Brett Steele

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An ‘object’ is a work of architecture that is expressly cut off from its environment. Objects are not exclusive to any particular architectural style, but objectification has long been central to western architecture. Indeed, it might even be said to be the very strategy by which modernism succeeded in conquering the world. It is all-pervasive because it is consistent with the aim of the prevailing economic system: to transform virtually everything into a commodity. In Anti-Object, Kengo Kuma argues that this mindset prevents us from establishing a healthy relationship with the external world and suggests that an alternative form of architecture ...
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Architecture Words is a series of texts and important essays on architecture written by architects, critics and scholars. Like many aspects of everyday life, contemporary architectural culture is dominated by an endless production and consumption of images, graphics and information. Rather than mirror this larger force, this series of small books seeks to deflect it by means of direct language, concise editing and beautiful, legible graphic design.
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In this collection of mediations on what Baudelaire championed (and Michael Fried chastised) as presentness, Lavin investigates the convergence of notions such as liveness, the provisional and the obsolete in revealing qualities of the contemporary. Three sets of essays explore different forms of architectural time, particularly as they shape the differences between history, theory and criticism as genres of writing.
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Selected writings of Max Bill – this collection makes many of his key texts available in English for the first time. Max Bill (1904-1994) – a product of the Bauhaus at Dessau, pupil of Walter Gropius, Vasily Kandinsky and Paul Klee – was a virtuoso designer whose work overleaped disciplinary boundaries, encompassing architecture, painting, sculpture, industrial and graphic design, as well as education. What unites all the work is a clarity and precision of expression. Through both his designs and his writings Max Bill has long been a major figure of reference in the German-speaking world. This collection makes many of ...
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Having Words collects together for the first time ten essays by the pioneering architect and urban planner Denise Scott Brown. Educated in the 1940s and 1950s at Witwatersrand University, the AA and the University of Pennsylvania, Scott Brown has, since the 1960s, taught and led her Philadelphia firm, Venturi Scott Brown and Associates, in collaboration with Robert Venturi. The essays in this collection extend from her 1969 text, ‘On Pop Art, Permissiveness and Planning’ (written three years before the publication of Venturi, Scott Brown and Izenour’s seminal book Learning From Las Vegas) to ‘Towards an Active Socioplastics’ from 2007, which offers ...
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Formerly announced as Maps and Territories, this collection of essays written by landscape historian Alessandra Ponte, begins with an investigation of the American obsession with lawns and then continues to collectively map the aesthetic, scientific and technological production of past and present North American landscapes. These include the American desert as a privileged site of scientific and artistic testing; the faraway projects of electrification of the Canadian North; the transformation of the notion and perception of waste and wasteland during the twentieth century; the photographic medium and its encounters with Native Americans; as well as an introductory essay, ‘The Map and ...
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For almost 20 years, Detlef Mertins has been a critical voice in renewing our understanding of architectural modernity. Architect, historian, professor, his essays have often taken up familiar themes in order to redress inaccuracies and release energies that we were unaware of. These essays elaborate on such key modernist tropes as transparency, glass architecture, organicism, life and event, sameness and difference. Previously published in a variety of different venues, from journals to anthologies – including such noted books as Lars Spuybroek’s NOX: Machining Architecture and FOA’s Phylogenesis – they are now assembled for the first time in this volume.
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Originally published in German in 1985 as Die Poetik eines Mauervorsprung, Jan Turnovsky’s The Poetics of a Wall Projection is ostensibly a description of a corner within the breakfast room of the Villa Stonborough in Vienna, designed by Ludwig Wittgenstein and Paul Engelmann. But it is also much more. Working from within an established Viennese tradition (practised most famously by Krauss, Freud, Loos and Wittgenstein himself), Turnovsky’s study elucidates a complex set of ideas from something seemingly trivial – in this case, an analysis of the villa’s corner detail expands into a wider exploration of the logics of architectural syntax and ...
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Bernard Cache is the principal of the Paris-based practice Objectile – which he founded in 1996 with Patrick Beaucé – and a noted theorist of geometry and computational ontology. He formulated his concept of ‘non-standard architecture’ in his 1995 book Earth Moves: The Furnishing of Territories, a concept that was given the name ‘objectile’ by Gilles Deleuze in his book on the philosopher Leibniz, The Fold. This collection of ten essays brings together a number of key texts by Cache. These include his 1999 ‘Plea for Euclid’ and more recent writing commissioned especially for this collection, including ‘Vitruvius Machinator Terminator’.
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Lina Bo Bardi (1914–1992) was a prolific architect, designer and thinker, whose work, absorbing her native Italy and then after 1946 her adopted home-land, Brazil, spans across architecture, furniture, stage and costume design, urban planning, curatorial work, teaching and writing. This collection of essays is the first-ever English anthology of her of writings. It includes texts written when she was still living in Italy as well as later contributions to a number of Brazilian newspapers, journals and magazines. An acute critic and a creative thinker, Bo Bardi proposes a series of new parameters for design thinking and practice, such as the ...
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AA Words One: Supercritical: Peter Eisenman meets Rem Koolhaas is based on an evening of conversation at the AA in 2006. Each architect states his views about the terms of architecture, including its theories and relationship to the city and other forms of critical and cultural practice. Responses from the audience follow, filtered through a debate moderated by Brett Steele.
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This eighth instalment in the AA’s widely acclaimed Architecture Words series publishes for the first time in English a collection of architectural writings and essays by the prominent Japanese architect Toyo Ito. Born in 1941, Ito is one of the world’s most innovative architects. Central to a new generation of architects that emerged in Japan in the wake of the radical Metabolist group (its proponents include Kisho Kurokawa and Kiyonori Kikutake), Ito has synthesised the experimental architectural language of Metabolism with his own distinct design sensibility. First evidenced by his Aluminium House, White U and Silver Hut House, his architecture has ...

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