Archinect's 2015 holiday guide to architecture books
No matter how prepared I think I am, December is always a frenzy. Between wrapping up end-of-the-year projects and remembering to buy wrapping paper, the days disappear faster than my coworker’s toffee. If you’re anything like me, the holidays are heralded by a panicky visit to the mall and a... View full entry
Relishing the physical in the digital: review of "The New Concrete"
Although jaded art critics might argue that there is nothing new under the sun, they are overlooking the fact that there is important work that has been shaded by time. Concrete poetry, an art form that emphasizes the physical arrangement and visual presentation of poetry as much as its literary... View full entry
Book Review: Shannon Mattern's "Deep Mapping the Media City"
Amid the seemingly endless barrage of new writings about the imminent arrival of the technologically mediated “smart city,” a slim volume published by the University of Minnesota Press suggests that so-called intelligent urbanism might not be so new after all. In Deep Mapping the Media City... View full entry
Book Review: Katrina Palmer's "End Matter"
On September 2, 1666, a fire began in a bakery on Pudding Lane in London. By the next day, the flames had fanned out north and west, engulfing much of the city’s medieval center. The fire, later knowns as the Great Fire of London, destroyed much of the old cathedral of St. Paul as well as the... View full entry
Bradley Garrett on the importance of gonzo journalism for understanding cities
Understanding the nuances of city stories, and tracing those tensions, requires immersion and patience. Whether we are writing about police work, protests, squatting, free parties, banking or parkour, the best socially engaged journalism – like the best university research – is rooted in participation, spiked with empathy, and resists being reduced to spectacle fodder.
As any war correspondent will tell you, immersion can also be dangerous...
— the Guardian
Bradley Garrett recounts his own infiltration into urbex (urban exploration) communities, and provides a list of the "five most influential 'gonzo' ethnographies." If you aren't familiar with Garrett's work, be sure to check it out. In particular, Explore Everything: Place-Hacking the City is a... View full entry
Coy Howard book, The Thickening of Time, reviewed by Craig Hodgetts
Those images, wrought by a wicked mash-up of the hand, the eye, and the mouse, defy any effort to reverse-engineer their creation. Dot for dot and pixel for pixel they proclaim their origin as documentary evidence. Yet by their implausible point of view, their visceral texture, and their mini-Wagnerian scale, they are more painterly than Maya-ish, far more lavish than Rhino.
A long time colleague Craig Hodgetts reviews Coy Howard's newly printed book 'The Thickening of Time' for Architect's Newspaper. Being familiar with Coy Howard's work, Hodgett's words describe the essence of the enigmatic images and the persona well. I'd just say poetry of the images is verbatim... View full entry
Book review: Designed for the Future: 80 Practical Ideas for a Sustainable Future
I have to admit to a degree of wariness when I first opened Designed for the Future: 80 Practical Ideas for a Sustainable World, a new book edited by Jared Green and published by Princeton Architectural Press. The introduction makes some bold claims for a rather slim book with little text. “We... View full entry
What is Interior Urbanism? - A Review of MONU #21 by Claudia Mainardi and Giacomo Ardesio
In 1969 Reyner Banham in his book The Architecture of the Well-tempered Environment marked the shift between the concept of interior to that of an artificial environment. Technology and new human needs in fact had become an integral part of architecture, defining a new paradigm to describe indoor... View full entry
Zaha Hadid sues architecture critic Martin Filler over book review
Hadid, who was born in Baghdad and is now a British citizen, claimed that Filler falsely implied she was indifferent to the alleged difficult working conditions of migrant workers on high-profile construction projects in the Middle East, including her own.
She also claimed Filler used large portions of his June 5 review of Rowan Moore's "Why We Build: Power and Desire in Architecture" to question her success and fault her personality, although she was not a prominent character in the book.
BIG in Arquitectura Viva's "Monographs"
It seems as if BIG will stop at nothing short of world domination. As the subject of Arquitectura Viva’s 162nd monograph, the sheer volume and span of projects from Bjarke Ingels Group since its founding in 2005 is staggering. After breaking away from OMA and then his partnership with ... View full entry
Fred Bernstein reviews "Phyllis Lambert’s Building Seagram"
As Seagram’s director of planning, Lambert visited the site daily. “I had intended to go back to Paris, but I stayed in New York, convinced that if the one person who really cared about the building was not there, Mies would not build Seagram,” she says. With Lambert as his protector and Johnson as his assistant, Mies went on to create in 1958 the Seagram building, a landmark of 20th-century architecture.
Kingdom of Kitsch
The oversize public monuments and buildings in the capital of North Korea confirm the subservience of the citizen to the state and display the ghastly aesthetic imperatives of totalitarian art.
The WSJ's Eric Gibson reviews the book "Architectural and Cultural Guide: Pyongyang," edited by Philipp Meuser, a German architect and architectural historian. View full entry
The Wired City, PD Smith
In this excerpt from his new book, City: A Guidebook for the Urban Age, PD Smith explores the history of ‘invisible’ urban infrastructure, from the network of subterranean steam pipes synchronising Paris clocks in the 1870s to the ‘organism’ that is Seoul today. The next step: a city that talks back to its citizens?
MONU #15 "Post-Ideological Urbanism" - Review by Michael Hirschbichler
In its latest issue #15 Rotterdam-based MONU magazine set out on a daring journey to investigate, as chief editor Bernd Upmeyer proclaims, “one of the most fascinating and biggest issues of our time and in culture, or what is left of it: the non-ideological – or better... View full entry