30 dic. 2017

ARCHITECTURE BOOKS of 2017

A falta de dos días para acabar el año no podíamos dejar de ser fieles a nuestra tradición y listar algunos de los libros de arquitectura que más interés pueden haber despertado en los últimos meses. Como suele ser habitual, la selección es bien heterogénea y si algo destaca es un interés por radiografiar el especto visible de la arquitectura contemporánea. Inquietudes sociales, nuevas visiones de la tecnología y cierta nostalgia autocrítica se dan cita en varias de las obras seleccionadas. |  Two days after the end of the year we could not stop being faithful to our tradition and list some of the architecture books that may have awakened most interest in recent months. As usual, the selection is very heterogeneous and if something stands out it is an interest to radiograph the visible aspect of contemporary architecture. Social anxieties, new visions of technology and a certain self-critical nostalgia come together in several of the selected works.




SOS Brutalism. A Global Survey
Oliver Elser, Philip Kurz, Peter Cachola Schmal (ed.)
Park Books, 2017

"SOS Brutalism" is a distress signal. Since the 1950s, eminent architects around the world have realized buildings expressing an uncompromising attitude. Predominantly, yet not exclusively, they used exposed concrete, or béton brut (hence the term brutalism), for the construction. Today, many of these always controversially discussed buildings are in danger of demolition or, at least, of reconstruction that often may change their appearance beyond recognition. In recent years, an initiative to protect and preserve this significant global heritage of 20th-century architecture has gained momentum, mainly in the internet.

Architecture and Waste. A (Re)Planned Obsolescence
Hanif Kara, Leire Asensio Villoria, Andreas Georgoulias
Actar, 2017

This book presents a refreshed, design-led approach to waste-to-energy (WTE) plants, reflecting work done at Harvard’s Graduate School of Design over a period of three years. Architecture and design currently play a minor role in the design and construction of industrial building types, especially waste-to-energy facilities. As densities increase and consumption patterns change, the need for more waste-to-energy facilities is only going to increase. Through comparing the well-established waste-to-energy industries in Sweden with less established engagements in the northeast of the United States, opportunities and lessons are revealed.

Fabricate
Achim Menges, Bob Sheil, Ruairi Glynn, Marilena Skavara (ed.)
UCL Press, 2017

Bringing together pioneers in design and making within architecture, construction, engineering, manufacturing, materials technology and computation, Fabricate is a triennial international conference, now in its third year (ICD, University of Stuttgart, April 2017). Each year it produces a supporting publication, to date the only one of its kind specialising in Digital Fabrication. The 2017 edition features 32 illustrated articles on built projects and works in progress from academia and practice, including contributions from leading practices and from world-renowned institutions.

Four Walls and a Roof: The Complex Nature of a Simple Profession
Reinier de Graaf
Harvard University Press, 2017

Architecture, we like to believe, is an elevated art form that shapes the world as it pleases. Four Walls and a Roof challenges this notion, presenting a candid account of what it is really like to work as an architect. Drawing on his own tragicomic experiences in the field, Reinier de Graaf reveals the world of contemporary architecture in vivid snapshots: from suburban New York to the rubble of northern Iraq, from the corridors of wealth in London, Moscow, and Dubai to garbage-strewn wastelands that represent the demolished hopes of postwar social housing.

Forensic Architecture. Violence at the Threshold of Detectability
Eyal Weizman
MIT Press, 2017

The group Forensic Architecture began using novel research methods to undertake a series of investigations into human rights abuses. Today, the group provides crucial evidence for international courts and works with a wide range of activist groups, NGOs, Amnesty International, and the UN. Forensic Architecture has not only shed new light on human rights violations and state crimes across the globe, but has also created a new form of investigative practice that bears its name. The group uses architecture as an optical device to investigate armed conflicts and environmental destruction, as well as to cross-reference a variety of evidence sources, such as new media, remote sensing, material analysis, and crowd-sourcing.

Epic Space: The Architectural Diaries
Ian Martin
Penguin, 2017

Epic Space is a hilarious take on contemporary culture as viewed through the twisted prism of ‘Martin’, amoral architectural consultant with a penchant for a long lunch and powerful friends, including members of the Cabinet and HRH the Prince of Wales. Written in weekly diary form, Martin’s world is a mad and woozy version of our own: one in which Martin and his friend, the nanofuturologist Beansy, can invent Kryptogel – a new building material developed using ‘hard air’. It’s a world where the property wing of the Church of England builds buy-to-let almshouses while ‘bouncy mega-mosques’ have helium-stiffened minarets.

The Second Digital Turn. Design Beyond Intelligence
Mario Carpo
MIT Press, 2017

Almost a generation ago, the early software for computer aided design and manufacturing (CAD/CAM) spawned a style of smooth and curving lines and surfaces that gave visible form to the first digital age, and left an indelible mark on contemporary architecture. But today's digitally intelligent architecture no longer looks that way. In The Second Digital Turn, Mario Carpo explains that this is because the design professions are now coming to terms with a new kind of digital tools they have adopted—no longer tools for making but tools for thinking.

Design for Good: A New Era of Architecture for Everyone
John Cary
Island Press, 2017

“That’s what we do really: we do miracles,” said Anne-Marie Nyiranshimiyimana, who learned masonry in helping to build the Butaro Hospital, a project designed for and with the people of Rwanda using local materials. This, and other projects designed with dignity, show the power of good design. Almost nothing influences the quality of our lives more than the design of our homes, our schools, our workplaces, and our public spaces. Yet, design is often taken for granted and people don’t realize that they deserve better, or that better is even possible.

When is the Digital in Architecture
Andrew Goodhouse (ed.)
Canadian Centre for Architecture + Sternberg Press, 2017

When is the digital in architecture? What are the conditions that led architects to integrate digital tools into their practices? Over the course of its research program Archaeology of the Digital, the CCA has collected the archival records of twenty-five projects realized between the late 1980s and the early 2000s in order to understand this period as a point of origin for the digital. But if we take care to identify the digital as a condition that is made possible by the conceptual foundations of digital media and not necessarily by digital media itself, the boundaries of the digital moment—when it began and under what circumstances—become less clear.

The City and the Architecture of Change: The Work and Radical Visions of Cedric Price
Tanja Herdt
Park Books, 2017

British architect Cedric Price (1934–2003) had a lifelong fascination with the mechanization of society and its effect on people’s lives. In the 1960s and ’70s, Price began to look for answers to some of the pressing problems he saw in society in the tenets of architecture and design. His intense intellectual curiosity soon led him to other disciplines, including the social and natural sciences, while his sense of humor and self-irony—which also extended to his profession—allowed him to keep his ideas in perspective.