my neck & spit out the dust that settled on my tongue. I’m […]

Tijuana/San Diego

Alejandro Duran, M.Arch ’19 For many of us, its existence is of no consequence. If it disappeared tomorrow, the only result would be a shorter commute. It struggles to be seen by those who grew up in its shadow. And yet there it is: three walls, a rusty corrugated fence; […]

Limited Paradise

    Young Joo Lee, MFA ’17 I can’t imagine what it was like to be a Korean after the Korean War, to suddenly be unable to return to your hometown. Frozen where you stood. Maybe people thought the war would resume at any time, and that they could return […]

The Middle East in the Midwest: Displacing Violence, Knowing Space

Randa Tawil, Ph.D Candidate, American Studies I have always hated the phrase, “the Middle East.” People love to talk about it, to solve its problems, to throw their hands in the air over the intractable nature of its conflicts, but if you ask where exactly it is, what distinguishes it […]

Interview: Geoff Manaugh

Geoff Manaugh is the creator of architecture website BLDGBLOG, as well as the author of the New York Times-bestselling A Burglar’s Guide to the City and The BLDGBLOG Book. His writing has also been published in The New Yorker, The New York Times Magazine, Cabinet, The Atlantic, and many others. […]

Interview: Rahul Mehrotra

Rahul Mehrotra is Professor of Urban Design and Planning at Harvard Graduate School of Design and principal of RMA Architects in Mumbai. He is co-editor of Kumbh Mela: Mapping the Ephermeral Mega City. His current research “Ephemeral Urbanism” is on display at the 2016 Venice Biennale. How did you begin […]

A Girl Has No Nation

Elif Erez, BA’15 / GSD ‘20 This summer, days before I was scheduled to return home to Istanbul from a vacation in Italy, the Turkish military attempted a coup d’etat. All flights into Turkey, including mine, were suspended. I couldn’t stay in Italy, since my tourist visa expired on the […]


This week, Paprika! ventures into the contested territory of the border—reporting from volatile political, ecological, and economic terrains. Our contributors take the reader across real, imagined, and invisible landscapes to reveal that our perception of borders is infinite and inconstant. Sometimes borders are hard edges, like the fence separating lovers […]