‘Tis the season for final exams and design reviews, and in this spirit, we’ve collected a list of favorite books from studies past and present. Anyone who enjoys reading about the built and natural environment would enjoy them.
At Home, by Bill Bryson
Matt thinks this book is brilliant! It’s a history of domestic life over the last 150 years; if you’ve ever wondered how incredibly difficult life was for us before electricity, dining rooms, silverware, grocery stores, and even indoor plumbing, read this book. Next time you flush the toilet or open the refrigerator for a snack, you’ll think about just how ‘easy’ home life is here in the 21st century. Enjoy!
Glen Murcutt, by Francoise Fromonot
Elaine loves how well Murcutt integrates basic environmental factors (like light, heat, water) into his architecture. This book provides detailed drawings, capturing how he translates those basic elements into architecture.
Learning from Las Vegas, by Venturi, Scott Brown & Izenour
Even if you are not a disciple of Post-Modern art and architecture, the thesis of Learning from Las Vegas breaks down the distinctions between high and low. Hannah enjoys this book’s wit and humor as the authors demonstrate how much we can learn from what has been traditionally deemed “low”. And what’s not to love about a decorated duck?
Masters of Light, by Henry Plummer
Bridgett finds this book both visually and intellectually inspiring, as it looks at changing thoughts on light across disciplines and at case studies of architecture that are composed of light and shadow.
In Praise of Shadows, by Jun’ichiro Tanizaki
Although we do still prefer our cleanly toilets, we are all inspired to “immerse ourselves in the darkness and discoverits own particular beauty…”
Wabi-Sabi for Artists, Designers, Poets & Philosophers, by Leonard Koren
Modernism is cool, wabi-sabi is warm.Modernism romanticizes technology, wabi-sabi romanticizes nature.
Wabi-sabi is the beauty of things imperfect, impermanent, and incomplete.
It is a beauty of things modest and humble.
The Eyes of the Skin, by Juhani Pallasmaa
“The body knows and remembers. Architectural meaning derives from archaic responses and reactions remembered by the body and the senses.”
The Poetics of Space, by Gaston Bachelard”
When the intellectual realm, the realm of ideas, is in balance with the experiential realm, the realm of phenomena, form is animated with meaning. In this balance, architecture has both intellectual and physical intensity, with the potential to touch mind, eye, and soul.”
Thinking Architecture, by Peter Zumthor
“Associative, wild, free, ordered and systematic thinking in images, in architectural, spatial, colorful and sensuous pictures – that is my favorite definition of design.”
The Tao of Architecture, by Amos Ih Tiao Chang
This is a light read that Tai found to be a good counterpoint to the more cerebral texts required in his university days, when he was more interested in phenomenology than highly theoretical studies in architecture.
Invisible Cities, by Italo Calvino
Informal, by Cecil Balmond
The Death and Life of Great American Cities, by Jane Jacobs
A must read for several of us in the office and for those who love the city. Jane Jacobs brought to life the concept of the “eyes on the street” which can be seen in action in amazing, transformative programs throughout the US, including Geoffrey Canada’s Harlem Children’s Zone.