Mason White (OX )
1. Archaeologies of the Future
Fredric Jameson. Verso , 2006.
Freddie’s back (to the future). Jameson weaves a stimulating account of the representation of utopia (failed or otherwise) in 20th century science fictions. Dick, LeGuin, Gibson, Aldiss, Robinson and others serve as a vehicle for Jameson’s excavations of our utopian subconscious.
2 . Bow-wow from Post Bubble City
Atelier Bow-Wow. INAX Publishing, 2006.
On the heels of the genius of Made in Tokyo and Pet Architecture, the Bow-wowers this time offer a monograph of their own work demonstrating what they have learned from Tokyo. The book is divided into twelve sections with brief self-interviews serving as thematic introductions to each. The work is thoughtful and restrained, making this Bow-wow book wow yippy yo yippy yeah.
3 . Did Someone Say Participate?: An Atlas of Spatial Practice
Markus Miessen and Shumon Basar. The MIT Press , 2006
Did someone say “spatial practice?” Did someone compile an impressive set of authors? Did someone say globalization? Did someone articulate the merging relationship between curator and architect? Did someone say welcome into my discipline’s backyard?
4. Utopia Deferred: Writings from Utopie (1967-1978)
Jean Baudrillard. Semiotext(e) , 2006.
This book collects all of Baudrillard’s contributions to Utopie. Utopie was a no-nonesense crew composed of Baudrillard, Rene Lourau, Catherince Cot, architects Jean Aubert, Jean-Paul Jungmann, Antoine Stinco, and landscape architect Isabelle Auricoste. Highlights include “Stereo Porn,” “The Emphemeral,” and “DNA or the Metahysics of the Code.” It feels like May ’68 all over again.
5. Atlas of Novel Tectonics
Jesse Reiser. Princeton Architectural Press , 2006.
This little book efficiently packs a set of ideas on difference. Reiser uses the work of RUR to argue for greater exactitude in the inexact and greater specificity in the conceptual. This is a farmer’s almanac to the (thinking person’s) digital wizardry. A manifesto in 5 acts, from geometry to matter to errors, we are exposed to RURs work through the novelty of various exchanges between systems.
6. Landscape Urbanism Reader
Charles Waldheim, Princeton Architectural Press , 2006
Circulating between high lines, fresh kills, and waterfronts is an emergent collective of designers and thinkers chronicling a landscape revolution. Landscape Architecture has joined forces with its former nemesis, Urbanism, to generate a seductive elixir for the city’s eager desire for reclamation, brownfielding, and landscape tourism. This Reader compiles 14 authors in search of an emerging choreographed urban field.
7. Wonderland Travelogue
Various Authors. Springer , 2006.
Wonderland is the Maximum RocknRoll of Architecture. Inititated by a DIY collective of architects in Austria that have mobilized a traveling exhibit snowballing across the continent. Originating in Bratislava in 2004 and wrapping up in Vienna in June 2006, each country contributed 11 emerging practices as this exhibition packed and unpacked itself in new territories with new colleagues. I hope this idea continues to spread. In an age of the starchitect, we urgently need to hear new voices.
David Byrne. McSweeney’s , 2006.
Further cementing his status as one of the most important artists of the 20th century, Byrne gives us insight into his wandering mind with Arboretum. Filled with sketched systems and networks, the book charts a mobius kiss, delicious disasters, dark roots, and imaginary relationships. Hey, Byrne, what about charting house burnings?
PIG The Walrus Magazine
The Walrus Magazine [walrusmagazine.com] has become one of the most exciting new magazines to come out recently touching on politics, geography, science, and arts. (Walruses and Pigs must be on similar evolutionary branches, right?) Have also enjoyed issues of Seed [seedmagazine.com], A10 [a10.eu], Bidoun [bidoun.com], and Alphabet City.
Orhan Ayyuce (RAM )
1. Waiting for Nothing: And Other Writings
Tom Kromer. University of Georgia Press , 1986.
Written during the depression years of this country Kromer vignettes tells it all from a survivors mindset and circumstances.
Wait for what? He asks.
2. Istanbul : Memoirs and the City
Orhan Pamuk. Vintage , 2006.
Excellent book by an author who remembers the events and the family as the city and changes. A beautiful narration of of his beloved City that holds a lot of secrets and wonders.
3. Tristes Tropiques
Claude Lévi-Strauss. Penguin , 1992.
A textbook for anybody with an interest in structural anthropology. Lévi-Strauss goes to Brazilian jungle and leaves us with one the most important books on structuralism. I was so fortunate to see this man lecture in UCLA, shortly before he died.
4. Cannery Row
John Steinback. Penguin , 1993.
The first book I've read in English. My first love. Still see central California through Steinbecks mind.
5. City of Quartz
Mike Davis. Verso , 1992, 2006.
A book Los Angeles needed all along.
6. Mediterranean In The Ancient World
Fernand Braudel. Penguin Books, 2002.
A great history book I read on and off.
7. Sleeping In The Forest: Stories And Poems
Sait Faik. Syracuse University Press , 2004.
Another Turkish writer I am very fond of and another poet who knew Istanbul well.
8. The Family of Pascual Duarte
Camilio Jose Cela. Dalkey Archive Press, 2004.
"It was hot, the heat was stifling, and my eyes began to close under the animal’s stare, which was sharp as flint.
"I picked up my gun and fired. I reloaded and fired again. The bitch’s blood was dark and sticky and it spread slowly along the dry earth."
-Pascual Duarte on killing his beloved dog Bitch.
PIG The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fist Fight in Heaven
Sherman Alexie. Grove Press , 2004.
Life and poetry of the Indian reservations.
F. David Boira+Zoë Coombes (RAT +DRAGON )
1.a. Francis Bacon’s Studio
Margarita Cappock. Merrell , 2005.
This is a comprehensive view of the artist’s work documenting the move of Francis Bacon’s studio from London in 1998 to the Hugh Lane Gallery in Dublin. I really enjoyed this book because it works perfectly as a cross reference while reading the last documented interview where Michael Archimbaud (see recommended book #1.b) questions Bacon’s sources of inspiration (photographers, painters, and the like…). Bacon himself negates any connection to them but in the end, this questioning by Archimbaud is found to be true once his studio in London was dismantled in 1998 and lots of reference material was discovered under the precious “rubble”. - FDB
1.b. Francisco Bacon
Michael Archimbaud. Phaidon Press , 1994.
2. Collecting Contemporary .
Adam Lindeman. Taschen , 2006.
This is a great book for anyone who is interested to get a quick glimpse into the minds of the most powerful Contemporary Art collectors and experts in the world. While the worlds of Art and Architecture merge ever closer together, this book is gaining new relevance for the world of Design. -FDB
3. The Architecture of Jujol
Josep Maria Jujol jr. Lumen Books , 1995.
Although I would rather recommend a different book about Jujol * , the above is a good starting point for anyone interested in learning about this amazing architect. Jujol was never seen at the same level as his other Catalan counterpart Antoni Gaudi, I personally like Jujol’s ability to work with a framework of “insanity” that can’t be found in Gaudi’s work alone.
*Josep M. Jujol . L’arquitectura Amagada by Montserrat Duran -FDB
Nienke Klunder , Jaime’s eternal partner in crime is the photographic storyteller behind this collaborative book showing the process behind Studio Hayon. Capitalizing on the still-intact talents and techniques of Mediterranean artisans, Jaime’s world is filled with Pinocchios and marble carvers alike. Here, Nienke Klunder has photographed it all as the perfect circus that it is. Available through Barcelona’s excellent Igua Pop Gallery. -ZC
5. China Daily Life
Reineke Otten. Veenman Publishers , 2006.
Reineke , graduate of Holland’s Design Academy at Eindhoven and professed ‘Streetologist’ has published her first book- ‘China Daily Life’- a fascinating hybrid of subjective catalogue and the objective impressions. This photographic book is a cool record of Chinese cities today. As Charlie Koolhaas says in the introduction, “Reineke has described Holland as ‘ordered grey’ making the ‘chaos’ of China for her, an inspiring alternative. Yet her methodology reveals a Dutch desire for order that the Chinese living in the chaotic cities that Reineke has photographed, don’t appear to need.” ‘Record to Absorb’ is the modus operandi that produced this timely portrait . -ZC
6. World Changing
Alex Steffen. Harry N. Abrams , 2006.
Regular contributors to Archinect, Jill Fehrenbacher , Cameron Sinclair and Geoff Manaugh are three of the long list of inspiring people who came together to create this on-line and off-line work. This is not only a book- it is a dynamic record of the broad range of people and their proposed design solutions, all of whom are attempting to meet the rising challenge of climate crisis. Al Gore, Alex Steffen and graphic designer, Stefan Sagmeister himself, have done more than set the stage for this meeting- Here they present us with a gorgeous laser-cut tome that is not only a good read, but is also the gateway to the ever updated online listings. WorldChanging is beautiful stab at making the task of dealing with inevitable big issues, a little less overwhelming. –ZC
7. Jugendstil and Art Nouveau 1899-1905
Julius H. Hoffman. Arnoldsche Verlagsanstalt Gmbh , 2006.
Speaking of Gesamtkunstwerk, this heavy trove documenting the European heyday Jugendstil and Art Nouveau is a well timed publication in light of emerging formal shifts made possible by computational architectural production. -ZC
8. Barcelona Grafica .
America Sanchez. Editorial Gustavo Gili , 2006.
America Sanchez has meticulously catalogued the street signs, emblems, door numbers and historic wayfinding systems that make Barcelona legible. Here, the details of urbanism crafted by signwritters and stone carvers are put together. This technique of compilation at once shows us how beautifully quirky this Catalan capital is and always has been, while at the same time showing how the details of graphics are an elegant and integral part of urban form.
PIG Hidden Track
Robert Klantedn and Sven Ehmann. Gestalten Verlag , 2005.
A catalogue of graphic artists and product designers who are making bold forays into the world of spatial design. Various masters of adobe products, pens and paint are finding inventive ways of translating what is traditionally done on paper and the screen, to the scales usually associated with the domain of architecture. The book also presents galleries, such as Maxalot of Barcelona, who, by curating a cast of cutting edge graphic artists for the Exposif Wallpaper collection, are rethinking the range of mediums within which graphic artists can design. See the meta-romanticism of the UK’s Container , and the youthful Gesamtkunstwerk of Norway’s Yokoland too ! –ZC
Heather Ring (HORSE )
1. Rock n' Roll
Tom Stoppard. Grove Press , 2007.
A new play, but the script is already out. It traces The Plastic People of the Universe , an underground rock band in 1968 Prague that came to symbolize resistance to the oppressive regime. In contrast to the petitions and letters of the intellectual dissidents, the counter-culture refused to play the game at all: "I'm not going to even cut my hair." In this world, I'm always searching to understand the role that art plays in resistance ... something that's complicated today by the corporate adoption of those very strategies.
2. Did Someone Say Participate? An Atlas of Spatial Practices
Markus Miessen and Shumon Basar. The MIT Press , 2006
Did Someone Say Participate? investigates the way spatial practitioners across a broad range of disciplines engage the political climate through mappings, productions and alterations of spatial conditions. It includes The School of Missing Studies , who initiated last summer's Lost Highway Expedition , a networked journey through the Western Balkans that's still feeding spatial projects and research on the unknown future of Europe.
3. Land Art: A Cultural Ecology Handbook
Max Andrews. The RSA and Arts Council England , 2006.
A book that launched with the RSA's No Way Back? conference, this book reaches "beyond environmentalism," to take a critical approach to the ways that art can operate in relation to the global debates of ecology, geography, economics and globalization. The most compelling essay examines contemporary projects, including those of The Center for Land Use Interpretation, in relation to the dialogue opened by Robert Smithson in terms of site, non-site and territory. Related: a new publication from The Cape Farewell Project , a series of expeditions that bring artists, scientists and educators to the Arctic to raise awareness of climate change.
4. Defiant Gardens: Making Gardens in Wartime
Kenneth Helphand. Trinity University Press , 2006.
From wartime Victory Gardens (just revived by Futurefarmers ), to the gardens behind the trenches of WWI, to the landscape of Japanese-American internment camps of WWII, this book demonstrates the compelling history of the garden as an expression of human resilience and political resistance.
5. The 9/11 Report: A Graphic Adaptation
Sid Jacobson and Ernie Colon. Hill and Wang , 2006.
The translation of an 800-page report into something accessible to a wider audience was a huge ambition. Though some of the fictionalized accounts were frustrated distractions from my odd hunger for "just the facts," this was visualized and mapped in such a way that it made the technical legible...so I give it props. For all its shortcomings, Tufte should be proud.
6. Else/Where: Mapping
Janet Abrams and Peter Hall. University of Minnesota Design Institute , 2006.
ELSE/WHERE delves into the overlapping territories of mapping virtual and physical terrains, moving from conversation mappings of online discussion boards to Eyal Weizman's mappings of the West Bank settlements.
7. Deccan Traverses: The Making of Bangladore's Terrain
Anuradha Mathur and Dilip da Cunha. Rupa , 2006.
This study overlaps four compelling traverses: surveying, triangulating, picturing and botanizing , that map the transformation of Bangladore into the "Garden City of India." This investigation generates incredibly layered mappings, and offers an exciting window into the processes and modes of operation that are taught in the foundation year of Penn's landscape program .
8. Design Like You Give a Damn
Architecture For Humanity. Metropolis Books, 2006
It's an exciting time to be a designer. This book sets forth an inspired set of precedents for humanitiarian design, and now we have the capacity to respond. Alternative modes of practicing architecture broaden our reach in the world, and expansive networks like AFH , Archinect and Open Architecture Network mobilize the design communities to action.
PIG Grand Canyon: A Different View
Tom Vail. Master Books , 2003.
The book that forced the National Park Service to "suspend their belief in geology." You can't get more piggish than that!
Geoff Manaugh (DRAGON )
1. A Guide to Archigram, 1961-1974
Taipei Fine Arts Museum, 2003.
Archigram may be old news, but this awesome little book – roughly 4 in. by 5 in. – gives us the drawings, collages, plans, photos, writings, and all et ceteras of that architectural super-group, and the book does it in so brilliant a way that I could flip through this thing literally for hours and hours. Paperback, with full color images printed on non-glossy paper, and it’s almost small enough to fit in your back pocket: just awesome.
2. Pro Domo
Yona Friedman. Actar, 2006.
A fantastic new hardcover look at Friedman’s work, full of images and essays and plans. Friedman dreamed up “continent-cities” and “space-chains” and urban agriculture and “erratic structures” hovering on stilts over the surface of the earth… And they’re all here.
3. The Harvard University Press Wonders of the World Series.
Harvard University Press
Beautifully produced pocket-size editions of architectural history, covering Westminster Abbey, the Parthenon, the Temple of Jerusalem, the Colosseum, the Alhambra, the Tomb of Agamemnon… Well-researched, readable, and addictive. Future books in the series I’d like to see? The Pantheon, Angkor Wat, the Taj Mahal, Cape Canaveral, the Maginot Line, London’s Victorian sewers, the Paris catacombs, etc. etc. Chartres, the Eiffel Tower, Beijing’s Temple of Heaven, Hagia Sophia…
4. Alternative Guide to the Isle of Portland
Shin Egashira and David Greene. Architectural Association Publications , 1998.
Exhilarating and ambitious pamphlet that’s part architecture, part geology, part landscape design, part Borgesian encyclopedia, part handbook for post-terrestrial machinery. Still exciting, ten years later.
5. Earth: An Intimate History
Richard Fortey. Vintage , 2005.
For some reason I wasn’t interested in reading this book at all – but then I couldn’t put it down. It’s a geological tour of the earth’s surface, including those strange and unimaginable subterranean pressures that torque, fold, mutate, bend, and shatter the ground we stand on. The American paperback edition is terrifically designed & printed. Really great, frankly, if you have even the slightest interest in geology or landscape.
6. J.M.W. Turner
Peter Ackroyd. Doubleday , 2006.
A short biography of Turner that you could probably read in about three hours; but it’s worth it. While Turner was out there creating some of the most extraordinary paintings in the history of western art – let alone his awe-inspiring sketchbooks – he was also framing a kind of personal mythology about the sun, the sea, the ruined architectures of Mediterranean Europe, and the soaring, titanic powers of the natural world.
7. Divided Kingdom
Rupert Thomson. Vintage , 2006.
A novel that was basically torn apart by reviewers, but I’d stand by it. A weird sci-fi dream of a future UK, in which the nation has been forceably divided into four sectors by emotional temperament. Thomson is an exquisite writer, and his descriptions are often so precise – and so unexpected – that I write many of them down simply because I can’t believe he’s so good. But I’m in the minority on this particular book; it’s on a lot of “worst of 2006” lists. Buyer beware.
8. The Road
Cormac McCarthy. Knopf , 2006.
I haven’t actually read this yet, but am determined to. Post-apocalyptic American roadways and hordes of roving cannibals? I can’t resist.
PIG The Kurt Wallander novels of Henning Mankell.
These have approximately nothing at all to do with architecture – but I just love these things. They’re wildly imperfect and extremely flawed, but I still read them compulsively. In many ways, they transformed my opinion of mystery novels, a genre I would otherwise never read. While I’m on the subject, though, I’m also reading – and enjoying – Rennie Airth’s books and, to a lesser extent, those of Ian Rankin.
Israel Kandarian (TIGER )
1. Felice Varini: Point of View
Felice Varini . Lars Muller , 2006.
I am not the biggest fan of Varini's work, but I definitely have deeper respect after getting this book.
2. 8vo: On the outside
Mark Holt and Hamish Muir. Lars Muller , 2006.
Holt and Muir are 2/3 of 8vo (pronounced "Octavo"), the British designers responsible for the majority of the print work done for the legendary Manchester club, The Hacienda, and some important work for Factory Records. Their experimental typography, done in the moment just before and after the introduction of the Mac had an enormous impact on electronically manipulated type and set several benchmarks that have yet to be topped.
3. Factory Records: The Complete Graphic Album
Matthew Robertson. Chronicle Books , 2006.
Factory Records enjoys equally critical positions in post-punk music as an imprint, and among generators of creative graphic output. This book includes every single item produced during its existence! Every record cover, every flyer, every poster for Factory Records and for The Hacienda. This is a must have for any fan of Peter Saville, 8vo, and Barbara Kruger.
4. Atlas of Novel Tectonics
Jesse Reiser. Princeton Architectural Press , 2006.
At last, a compendium of visual explanations to accompany heady theoretical excursions! This is a compelling book produced by one of the most important working architects and educators during this post-paperless season. This book also comes out during an important moment in RUR history, as it signals the beginning of the built...see you in Dubai!
5. Vortigern's Machine and the Great Sage of Wisdom
James Jarvis and Russell Waterman. Amos Toys, 2006.
This is an enormously silly and entertaining comic book that puts two young friends on a journey to uncover the mysteries of adulthood, through the eyes of the painfully adolescent. Very reminiscent of Alice in Wonderland / Through the Looking Glass, though less timeless (if that makes sense). Or imagine what Spanky and Alfalfa would do if they listened to The Diplomats...
6. Sew U
Wendy Mullin. Bulfinch , 2006.
Wendy Mullin is a self taught clothing designer with several shops and a growing fan base. Sew U and her line of "Simplicity" patterns give invaluable knowledge to anyone wanting to get better acquainted with a sewing machine, from an interesting perspective. The chapters are insightful, helpful, and the book is ring-bound so it lays nice and flat.
7. Waist Down: Skirts by Miuccia Prada
Kayoko Ota (OMA / AMO). Fondazione Prada , 2006.
This book is, in my opinion, one of the nicest books designed by 2x4. The content is compelling, especially when seen in this context, as a collection of ideas manifest as investigations using the simple form of the skirt. I recommend this book to anyone interested in fashion, seriality, multiplicity, or just plain old good book design.
8. Tom Sachs
Germano Celant. Fondazione Prada , 2006.
This is a Graphic Standards-sized catalog of the complete works (so far) of New York-based artist Tom Sachs. The book is designed by 2x4, following up on a series of publications for both Sachs and Prada, with interesting essays and interviews.
PIG Butt Book
Jop Van Bennekom. Taschen , 2006.
Edited and designed by Butt Magazine co-founder and design god Jop Van Bennekom, Butt Book traces the first five years of the subversive gay culture magazine, consolidating them in reverse order (HA!) into a two-finger thick (HAHA!) volume. Butt Magazine is a cult item for both homosexual men and fans of beautifully crafted print collateral. Van Bennekom is at the edge of becoming ubiquitous, often aped and referenced, because of his brilliant typography and his access to interesting clients and projects. There is a tactility to his work, starting with the engaging format, continuing with the paper quality, and concluding with fantastic design.
John Jourden is an (a)rchitect and pathological thinker living in New York.