Scott Geiger | Fictions & Facts

A shift occurred without us noticing it.

Man-Made Lands is a map of marbled boundaries—between cities and nature; between the infinity of the digital and the analog of the material; between the past and our present, our present and many possible futures; between fictions we envision and the facts that we construct to transform our lives.

This special fiction workbook comprises seven stories beside five real architectural and landscape proposals for cities around the world, from Copenhagen to Shenzhen to Cleveland. If young architects are pitching a proposal for a floating public pool in the East River on Kickstarter, can a short story aspire to have a similar or related effect? If each year the Museum of Modern Art commissions a group of architects to develop fictional solutions to real problems like climate change and foreclosure, can we not look to novelists also to read about how we'll live next?

Man-Made Lands features stories from Joe Alterio, Seth Fried, Luther Magnussen, Micaela Morrissette, Ben Stroud, and Will Wiles; and proposals from Bjarke Ingels Group, Family with Office of Playlab, Steven Holl Architects, and Keita Takahashi. “A Tale of Disapperance” is a commissioned collaboration between author Kate Bernheimer and architect Andrew Bernheimer.

Man-Made Lands is Volume 9, Issue 1.5 of Ninth Letter, the art and literary project based at the University Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. The project was conceived and edited by Scott Geiger. It was designed by Ninth Letter founding editor and Director of the School of Art and Design Nan Goggin with Associate Professor of Graphic Design Jennifer Gunji-Ballsrud. The workbook was made possible by a grant from the LAS Humanities Council and the generosity of novelist Richard Powers.

For more information, visit or contact Scott Geiger.