A Daily Dose of Architecture

  • Mexico City Architecture Guide
    by John Hill on January 16, 2019 at 1:00 PM

    Mexico City Architecture GuideMiquel Adrià, Andrea Griborio, Alejandro Gálvez, Juan José KochenArquine, August 2018Paperback | 4-1/2 x 8 inches | 232 pages | 210 color illustrations | English | ISBN: 978-6077784869 | $28.00Publisher Description:Mexico City Architecture Guide is a compilation of more than 150 works of architecture dating from the early 20th century up to the present day. To help orient readers, the guide is divided into five areas and includes seven maps to create a comprehensive panorama of the Mexican megalopolis. Each project includes details about the relevant architects, location and year of construction, as well as public transport information. The texts, photographs and maps created for this guide give fresh shape to the city.Now available in an English-language edition for the first time, Mexico City Architecture Guide is an invaluable guide for international visitors as well as locals, displaying a strong commitment to Mexico’s capital and celebrating the city’s architectural culture.dDAB Commentary:Ideally a review of a guidebook would involve actually using it as it was intended: walking around the city with the book in hand. But since I won't be making a trip to Mexico City anytime soon, and have yet to visit the city, this review will make do from 2,000 miles away. Mexico City Architecture Guide, published one year after the same guide in Spanish, organizes its more than 150 works of architecture into 5 chapters corresponding to the five color-coded maps displayed on fold-out inside covers at the front and back of the book (first spread, below). Each clearly numbered project is given one page (important works, such as Casa Estudio Luis Barragan, are given two pages) with one photo, address, nearest public transit, telephone and opening hours (if applicable), and a short description. It's a straightforward guide that is organized intelligently as a guidebook.A couple details indicate just how much better this book would be if I were in Mexico City rather than in my NYC apartment. First is the inclusion of nearby buildings in the descriptions of some of the entries. These are not other numbered buildings; rather they are buildings of note that could be seen or visited due to geographic immediacy. Unless I "visited" the city via Google Street View to see the exteriors of the numbered buildings, there's no way for me to take advantage of this sometimes-feature. Second are a few detailed maps within the chapters (Polanco, Condesa, and Ciudad Universitaria) that point out even more buildings, keyed to the maps through letters rather than numbers. These two details make the guidebook about much more than its 155 numbered entries — and a handy guide for whenever I make it down to Mexico City.Spreads:Author Bio:N/APurchase Links:(Note: Books bought via these links send a few cents to this blog, keeping it afloat.) &nbs […]

  • Drawing Architecture
    by John Hill on January 15, 2019 at 1:00 PM

    Drawing ArchitectureHelen ThomasPhaidon, October 2018Hardcover | 11-3/8 x 9-7/8 inches | 320 pages | 285 illustrations | English | ISBN: 978-0714877150 | $79.95Publisher Description:Throughout history, architects have relied on drawings both to develop their ideas and communicate their vision to the world.This gorgeous collection brings together more than 250 of the finest architectural drawings of all time, revealing each architect's process and personality as never before. Creatively paired to stimulate the imagination, the illustrations span the centuries and range from sketches to renderings, simple to intricate, built projects to a utopian ideal, famous to rarely seen - a true celebration of the art of architecture.Visually paired images draw connections and contrasts between architecture from different times, styles, and places. From Michelangelo to Frank Gehry, Louise Bourgeois to Tadao Ando, B.V. Doshi to Zaha Hadid, and Grafton to Luis Barragán, the book shows the incredible variety and beauty of architectural drawings.dDAB Commentary:One of Phaidon's tried and true formats is what I'd call the compilation book: one image with descriptive text per page, all geared to a particular theme. There's The Design Book, The Garden Book, Design for Children, and others related to architecture and design as well as books about art, cooking, and so forth. The success of these titles is certainly related to their subject. So for architects, Drawing Architecture is sure to please. Its nearly 300 pages of drawings range in time from 2130 BC to 2018. But instead of presenting the drawings in chronological order (a timeline at the back of the book, visible as the bottom spread, orders them as such) or in alphabetical order by their creators (as was done in The Garden Book, one of Phaidon's compilation books I'm most familiar with), author Helen Thomas opted for what she calls "an associational approach" meant to "provide imaginative space for the reader to make their own connections between the images." Yet with similarities in terms of color, form, perspective, and other visual means between the facing drawings on each spread, Thomas is already making those connections for the reader.For me, the obvious appeal of the book isn't the connections; it's the individual drawings, some of them instantly recognizable (Boullée's Cenotaph for Isaac Newton, Le Corbusier's Maison Domino, Frank Lloyd Wright's Fallingwater, Bernard Tschumi's Manhattan Transcripts, etc.) but many of them lesser known and therefore surprises to me. Thomas's descriptions are descriptive and analytical, finding significance in the drawings and how they were produced. In terms of the latter, I was disheartened to learn that Diller + Scofidio's iconic graphite-on-wood drawing of the unbuilt Slow House was a computer-generated print rather than a hand drawing (I should have realized that fact when I saw it in person years ago). I was also disappointed that Douglas Darden, Lauretta Vinciarelli, Michael Sorkin, and other talented architects were nowhere to be found, but any compilation is bound to have omissions. The drawings that did make the cut are on matte pages with uncut edges, making for a book lighter than expected given its size and very handsome; the latter is aided by the embossed cover with its drawing by R. Bucky Fuller. Unfortunately my cover warped quickly after unwrapping, something I wasn't expecting from a book with a cover price of more than $75.Spreads:Author Bio:Trained and registered as an architect, Helen Thomas spent 10 years as a senior lecturer in London schools of architecture, before moving to the new V&A/RIBA Architecture Collections at the V&A ... She is currently the Senior Research Fellow in Architecture and Construction, ETH Zurich.Purchase Links:(Note: Books bought via these links send a few cents to this blog, keeping it afloat.) &nbs […]

  • Architecture Can!
    by John Hill on January 14, 2019 at 1:00 PM

    Architecture Can! HWKN Hollwich Kushner 2008-2018Matthias Hollwich, Marc Kushner, HWKNImages Publishing, October 2018Flexicover | 5-1/4 x 9-1/2 inches | 216 pages | 290 color illustrations | English | ISBN: 978-1864707915 | $30.00Publisher Description:Architecture Can! is an intriguing journey through the works and projects of the groundbreaking architecture firm Hollwich Kushner, based in New York. Partners Matthias Hollwich and Marc Kushner design projects at every scale: intimate, awe-inspiring, and everything in between; from residences to universities, museums, and urban plans.As two founders of leading architecture social media network Architizer, Hollwich and Kushner frankly admit the power of social media in contemporary architecture practice. Images of new and advanced buildings and concepts travel the globe at high speed, influencing a new generation of projects before the previous generation has broken ground. To stand out, they believe, architecture must "empower people to engage with others, to produce memorable experiences, and to live with a sense of wonder."dDAB Commentary:What form should the architectural monograph take in the digital age? Architecture Can! is one answer. Documenting the first ten years of HWKN, aka Hollwich Kushner, the firm of Matthias Hollwich and Marc Kushner, Architecture Can! resembles a guidebook in size and shape. Its tall pages are more comfortable in the hands than on the coffee table. Following a short manifesto, with large text (akin to mobile-friendly websites) on yellow pages, the projects are presented like an endless scroll: images are cropped and extend to the next page and the next project. Some projects, such as their popular Wendy installation at MoMA PS1, are also given two-page spreads of full-bleed projects culled from Instagram and other social media sources. Following the colorful presentation of selected projects are all 125 projects HWKN projects to date, each presented simply with one b/w image.Architecture Can! is best when the social media spreads add life, literally, to the projects Hollwich, Kushner, and team designed. Not all of the photos depict the buildings in a flattering or even substantial light (quite a few are selfies or photos about people in their setting rather than about the settings themselves), but they reiterate HWKN's assertion, spelled out below, that buildings are shared experiences. While I'm not convinced by Kushner's assertion that Instagram posts and the like are taking over the role of architectural criticism, here the imgages become a means of gauging how successfully a design imbues a place with vitality. HWKN's buildings, as Architecture Can! presents them, are lively places indeed.Spreads:Author Bios:Matthias Hollwich and Marc Kushner founded Hollwich Kushner, a leading architecture firm based in Lower Manhattan ... They are a new kind of architecture firm that believes in entrepreneurship - they founded Architizer.com and were named one the world's Most Innovative Companies by Fast Company.Purchase Links:(Note: Books bought via these links send a few cents to this blog, keeping it afloat.) &nbs […]

  • Anchoring
    by John Hill on January 12, 2019 at 5:00 PM

    Anchoring: Steven Holl, Selected Projects, 1975-1991Steven HollPrinceton Architectural Press, January 1996 (third edition)Flexicover | 8-1/2 x 8-1/2 inches | 172 pages | 205 b/w illustrations | English | ISBN: 978-1878271518 | $40.00Publisher Description:One of our most popular titles, Anchoring presents New York architect Steven Holl's projects from 1975 to the present. Among the works featured are Void Space/Hinged Space Housing, Fukuoka; School of Architecture, University of Minnesota; Pace Showroom, New York; Stretto House, Dallas; and the Berkowitz House, Martha's Vineyard.dDAB Commentary:In 1989, about thirty years before his Seven Houses monograph, New York architect Steven Holl put out Anchoring. With a square format, linen cover, and plenty of b/w illustrations (mainly drawings and model photos as he'd built little at the time), the monograph was very popular. It was updated at least two times (the third edition is what I own and focus on here) and established the format for subsequent monographs, including Intertwining and Urbanisms (all three from Princeton Architectural Press, it should be noted), which I discussed in terms of continuity five years ago. When I was in architecture school in the early 1990s, Anchoring was one of my go-to books in the library for inspiration.Three decades later the book isn't so much a source of inspiration as an encapsulation of one architect's output over a period of time but also of the evolution of monographs. In regards to the latter, I'm amazed at just how much information is packed into Anchoring, information that is ditched in contemporary monographs in favor of more professional photos, larger text on the page, or praiseworthy words from a critic or fellow architect. Sure, Anchoring comes complete with an essay by Kenneth Frampton, but it also has loads of drawings and other illustrations that document an architect's process — even for projects that were completed and come with photos. Anchoring was far from the first monograph to rely so heavily on drawings, but it's easily one of the best.Spreads:Author Bio:Steven Holl is the founder and principal of Steven Holl Architects (est. 1977) in New York and is a tenured professor in the Graduate School of Architecture and Planning at Columbia University.Purchase Links:(Note: Books bought via these links send a few cents to this blog, keeping it afloat.) &nbs […]

  • New Geographies 09
    by John Hill on January 11, 2019 at 1:00 PM

    New Geographies 09: PosthumanMariano Gomez-Luque, Ghazal Jafari (Editors)Harvard GSD & Actar, January 2018Paperback | 8 x 10 inches | 208 pages | English | ISBN: 978-145150722 | $29.95Publisher Description:“Posthuman” signals a historical condition in which the coordinates of human existence on the planet are altered by profound technological, ecological, biopolitical, and spatial transformations. Engendering new ways of being in the world, this condition challenges long-established definitions of the ‘human’, and by extension, of the human environment. Interpreting design as a geographical agent deeply involved in the territorial engravings of contemporary urbanization, New Geographies 09 investigates the urban landscapes shaping the posthuman geographies of the early 21st century, fostering a wide-ranging debate about both the potentialities and challenges for design to engage with the complex spatialities, more-than-human ecologies, and diverse forms and habits of life of a post-anthropocentric world.dDAB Commentary:The tenth issue (although numbered 09, the inaugural zero issue makes it the tenth) of New Geographies, the annual journal produced by doctorate candidates at Harvard GSD, tackles the wide-ranging theme "Posthuman." Like previous issues of New Geographies (I've posted about 03, 06, and 07), the contributions to "Posthuman" are dense, coming from academics in architecture, geography, and related fields. Some notable names in this latest issue include Alejandro Zaera-Polo, Stephen Graham (in the form of an edited excerpt from his excellent Vertical), Benjamin Bratton, Charles Waldheim, Shannon Mattern, whose Code and Clay, Data and Dirt: Five Thousand Years of Urban Media from 2017 makes her an ideal contributor to this technology-focused issue, and Eyal Weizman.The spreads below reveal that "Posthuman" is as visual as it is textual. There's the usual illustrations accompanying many of the essays, but editors Mariano Gomez-Luque and Ghazal Jafari also included a visual narrative meant to represent "the wide spectrum of geospatial configurations through which the contemporary posthuman condition ... is materialized, imagined, and contested at multiple scales." The narrative takes the form of two-page color spreads following each essay, with the images corresponding to the preceding text. For instance, the narrative spread at bottom, a satellite seen from SpaceX, comes after Graham's Vertical excerpt on satellites. The intertwining of text and images (and yellow pages inserted at four intervals to accentuate certain contributions) adds a layer of complexity to the thematic issue, adds a good deal of visual interest to the issue, and makes some of the dense prose easier to swallow.Spreads:Author Bio:Mariano Gomez-Luque is a practicing architect and urban designer from Argentina, a Doctor of Design candidate at the Harvard University Graduate School of Design, and a research fellow at the Urban Theory Lab and the Office for Urbanization. Ghazal Jafari is a designer, land researcher, urbanist, and a research fellow at the Weatherhead Center for International Affairs as well as the Aga Khan Program at Harvard University. Purchase Links:(Note: Books bought via these links send a few cents to this blog, keeping it afloat.) &nbs […]

  • Garage
    by John Hill on January 10, 2019 at 1:00 PM

    GarageOlivia Erlanger, Luis Ortega GovelaThe MIT Press, October 2018Hardcover | 6 x 8-1/2 inches | 224 pages | 52 illustrations | English | ISBN: 978-0262038348 | $21.95Publisher Description:Frank Lloyd Wright invented the garage when he moved the automobile out of the stable into a room of its own. Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak (allegedly) started Apple Computer in a garage. Suburban men turned garages into man caves to escape from family life. Nirvana and No Doubt played their first chords as garage bands. What began as an architectural construct became a cultural construct. In this provocative history and deconstruction of an American icon, Olivia Erlanger and Luis Ortega Govela use the garage as a lens through which to view the advent of suburbia, the myth of the perfect family, and the degradation of the American dream.The stories of what happened in these garages became self-fulfilling prophecies the more they were repeated. Hewlett-Packard was founded in a garage that now bears a plaque: The Birthplace of Silicon Valley. Google followed suit, dreamed up in a Menlo Park garage a few decades later. Also conceived in a garage: the toy company Mattel, creator of Barbie, the postwar, posthuman representation of American women. Garages became guest rooms, game rooms, home gyms, wine cellars, and secret bondage lairs, a no-commute destination for makers and DIYers—surfboard designers, ski makers, pet keepers, flannel-wearing musicians, weed-growing nuns. The garage was an aboveground underground, offering both a safe space for withdrawal and a stage for participation—opportunities for isolation or empowerment.dDAB Commentary:When I think of architecture titles from MIT Press, I think of scholarly tomes with voluminous footnotes. But a flip to the back of Garage, a "history and deconstruction of an American icon" by artist Olivia Erlanger and architect Luis Ortega Govela, reveals, alas, no footnotes. How does a book that explores Frank Lloyd Wright's apparent invention of the attached garage in his Robie House and the garage as a setting for businessmen to start companies and punks to start bands, among other things, not credit any sources? Because, it seems to me, Erlanger and Ortega Govela are more interested in the "deconstruction" than the "history." Their book is more art than scholarship, a bound volume that balances the blended words of the two authors with visual artworks by each (as well as photos of garage doors by John Divola). The result is more a rumination than a serious study of that important yet under-appreciated room that fronts suburban houses.From paragraphs about Wright's design of carports and garages in his Prairie and Usonia houses to the belief that Steve Jobs invented Apple in his garage, from Joseph Eichler's success in building thousands of postwar suburban houses in California to Kurt Cobain's suicide in the room over his garage, the authors hone in on the garage as a symbol of the "outdated but persistent myth of the solitary male genius." In turn, they want to do their part in the "crumbling" of the myth that, they assert, would also involve the fall of the garage. I'm not entirely convinced of this "conspiracy," as they call it, as expressed through Garage's mixture of words and images. Erlanger and Ortega Govela may have better success if their plans for a documentary film on the garage come to fruition: the medium of film should (I hope) better connect the myriad ideas in their book into a more cohesive message.Spreads:Author Bio:Olivia Erlanger is an artist and writer based in Los Angeles. Luis Ortega Govela is a Mexican architect based in London and Los Angeles. Ortega Govela is a founder of the arts collective ÅYR. Erlanger and Ortega are at work on a documentary film on the garage.Purchase Links:(Note: Books bought via these links send a few cents to this blog, keeping it afloat.) &nbs […]

  • Sustainable Nation
    by John Hill on January 9, 2019 at 1:00 PM

    Sustainable Nation: Urban Design Patterns for the FutureDouglas FarrWiley, April 2018Hardcover | 8-3/4 x 11 inches | 400 pages | # illustrations | English | ISBN: 978-0470537176 | $80.00Publisher Description:As a follow up to his widely acclaimed Sustainable Urbanism, this new book from author Douglas Farr embraces the idea that the humanitarian, population, and climate crises are three facets of one interrelated human existential challenge, one with impossibly short deadlines. The vision of Sustainable Nation is to accelerate the pace of progress of human civilization to create an equitable and sustainable world. The core strategy of Sustainable Nation is the perfection of the design and governance of all neighborhoods to make them unique exemplars of community and sustainability. The tools to achieve this vision are more than 70 patterns for rebellious change written by industry leaders of thought and practice. Each pattern represents an aspirational, future-oriented ideal for a key aspect of a neighborhood. At once an urgent call to action and a guidebook for change, Sustainable Nation is an essential resource for urban designers, planners, and architects.dDAB Commentary:It's been ten years since Chicago architect and planner Douglas Farr released Sustainable Urbanism, an excellent book that advocated for for transit-served, walkable neighborhoods with high-tech buildings and infrastructure. In his follow up, Sustainable Nation, Farr continues roughly along those lines but with an expanded scope and an increased sense of urgency; given that climate change was something in the future a decade ago but is now actually happening, that urgency is warranted. As the subtitle of the book implies, urban design patterns are the means of creating a more sustainable future. In the four-part structure of the book, the patterns fall into the last but make up a little more than half of the book's pages. The patterns offer short, two- or four-page spreads by a variety of practitioners on things like Burning Man-inspired art events, tactical interventions in underused public spaces, and designing all buildings as net-zero. Thorough yet far from comprehensive, the patterns (some available on The Pattern Project website) reinforce Farr's position that bottom-up tactics are more important than bottom-down solutions.The first half of the book frames the arguments for the patterns that follow by illustrating data about "our default world," collecting case studies of commendable buildings and neighborhood plans, painting a picture of a sustainable future and laying out broadly how we can get there. Illustrations throughout the book aid in explaining the loads of complex information in the book, and it's in the first half that those graphs, charts, lists, and other graphics are most helpful. For example, Farr asserts that all untapped oil, coal, and natural gas needs to stay in the ground to reverse the course we're on, and he uses the decline in smoking — illustrated through graphs — as an example of how Americans have been able to respond to one emergency. Although climate change is an emergency that makes smoking pale by comparison and addressing it seems insurmountable as carbon output increases each year, the optimism of Farr's book makes it seem otherwise: that positive change is attainable within the next few generations. The alternative, after all, shouldn't be an option.Spreads:Author Bio:Douglas Farr is an architect, urbanist, author, and passionate advocate for sustainable design thinking. Doug heads Farr Associates, a Chicago-based firm that plans and designs lovable, aspirational buildings and places.Purchase Links:(Note: Books bought via these links send a few cents to this blog, keeping it afloat.) &nbs […]

  • Why Materials Matter
    by John Hill on January 8, 2019 at 1:00 PM

    Why Materials Matter: Responsible Design for a Better WorldSeetal SolankiPrestel, November 2018Hardcover | 9-3/4 x 12 inches | 240 pages | 250 color illustrations | English | ISBN: 978-3791384719 | $50.00Publisher Description:What does it mean to live in a material world, and how do materials of the past and present hold the keys to our future? This book tackles these questions by focusing on various issues that human beings face and by discussing potential materials-related solutions. Through the lens of intriguing projects by designers, artists, makers, and scientists, it presents a colorful panoply of ideas, technologies, and creative efforts that focus on the earth’s most basic elements, while also showing how these elements can be transformed into entirely new materials. It explores, for example, how ancient practices such as dyeing fabric and making glue may hold the secret to renewable and earth-friendly consumer products, as well as how recycling plastics can tackle food waste, and how a type of light metal being developed may one day make air travel less fuel-reliant. This book also investigates the potential of the digital experience, suggesting how this most ephemeral type of matter can be used to improve our world. Eye-catching and provocative, Why Materials Matter serves as both a stimulating catalog of possibilities and a timely manifesto on how to consume, manufacture, and design for a better future.dDAB Commentary:Telling a designer that materials matter would most likely elicit a response along the lines of "Well duh." But ask them if they considered using rubble-dash or sawdust or even cow dung (to pull examples from the spreads below) for their design instead of a most standard material, and they probably won't have such a pat response. Why Materials Matter, the new book from Seetal Solanki — her first — collects dozens of such cutting-edge, off-the-wall materials and presents them through the projects of designers in various fields. With such materials as sausage, blood, and fabricated air (yes, that's a thing), much of the book is geared to fields outside of architecture: fashion, industrial design, and even culinary design.Still, there are a few examples directly related to architecture, and two of them come from Assemble, the Turner Prize-winning collective based in London. For Café OTO's temporary performance space, Assemble collected rubble from the site, bagged it and compressed to create so-called rubble-dash walls for the timber roof. At Granby Workshop, a ceramics studio in Liverpool founded by Assemble, the collective created a line of door handles and other building fixtures that incorporated sawdust from demolished buildings in the surrounding neighborhood. In both cases Assemble delayed the movement of some rather prevalent materials to the dump, giving them extended lives — and a spot in this collection of materials that may someday be common, duh-inducing.Spreads:Author Bio:Seetal Solanki is a London-based materials designer, researcher, writer and tutor in Interior Design Royal College of Art. She is also the Founder and Director of materials research design studio Ma-tt-er.Purchase Links:(Note: Books bought via these links send a few cents to this blog, keeping it afloat.) […]

  • Steven Holl: Seven Houses
    by John Hill on January 7, 2019 at 1:00 PM

    Steven Holl: Seven HousesSteven Holl with Philip JodidioRizzoli, November 2018Hardcover | 9-3/4 x 9-3/4 inches | 192 pages | English | ISBN: 978-0847861590 | $75.00Publisher Description:This book takes a close look at seven houses designed by Steven Holl, considered one of America's most influential architects. It offers the reader unprecedented access to the thought processes and work of this groundbreaking, cutting-edge architect through his own words and watercolors―and more than 100 photographs.This volume features seven of his residential houses and looks at his approach to modernist suburban residences, including two new homes finished in 2017. Viewed as a collection, these houses serve to demonstrate the wide range of Holl's prodigious genius through lavish and striking photographs as well as Holl's own descriptions. Considered one of America's most important architects, Holl is recognized for his ability to blend space and light with great contextual sensitivity and to utilize the unique qualities of each project to create a concept-driven design. Time magazine declared Holl "America's Best Architect" for his "buildings that satisfy the spirit as well as the eye."dDAB Commentary:The seven houses of this book's title range from two small structures on Steven Holl's own property north of New York City to a large house and gallery in South Korea. Most of the houses ― all completed in the last 20 years ― are scattered about the Northeast United States, though one is in New Mexico and two of them are only vaguely located in the United States (the latter happen to be on the same property, as a site plan attests). More interesting than the geography and even formal characteristics of the houses Holl designs is that he continues to design them at all. Often when a firm designs large developments, as Holl does in China, single-family houses become untenable for various reasons. A chronology of houses at the back of the book reveals that Holl has been designing them constantly since 1974; so perhaps he is unable to break from a typology at the core of his architectural being.The framework through which the seven houses are presented, as the sub-subtitle "Luminist Architecture" makes clear, is luminosity. For Holl, an architect far from shy about is love of natural light and means of incorporating it into his designs, the luminosity of his houses finds a synergy in American landscape paintings from the 1800s, as he spells out in his introduction to the book. Holl delves into the notion of luminosity a bit more in the interview with Philip Jodidio after the presentation of the seven houses, but it's the photos, drawings, models, and watercolors of the latter that are most convincing argument for Holl's continued experimentation in residential architecture.Spreads:Author Bios:Steven Holl is the founder and principal of Steven Holl Architects (est. 1977) in New York and the designer of all projects ongoing in the office... Holl is a tenured professor in the Graduate School of Architecture and Planning at Columbia University and an architect in New York. Philip Jodidio studied art history and economics at Harvard before moving to Paris... Jodidio has written over 90 books about contemporary architecture and art.Purchase Links:(Note: Books bought via these links send a few cents to this blog, keeping it afloat.) […]

  • A Daily Dose of Architecture Books, Est. 2019
    by John Hill on January 1, 2019 at 2:00 PM

    Last week I posted about the end of A Daily Dose of Architecture, the blog I started in 2004, five years after I launched my online endeavors with A Weekly Dose of Architecture. In that post I hinted that my blog would morph into something else. Well, here it is: A Daily Dose of Architecture Books. Surprised? If you're a longtime reader of this blog, probably not.Why A Daily Dose of Architecture Books? Because:I love books;There are very few outlets, online or print, that give much coverage to architecture books;I strongly believe in the value of print books in our digital age;My daily doses featured so many books anyways (reviews, "briefs," "so you want to learn about" posts), it was just a matter of time before this blog focused on them outright;Lately I've been unable to do many full-length book reviews, so this new blog will enable me to feature more books, albeit with shorter commentaries on them;I love books — so much that I wrote it twice!All the old posts from both A Daily Dose of Architecture (2004-2018) and A Weekly Dose of Architecture (1999-2014) will remain on this blog, though the new dDAB content will be tagged, and therefore easy to find among the 5,000+ posts, based on this weekly structure:Monograph Mondays (that most popular, lasting form of the architecture book)Technical Tuesdays (books on construction, drawing, materials, practice, technology, etc.)World Wednesdays (books on cities and suburbs, regional architecture, travel guides, landscapes, photography, etc.)History/Theory Thursdays (histories and theories of architecture but also criticism and the like)Free-for-all Fridays (books that don't fit neatly into the above categories or maybe even veer outside of architecture)Wayback Weekends (older books I want to highlight)Although the idea is to post a recently published book on each weekday and an old book over the weekend, if a day comes and I don't have a book worth featuring, I'll skip it. For instance, if one week I don't have a good Technical Tuesday book to highlight, I'll wait until the next week rather than forcing myself to include one just because it fits the category. How will I know if these are books worth featuring? Like the book reviews I've done for years, the dDAB posts will not be blind recommendations; they will be based on firsthand experience with the books, either with print or PDF versions, and will therefore have my commentary. In turn, each post will have a consistent format:Title, author, publisher, and date of publicationCover imagePublication details (hard/softcover, book size, page count, # pages and illustrations, language(s), ISBN #, cover price)Description from the publisherdDAB commentarySpreads from inside bookAuthor bioReferral linksdDAB posts will commence next week. In the meantime, I'm going to tweak the design of this blog to give it a slightly different look, update things on my social media channels, and take care of some other "housecleaning" for this, my latest online undertaking. […]

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