The Language of Cities
Author: Deyan Sudjic
Publisher: Penguin UK
The director of the Design Museum defines the greatest artefact of all time: the city We live in a world that is now predominantly urban. So how do we define the city as it evolves in the twenty-first century? Drawing examples from across the globe, Deyan Sudjic decodes the underlying forces that shape our cities, such as resources and land, to the ideas that shape conscious elements of design, whether of buildings or of space. Erudite and entertaining, he considers the differences between capital cities and the rest to understand why it is that we often feel more comfortable in our identities as Londoners, Muscovites, or Mumbaikars than in our national identities.
Abundantly illustrated with over 2,500 photographs, drawings, and charts, this is both a richly detailed glossary of more than seven hundred words and terms commonly used in architecture and urban planning, and a compendium of great visual interest.
The Language of Things
Author: Deyan Sudjic
Publisher: Penguin UK
We live in a world drowning in objects. But what do they tell us about ourselves?In The Language of Things, Deyan Sudjic charts our relationship - both innocent and knowing - with all things designed. From the opulent excesses of the catwalk, or the technical brilliance of a laptop computer, to the subtle refinement of a desk lamp, he shows how we can be manipulated and seduced by our possessions. Sudjic delivers an exhilarating insider’s history of design as he introduces us to the world's most original innovators and reveals the hidden meanings in their work. How did the design of a pistol influence a car? Why did a chair make a cafe the most fashionable place in Paris? What can we learn from a banknote, a police uniform or a typeface? And why can't any of us decide what size to wear our trousers? In an age when the word ‘designer’ has become synonymous with the cynical and manipulative, Sudjic examines the qualities behind successful design and explores the conflicting tensions between high art and mass production. Brilliant and courageous, The Language of Things defines the visual vocabulary of our time and gives us a powerful new way of seeing the world.
Extraordinary architecture addresses so much more than mere practical considerations. It inspires and provokes while creating a seamless experience of the physical world for its users. It is the rare writer that can frame the discussion of a building in a way that allows the reader to see it with new eyes. Writing About Architecture is a handbook on writing effectively and critically about buildings and cities. Each chapter opens with a reprint of a significant essay written by a renowned architecture critic, followed by a close reading and discussion of the writer's strategies. Lange offers her own analysis using contemporary examples as well as a checklist of questions at the end of each chapter to help guide the writer. This important addition to the Architecture Briefs series is based on the author's design writing courses at New York University and the School of Visual Arts. Lange also writes a popular online column for Design Observer and has written for Dwell, Metropolis, New York magazine, and The New York Times. Writing About Architecture includes analysis of critical writings by Ada Louise Huxtable, Lewis Mumford, Herbert Muschamp, Michael Sorkin, Charles Moore, Frederick Law Olmsted, and Jane Jacobs. Architects covered include Marcel Breuer, Diller Scofidio + Renfro, Field Operations, Norman Foster, Frank Gehry, Frederick Law Olmsted, SOM, Louis Sullivan, and Frank Lloyd Wright.
Author: Robert Alter
Publisher: Yale University Press
In Imagined Cities, Robert Alter traces the arc of literary development triggered by the runaway growth of urban centers from the early nineteenth century through the first two decades of the twentieth. As new technologies and arrangements of public and private space changed the ways people experienced time and space, the urban panorama became less coherent—a metropolis defying traditional representation and definition, a vast jumble of shifting fragments and glimpses—and writers were compelled to create new methods for conveying the experience of the city.In a series of subtle and convincing interpretations of novels by Flaubert, Dickens, Bely, Woolf, Joyce, and Kafka, Alter reveals the ways the city entered the literary imagination. He shows how writers of diverse imaginative temperaments developed innovative techniques to represent shifts in modern consciousness. Writers sought more than a journalistic representation of city living, he argues, and to convey meaningfully the reality of the metropolis, the city had to be re-created or reimagined. His book probes the literary response to changing realities of the period and contributes significantly to our understanding of the history of the Western imagination.
The Edifice Complex
Author: Deyan Sudjic
A provocative look at architecture-"exceptionally intelligent and original" (Jonathan Yardley, The Washington Post Book World) Deyan Sudjic-"probably the most influential figure in architecture you've never heard of" - argues that architecture, far from being auteur art, must be understood as a naked expression of power. From the grandiose projects of Stalin and Hitler to the "theme park" excess of today's presidential libraries, Sudjic goes behind the scenes of history's great manipulators of building propaganda-and exposes Rem Koolhaas, Frank Gehry, and other architects in a disturbing new light. This controversial book is essential reading for all those interested in the power of architecture-or the architecture of power. * A Washington Post Book World Best Book of the Year
B is for Bauhaus
Author: Deyan Sudjic
Publisher: Penguin UK
This book is not a dictionary, though it tells you all you need know about everything from Authenticity to Zips. It's not an autobiography, though it does offer a revealing and highly personal inside view of contemporary culture. It's an essential tool kit for understanding the modern world. It's about what makes a Warhol a genuine fake; the creation of national identities; the mania to collect. It's also about the world seen from the rear view mirror of Grand Theft Auto V; digital ornament and why we value imperfection. It's about drinking a bruisingly dry martini in Adolf Loo's American bar in Vienna, and about Hitchcock's film sets. It's about fashion and technology, about politics and art.
A Pattern Language
Author: Christopher Alexander
Publisher: Oxford University Press
You can use this book to design a house for yourself with your family; you can use it to work with your neighbors to improve your town and neighborhood; you can use it to design an office, or a workshop, or a public building. And you can use it to guide you in the actual process of construction. After a ten-year silence, Christopher Alexander and his colleagues at the Center for Environmental Structure are now publishing a major statement in the form of three books which will, in their words, "lay the basis for an entirely new approach to architecture, building and planning, which will we hope replace existing ideas and practices entirely." The three books are The Timeless Way of Building, The Oregon Experiment, and this book, A Pattern Language. At the core of these books is the idea that people should design for themselves their own houses, streets, and communities. This idea may be radical (it implies a radical transformation of the architectural profession) but it comes simply from the observation that most of the wonderful places of the world were not made by architects but by the people. At the core of the books, too, is the point that in designing their environments people always rely on certain "languages," which, like the languages we speak, allow them to articulate and communicate an infinite variety of designs within a forma system which gives them coherence. This book provides a language of this kind. It will enable a person to make a design for almost any kind of building, or any part of the built environment. "Patterns," the units of this language, are answers to design problems (How high should a window sill be? How many stories should a building have? How much space in a neighborhood should be devoted to grass and trees?). More than 250 of the patterns in this pattern language are given: each consists of a problem statement, a discussion of the problem with an illustration, and a solution. As the authors say in their introduction, many of the patterns are archetypal, so deeply rooted in the nature of things that it seemly likely that they will be a part of human nature, and human action, as much in five hundred years as they are today.
The Moral Economy of Cities
Author: Evelyn Sharon Ruppert
Publisher: University of Toronto Press
Using the redevelopment of the Yonge-Dundas intersection in downtown Toronto in the mid-1990s as a case study, Ruppert examines the language of planners, urban designers, architects, and marketing analysts to reveal the extent to which moralization legitimizes these professions in the public eye.
This eloquent and powerful book combines poetry and pragmatism to teach the language of landscape. Anne Whiston Spirn, author of the award-winning The Granite Garden: Urban Nature and Human Design, argues that the language of landscape exists with its own syntax, grammar, and metaphors, and that we imperil ourselves by failing to learn to read and speak this language. To understand the meanings of landscape, our habitat, is to see the world differently and to enable ourselves to avoid profound aesthetic and environmental mistakes. Offering examples that range across thousands of years and five continents, Spirn examines urban, rural, and natural landscapes. She discusses the thought of renowned landscape authors--Thomas Jefferson, Frank Lloyd Wright, Frederick Law Olmsted, Lawrence Halprin--and of less well known pioneers, including Australian architect Glenn Murcutt and Danish landscape artist C. Th. Sørensen. She discusses instances of great landscape designers using landscape fluently, masterfully, and sometimes cynically. And, in a probing analysis of the many meanings of landscape, Spirn shows how one person's ideal landscape may be another's nightmare, how Utopian landscapes can be dark. There is danger when we lose the connection between a place and our understanding of it, Spirn warns, and she calls for change in the way we shape our environment, based on the notions of nature as a set of ideas and landscape as the expression of action and ideas in place.
The Spirit of Cities
Author: Daniel A. Bell, Avner de-Shalit
Publisher: Princeton University Press
Cities shape the lives and outlooks of billions of people, yet they have been overshadowed in contemporary political thought by nation-states, identity groups, and concepts like justice and freedom. The Spirit of Cities revives the classical idea that a city expresses its own distinctive ethos or values. In the ancient world, Athens was synonymous with democracy and Sparta represented military discipline. In this original and engaging book, Daniel Bell and Avner de-Shalit explore how this classical idea can be applied to today's cities, and they explain why philosophy and the social sciences need to rediscover the spirit of cities. Bell and de-Shalit look at nine modern cities and the prevailing ethos that distinguishes each one. The cities are Jerusalem (religion), Montreal (language), Singapore (nation building), Hong Kong (materialism), Beijing (political power), Oxford (learning), Berlin (tolerance and intolerance), Paris (romance), and New York (ambition). Bell and de-Shalit draw upon the richly varied histories of each city, as well as novels, poems, biographies, tourist guides, architectural landmarks, and the authors' own personal reflections and insights. They show how the ethos of each city is expressed in political, cultural, and economic life, and also how pride in a city's ethos can oppose the homogenizing tendencies of globalization and curb the excesses of nationalism. The Spirit of Cities is unreservedly impressionistic. Combining strolling and storytelling with cutting-edge theory, the book encourages debate and opens up new avenues of inquiry in philosophy and the social sciences. It is a must-read for lovers of cities everywhere. In a new preface, Bell and de-Shalit further develop their idea of "civicism," the pride city dwellers feel for their city and its ethos over that of others.
Thirty years after its publication, The Death and Life of Great American Cities was described by The New York Times as "perhaps the most influential single work in the history of town planning....[It] can also be seen in a much larger context. It is first of all a work of literature; the descriptions of street life as a kind of ballet and the bitingly satiric account of traditional planning theory can still be read for pleasure even by those who long ago absorbed and appropriated the book's arguments." Jane Jacobs, an editor and writer on architecture in New York City in the early sixties, argued that urban diversity and vitality were being destroyed by powerful architects and city planners. Rigorous, sane, and delightfully epigrammatic, Jacobs's small masterpiece is a blueprint for the humanistic management of cities. It is sensible, knowledgeable, readable, indispensable. The author has written a new foreword for this Modern Library edition.
Triumph of the City
Author: Edward Glaeser
A pioneering urban economist presents a myth-shattering look at the majesty and greatness of cities America is an urban nation, yet cities get a bad rap: they're dirty, poor, unhealthy, environmentally unfriendly . . . or are they? In this revelatory book, Edward Glaeser, a leading urban economist, declares that cities are actually the healthiest, greenest, and richest (in both cultural and economic terms) places to live. He travels through history and around the globe to reveal the hidden workings of cities and how they bring out the best in humankind. Using intrepid reportage, keen analysis, and cogent argument, Glaeser makes an urgent, eloquent case for the city's importance and splendor, offering inspiring proof that the city is humanity's greatest creation and our best hope for the future. "A masterpiece." -Steven D. Levitt, coauthor of Freakonomics "Bursting with insights." -The New York Times Book Review