February 3, 2024
8 Books to Add to Your Winter Reading List
by John N. Roberts, ORO Editions, 312 p.p., $40.00
Written by John N. Roberts, founder of the landscape architecture firm John Northmore Roberts & Associates, Inc., Changing the Commons: Stories about Placemaking, tells the stories of everyday landscapes in northern California. As a Beatrix Farrand Distinguished Visiting Lecturer in U.C. Berkeley’s College of Environmental Design, Roberts traces the heightened social and environmental concerns of the 1960s and ’70s and the community-based ecological design that emerged soon after. Emphasizing human, social, environmental, and cultural dimensions, the book explores the creation of inclusive, sustainable, and cherished public spaces through photos, diagrams, sketches, and plans.
by Jacqueline Taylor, The MIT Press, 288 p.p., $40
Amaza Lee Meredith Imagines Herself Modern chronicles the life of Amaza Lee Meredith, a Black woman architect, artist, and educator born in the Jim Crow South. Author Jacqueline Taylor delves into Meredith’s choices in architecture and life, shedding light on our understanding of the Great Migration and the Harlem Renaissance as well as architecture’s impact on Black middle-class identity. The book challenges conventional views on race and gender in modernist architecture, asserting that Meredith’s contributions were central, offering a fresh perspective on the complexities of American modernism and the roles of marginalized voices.
By Elgin Cleckley, Island Press, 208 p.p., $32.00
Authored by Elgin Cleckley, assistant professor of architecture at the University of Virginia, Empathic Design: Perspectives on Creating Inclusive Spaces, gathers the voices of architects, urban designers, planners, and design activists in order to rethink the design of public spaces through the emerging design framework he calls empathic design. The book features contributions from Erin Genia of Erin Genia Studio, Liz Ogbu of Studio O, Christine Gaspar (formerly of the Center for Urban Pedagogy), Nina Cooke John of Studio Cooke John, and Mitchell Silver, the former Commissioner of New York City Parks.
by International Living Future Institute, Ecotone Publishing, 248 p.p., $45
In this valuable resource, industry thought leaders share stories, research, and insights that envision a transformative shift in our materials economy. The Regenerative Materials Movement: Dispatches from Practitioners, Researchers, and Advocates is a must-read for designers, manufacturers, educators, advocates, and anyone passionate about regenerative materials and their role in combating climate change. Divided into three sections—Justice & Equity, Health, and Climate & the Environment—it provides a comprehensive guide to creating a healthier, more equitable, and sustainable built environment.
By Aaron Betsky, MIT Press, 464 p.p., $45
What is anarchitecture? For architecture critic and curator Aaron Betsky, it’s “an analogous architecture, an architecture of anarchy, which haunts in the form of monsters that are humans and machines and cities all at once” and can take the form of, “explosions, veils, queer, playful spaces, or visions from artwork and video games.” In his newest book, Betsky explores anarchitecture by examining texts, design, and art from the late 20th and early 21st centuries, suggesting that these ephemeral evocations can open our eyes to a more sustainable future in which we can imagine new worlds.
Edited by Judith Raum, HATJE CANTZ, 352 p.p., $65.00
Otti Berger: Weaving for Modernist Architecture delves into the work of radical 20th century weaver and textile artist, Otti Berger. Berger worked alongside Anni Albers and Gunta Stölzl at the Bauhaus until 1932, when she was replaced by Lilly Reich, under the new Bauhaus directer Ludwig Mies van der Rohe. A little over ten years later, she was murdered at Auschwitz during the Holocaust. Edited by Judith Raum, the book is the first comprehensive study of Berger’s textile work and its influence on modernist textile methodologies and production. It contains over 350 color images and texts by Esther Cleven, Magdalena Droste, Tanya Harrod, Juliet Kinchin, Corinna Rader, and Katja Stelz, with photographs by Uta Neumann.
By Brittany Utting, Routledge, 288 p.p., $48
In this book, Brittany Utting explores the intersection of architecture and care, delving into how the spaces around us, from hospitals to homes, contribute to our well-being and sense of intimacy, safety, and belonging. In highlighting the nuanced relationships between built environments and the experiences of care, the book blends personal narrative, architectural theory, and case studies, including but not limited to the Floating University Berlin, commoning initiatives by the Black Panther party, and hospitals for the United Mine Workers of America.
by Bo Shepherd and Kyle Dubay, Clarkson Potter, 256 p.p., $30.00
From Bo Shepherd and Kyle Dubay, founders of Detroit-based furniture design brand Woodward Throwbacks, Throwbacks: Home Interiors with Reclaimed, Salvaged, and Vintage Objects, offers a design journey into the world of repurposed and reclaimed interiors. With a focus on sustainability and uniqueness, the book showcases innovative ideas for incorporating salvaged materials into your home. Exploring a variety of spaces, Shepherd and Dubay provide insights into the creative use of antiques and materials, from vintage furniture to broken tile. This visually engaging guide celebrates the beauty of sustainable design and encourages readers to embrace the charm of salvage goods. (The authors were also named a METROPOLIS “Salvage Superstar.”)
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