Dan Turkel


I love to write. I’ve amassed a decent amount of work and I’m quite proud of much of it. Topics vary, as does length and quality. Many of the works here were written for academic assignments and are uploaded without professors’ corrections.

Works on this site are under a CC-BY-NC-SA license unless otherwise indicated. This means you may share my works or adapt them so long as you attribute me (with a link to my site preferably), do not use the work for commercial purposes, and share under a license similar to this one. I reserve the right to change this license at a future date if a permissive license leads to issues.

Print+Web Writing

The Boston Globe

The Tufts Observer

  • A Web of Sex and Power: Desire, secrecy, and trust on the Internet - A multimedia piece on the peculiar power dynamics of personal ads, stemming from a particularly unusual case.
  • Web Writing

    Death + Taxes

    Tufts Publications

    Research and Reporting

    • Can there be a teardown that everybody agrees on? by Neil Swidey for The Boston Globe - I contributed research for this piece on various teardown regulations, restrictions, and statistics across the greater Boston area and accompanied the author on some of his reporting trips.

    Academic papers:


    • Alberti - A summary and critique of Leon Battista Alberti’s De Re Aedificatoria. Alberti’s manner of placing undue importance on architecture’s utility as a way of maintaining one’s play in the social coterie compounded with his insistence in aesthetics above functionality leave his treatise dated and even harmful to today’s architects. (Fall 2011)
    • Laugier - Close to as dated as Alberti’s treatise, Marc-Antoine Laugier’s An Essay on Architecture posits that an objectively high taste-level can determine a truly beautiful building because there is right and there is wrong, without room for discussion. (Fall 2011)
    • Hugo - Victor Hugo discusses the fate of architecture as an expressive medium when faced with the invention of hte printing press in “This Will Kill That” from Notre-Dame in Paris. Hugo illuminates a crisis of his era and inspires his contemporaries to address the issues and further the art and science of architecture. (Fall 2011)
    • Le Corbusier - One of the first modernist architects, Le Corbusier calls for a rejection of trendy aesthetics in favor of functional design. Le Corbusier’s ideas remain influential and important today, if not still in full use. Le Corbusier said that if we can engineer functional solutions to architectural problems, the beauty will follow, and it has. (Fall 2011)
    • Eisenman - Peter Eisenman advocates for adding some intelligent aesthetics back into modern architecture through strong form architecture wherein the building communicates something in addition to serving its purpose. As a result, architects are challenged to use the vocabulary of buildings to communicate messages, intellectual, historical, and philisophical, through their work thus furthering the importance of architecture as not only an art but as a medium for thought and theory. (Fall 2011)
    • Institute of Contemporary Arts, Boston - An analysis of Diller Scofidio + Renfro’s ICA, Boston building. The unique building sacrifices neither modernist functionality nor aesthetic taste in its blend of well-planned space and visually pleasing design. The ICA works to intentionally create views for the building’s visitors and what is a gallery but a space for viewing?. (Fall 2011)
    • Art Deco in New York City - An investigation into several questions regarding the Art Deco style: what does the aesthetic mean?, why is New York City so ripe with buildings of this style?, how is Art Deco related to the time period in which it was popular?, and more. Also features my own photographs taken on a day-trip to Manhattan from Tufts (image quality slightly reduced here to keep down file-size). (Fall 2011)
    • Luis Barragán and the Paradox of a Mexican Modernity - An analysis of the work of Mexican architect Luis Barragán and the ways in which his ouvre reflects an attempt towards a notion of Mexican modernity, which is to say a style which is global and futuristic while still rooted in a sense of Mexican authenticity. (Fall 2013)


    • Surrealist Art - A short history and examination of surrealist art and its meanings. Several artists and their techniques and ideas are discussed. In addition, a number of paintings are analyzed and interpreted. (Spring 2009)

    Literature, Film, and Theory


    • Dave Brubeck’s Time Out - A look at Dave Brubeck’s album Time Out and the artist’s masterful use of unusual time signatures. (Spring 2012)


    Sociology and History

    Fiction, Compositions, and Musings:

    • Silly Composition - An Eggers-ian rant written for some forgotten prompt towards the end of high-school. (Spring 2011)
    • Common Application Essay - An attempt at creatively showing a number of sides of myself (without getting too boring). (Fall 2009)
    • Mapping Mr. Quist - A story for a creative writing class. Mr. Quist and his wife struggle as his latest project begins to absorb him. (Spring 2013)
    • 3:12 at Max Goddard’s Modest Apartment - A story I wrote for a creative writing class at Tufts: Max Goddard wakes in the middle of the night to the smell of bacon and quickly finds himself in a world he doesn’t understand, without ever leaving his apartment. Published over at the lovely Words Paint Pictures. (Spring 2014)
    • Transmissions from Operation Underdog - Another story for class. Transmissions... focuses on the story of a man who goes deep undercover to study a Mexican druglord, but has a little trouble getting much useful information. (Spring 2014)