Bookshelf

Marks of Excellence

New book on trademarks explains how the simplest of images can carry volumes of information

New book on trademarks explains how the simplest of images can carry volumes of information

Q&A: Daniel Brook

Daniel Brook talks about his fascinating new book entitled A History of Future Cities

Daniel Brook talks about his fascinating new book entitled A History of Future Cities

Neptune Calling

Waves and Sweet & Salt are two new books dealing with the topic of the ocean

Waves and Sweet & Salt are two new books dealing with the topic of the ocean

What if “sustainability” meant just doing the right thing?

Business consultant, regenerative systems thinker, planner, business consultant, regenerative systems thinker, and author of The Responsible Business: Reimagining Sustainability & Success (2011), Carol Sanford gave a keynote address on the last day of the Living Future “un-conference” in Portland, Oregon. Working as a land planner, she began to explore ways to think about “the whole system,” which led her to…

Eva Zeisel’s New e-book

Created with Admarket’s flickrSLiDR. Click on the images for more information. Eva Zeisel, the beloved industrial designer of ceramics, whose sensual forms were among the first to define a more organic modern aesthetic, once wrote at the ripe age of 98, “Whether we make things or they just happen, whether we grow them or form them, things speak to us.”…

An Alternate Sustainability Reading List

We all fondly remember our college days and our favorite professor’s ‘additional reading’ list that always followed the 15 page syllabus. Those pages were chalk full of titles that, not being the classics, didn’t make the cut to be required reading. And while some of us still have those lists sitting painfully free of any check marks, others of you…

The Prose and Kahn of Designing an Architecture of Motherhood

My novel, Balancing Act, is an unusual intersection of architecture and motherhood. The primary question I pose is whether motherhood can be a life’s work in these modern times. I draw parallels between the protagonist, Tara Mistri’s, work of raising a family and Kahn’s built masterpiece, the Salk Institute. Tara’s journey is about how she chooses between career and motherhood,…

Interning to Do Good

The phrase “bridging the gap” has been a hallmark of debates about architectural education and practice for as long as anyone can remember, with architecture’s unique “internship” period widely regarded and relied on as that bridge. It’s the catch-all and catch-up period between education and practice, which most educators and practitioners readily acknowledge needs bridging. For the estimated one-third of…

Our Toxic World

As a writer, Sandra Steingraber has the eloquence and urgency of Rachel Carson. As a biologist, she has a fiercely acute perspective on how human health is affected by the many outputs of so many clever human inventions. Her latest book is Raising Elijah: Protecting Our Children in an Age of Environmental Crisis (Da Capo Press, 2011). In 10 elegantly…

Q&A: Framing Nature

Eva Hagberg’s latest book is a collection of gorgeous rooms with views of “nature” as the architectural elite frame it for elite clients. But Nature Framed: At Home in the Landscape (Monacelli Press, 2011) is anything but a book about windows. “This is architecture at its most primal: as a shift in consciousness from open landscape to delineated space,” the…

Iwan Baan on Living Modernity

For Iwan Baan, Modernism is not merely the old adage that “form follows function,” nor is it an idealistic, uniquely Western European architectural vision that can be easily transported globally. Instead in his book, Brasilia – Chandigarh: Living with Modernity, Bann shows how fluidity dictates all things, from buildings to definitions. Baan’s goal was to document the changes that have…

Julius Shulman’s Unseen Los Angeles

Julius Shulman knew everybody. That’s how he worked. He moved through the city not merely photographing, but orchestrating and choreographing images that helped define what it meant to be modern and in Los Angeles through the buoyant optimism of the 1940s, ‘50s and ‘60s. He kept it up until his death in 2009. In the new book Julius Shulman Los…

Q&A: Architects’ Sketchbooks

“I worry about students who might feel that the power of sophisticated computer equipment has somehow rendered the humble pencil if not obsolete, then certainly second rate. The pencil and computer are very similar in that they are only as good as the person driving them.” This quote, attributed to Norman Foster, the architect known for his technically-sophisticated buildings, gives…

Plastiki

Looking at my overstuffed book shelves I wonder if and when I might join the e-reader set. Just then a lovely book reminds me how this media offers something that no digital text nor fun web site nor quality documentary nor video on YouTube can: a personal, intimate, tactile experience with printed word and image, bound together in a package…

Publishers of the World Unite!

The back cover of the book Green Patriot Posters, published by Metropolis Books. Seems like we have been predicting the end of the printed matter for a while now.  But whatever happens to newspapers and magazines, books are here to stay – for the simple reason that people love them.  Books, to some, are objects of worship.   Now, I am…

Sustainism

Naming “movements” can be a tricky business. Naming a worldwide shift toward systems thinking, social responsibility, and “all things green” has been particularly dicey. For better or worse, all these things, together, have been summed up as the sustainability movement. But the word sustainability has left many designers as well others feeling less than satisfied. (Well-known green design thinker William…