Architecture and design
These recent picks focus on the design that literally surrounds us every day. Several of these titles examine the ways architecture has adapted to the current economic and environmentally aware times and show how these restrictions can result in great design.
Groundwork : between landscape and architecture / Diana Balmori and Joel Sanders.
“The current environmental crisis calls for a unified practice of landscape and architecture that would allow buildings and landscapes to perform symbiotically to heal the environment. Over the past ten years, a diverse group of architects, landscape architects, and artists have undertaken groundbreaking projects that propose an integration of landscape and architecture, dissolving traditional distinctions between building and environment. Groundwork: Between Landscape and Architecture examines twenty-five projects, on an international scale, that consider landscape and architecture as true reciprocal entities.” – (adapted from Amazon.com summary)
New York dozen : gen X architects / Michael J. Crosbie.
“This book profiles the work of 12 firms making a name in the city that never sleeps- the latest of a new generation of practitioners that are being challenge by the new economy.” – (adapted from Syndetics summary)
Handmade houses : a century of earth-friendly home design / Richard Olsen.
“The first study of the handmade-homes phenomenon since its inception in the late 1960s, Handmade Houses revisits the subject’s roots and history, exploring how these homes and their owners paved the way for the architectural-salvage business and the reclaimed, industrial look ever-popular today. As fascinating as the structures are themselves, their owners—professionals and amateurs who personally designed and built each residence—offer their inspirations and stories behind the convention-defying homes. Design lessons are gleaned from each home—some examples of environmentally aware construction with applicable tips for use in more mainstream scenarios. Handmade Houses is an important and relevant volume to be appreciated by anyone interested in environmentally friendly design, craft, and the expression of personal style in the home. ” – (adapted from Amazon.com summary)
Nano house : innovations for small dwellings / Phyllis Richardson.
“This wonderful compilation of photos accompanied by brief, informative essays presents a definitive review of micro-habitations, or “nano houses.” A variety of shapes and designs from around the globe are presented to exhibit how one can downsize and still live luxuriously. Though some homes are intricate and ornate-like the sophisticated, complex “Moon Dazzler” in Guanacaste, Costa Rica with bamboo screens for walls-others, like the Czech Republic’s “Villa Hermina,” display a cozy minimalism. The appropriately-named and barrel-esque German model, “Roll-It,” along with the egg-shaped Belgian “Blob” demonstrate how small can still be both innovative and surprisingly comfortable. Design and architecture enthusiasts as well as readers concerned with environmental issues and alternative housing will find this book informative and inspiring. Photos. (Oct.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.” – (adapted from Publisher Weekly summary)
Triumphs of change : architecture reconsidered / Russell Walden.Triumphs of Change: Architecture Reconsidered
“This book is born out of a sense of scepticism with self-indulgence in architecture. It seeks a new prescription for readdressing architecture as an expression of human need. Sense, Sagacity and the Sublime define the architectural realities of its organizing principle, while Gods and Goddesses; Princes and Prelates; Corporate Clients and Citizens identify strategic shifts in Western Civilization. The book carries the judgment of democracy derived from Greek Goddess Athena. This is followed by the measured building world of Le Thoronet which advances unswervingly towards the Paris Opera – the greatest processional triumph of the 19th Century. The finale deals with Frank Lloyd Wright at Falling Water, Le Corbusier at Ronchamp, Renzo Piano at Kansai Airport, Japan, and Santiago Calatrava’s winged vehemence at Milwaukee, USA. The book concludes with a thoughtful reminder – emphasizing the values of human engagement while providing philosophical support for the social contract in architecture.” – (adapted from Publisher’s description)