• Casino Capitalism: The American City's Stake in Luck
    Phoebe Springstubb

Joel R. Jaffe, moving images slot patent: gaming machine with moving symbols on symbol array, US Patent 6551187, filed October 4, 2000, and issued April 22, 2003.

This research considers casino architecture in light of its newly urban identity and its material entanglement with a deep-seated belief in luck. Casino gambling, long a recreational activity, has of late been reinvented as a flexible policy instrument. During the recent recession, state governments legalized commercial casinos to fund social services, from infrastructure to education. The casino is no longer a remote oasis but an urban complex. Its funding structure, transacted through its architectural housing, banks on patrons' continued pursuit of luck, fortune, and chance. Its architecture connects previously unrelated activities—the motions of state policy and the enthrallment of the gambler. This research analyzes the architecture and management practices of emergent urban casinos to theorize how economic change is realized through built-form. The central research question is how the casino's coupling of architecture and capital increasingly configures our understanding of the contemporary American city.

Phoebe Springstubb is a writer and designer from Cleveland, Ohio. She received her MArch from Princeton University (2012). Previously, she worked as an architect at Toshiko Mori Architects, where her projects included an exhibition design for the Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum. Her research projects on the industrial afterlife of the Volga River in Russia and the urban transformations of the Dutch polder have been supported by Princeton University fellowships. She is currently a curatorial assistant in the Museum of Modern Art's Architecture and Design Department.