“Home is an idea,” Meghan Daum writes in her foreword, “a story we tell ourselves about who we are and who and what we want closest in our midst.” In The American Idea of Home, documentary filmmaker Bernard Friedman interviews more than thirty leaders in the field of architecture about a constellation of ideas relating to housing and home. The interviewees include Pritzker Prize winners Thom Mayne, Richard Meier, and Robert Venturi; Pulitzer Prize winners Paul Goldberger and Tracy Kidder; American Institute of Architects head Robert Ivy; and legendary architects such as Denise Scott Brown, Charles Gwathmey, Kenneth Frampton, and Robert A. M. Stern.
The American idea of home and the many types of housing that embody it launch lively, wide-ranging conversations about some of the most vital and important issues in architecture today. The topics that Friedman and his interviewees discuss illuminate five overarching themes: the functions and meanings of home; history, tradition, and change in residential architecture; activism, sustainability, and the environment; cities, suburbs, and regions; and technology, innovation, and materials. Friedman frames the interviews with an extended introduction that highlights these themes and helps readers appreciate the common concerns that underlie projects as disparate as Katrina cottages and Frank Lloyd Wright Usonian houses. Readers will come away from these thought-provoking interviews with an enhanced awareness of the “under the hood” kinds of design decisions that fundamentally shape our ideas of home and the dwellings in which we live.
The American suburban dream house-a single-family, detached dwelling, frequently clustered in tight rows and cul-de-sacs-has been attacked for some time as homogeneous and barren, yet the suburbs are home to half of the American population. Architectural historian John Archer suggests the endurance of the ideal house is deeply rooted in the notions of privacy, property, and selfhood that were introduced in late seventeenth-century England and became the foundation of the American nation and identity.
Spanning four centuries, Architecture and Suburbia explores phenomena ranging from household furnishings and routines to the proliferation of the dream house in parallel with Cold War politics. Beginning with John Locke, whose Enlightenment philosophy imagined individuals capable of self-fulfillment, Archer examines the eighteenth-century British bourgeois villa and the earliest London suburbs. He recounts how early American homeowners used houses to establish social status and how twentieth-century Americans continued to flock to single-family houses in the suburbs, encouraged by patriotism, fueled by consumerism, and resisting disdain by disaffected youths, designers, and intellectuals. Finally, he recognizes “hybridized” or increasingly diverse American suburbs as the dynamic basis for a strengthened social fabric.
From Enlightenment philosophy to rap lyrics, from the rise of a mercantile economy to discussions over neighborhoods, sprawl, and gated communities, Archer addresses the past, present, and future of the American dream house.
John Archer is professor of cultural studies and comparative literature at the University of Minnesota. His book The Literature of British Domestic Architecture, 1715-1842, is the standard reference on the subject, and he also contributed to the Encyclopedia of Urban America and the Encyclopedia of Twentieth-Century Architecture.
A radical critique of architecture that places disability at the heart of the built environment
Disability critiques of architecture usually emphasize the need for modification and increased access, but The Architecture of Disability calls for a radical reorientation of this perspective by situating experiences of impairment as a new foundation for the built environment. With its provocative proposal for “the construction of disability,” this book fundamentally reconsiders how we conceive of and experience disability in our world.
Stressing the connection between architectural form and the capacities of the human body, David Gissen demonstrates how disability haunts the history and practice of architecture. Examining various historic sites, landscape designs, and urban spaces, he deconstructs the prevailing functionalist approach to accommodating disabled people in architecture and instead asserts that physical capacity is essential to the conception of all designed space.
By recontextualizing the history of architecture through the discourse of disability, The Architecture of Disability presents a unique challenge to current modes of architectural practice, theory, and education. Envisioning an architectural design that fully integrates disabled persons into its production, it advocates for looking beyond traditional notions of accessibility and shows how certain incapacities can offer us the means to positively reimagine the roots of architecture.
Mies van der Rohe once commented, “Only skyscrapers under construction reveal their bold constructive thoughts, and then the impression made by their soaring skeletal frames is overwhelming.” Never has this statement resonated more than in recent years, when architectural design has undergone a radical transformation, and when powerful computers allow architects and engineers to design and construct buildings that were impossible just a few years ago. At the same time, what lies underneath these surfaces is more mysterious than ever before.
In Architecture under Construction, photographer Stanley Greenberg explores the anatomy and engineering of some of our most unusual new buildings, helping us to understand our own fascination with what makes buildings stand up, and what makes them fall down. As designs for new constructions are revealed and the public watches closely as architects and engineers challenge each other with provocative new forms and equally audacious ideas, Greenberg captures penetrating images that reveal the complex mystery—and beauty—found in the transitory moments before the skin of a building covers up the structures that hold it together.
Framed by a historical and critical essay by Joseph Rosa and including an afterword by the author, the eighty captivating and thought-provoking images collected here—which focus on some of the most high-profile design projects of the past decade, including buildings designed by Norman Foster, Frank Gehry, Steven Holl, Daniel Libeskind, Thom Mayne, and Renzo Piano, among others —are not to be missed by anyone with an eye for the almost invisible mechanisms that continue to define our relationship with the built world.
The Art of Urbanism explores how the royal courts of powerful Mesoamerican centers represented their kingdoms in architectural, iconographic, and cosmological terms. Through an investigation of the ecological contexts and environmental opportunities of urban centers, the contributors consider how ancient Mesoamerican cities defined themselves and reflected upon their physical—and metaphysical—place via their built environment. Themes in the volume include the ways in which a kingdom’s public monuments were fashioned to reflect geographic space, patron gods, and mythology, and how the Olmec, Maya, Mexica, Zapotecs, and others sought to center their world through architectural monuments and public art.This collection of papers addresses how communities leveraged their environment and built upon their cultural and historical roots as well as the ways that the performance of calendrical rituals and other public events tied individuals and communities to both urban centers and hinterlands. Twenty-three scholars from archaeology, anthropology, art history, and religious studies contribute new data and new perspectives to the understanding of ancient Mesoamericans’ own view of their spectacular urban and ritual centers.
Salt Lake City’s oldest residential historic district is a neighborhood known as the Avenues. During the late nineteenth century this area was home to many of the most influential citizens of Salt Lake City. Built from 1860 until 1930, it contains a mix of middle and upper middle class homes of varying architectural styles. This architectural diversity makes the Avenues unique among Utah's historic districts. For the past thirty years, as citizens have rediscovered the value of living in historic properties near downtown and the University of Utah, preservation efforts have soared in the area.
In 1980, the Avenues was established as a historic district and the Utah Historical Society published The Avenues of Salt Lake City. That book’s authors, Karl T. Haglund and Philip F. Notarianni, gleaned much about the area’s history by using information found on the historic district applications. This newly revised edition of The Avenues of Salt Lake City by Cevan J. LeSieur updates the original with a greatly expanded section on the historic homes in the neighborhood, including more than 600 new photos, and additional material covering the history of the Avenues since 1980.
The book is designed so that readers can take it along as a guide when exploring the neighborhoods. All the pictures of Avenues homes are accompanied with architectural information and brief histories of the properties. This volume makes a valuable resource for those interested in the history of the Avenues and its diverse architecture, and for anyone interested in Utah history, Utah architecture, and historic preservation.
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