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Recommended Books



A Women's Berlin: Building the Modern City
Despina Stratigakos
University of Minnesota, 2008
At the turn of the 20th century, as Berlin emerged as a modern metropolis, the city became the setting for a thriving network of women architects, artists, journalists, activists, and reformers. An elegantly written study of a neglected chapter in the city’s history that ended, like much else, with the rise to power of the Nazis. [NL]
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Another Take: 17 Short Stories on Architecture
Marc Angélil, Sarah Graham, Manuel Scholl, Reto Pfenninger, Hanspeter Oester
Verlag Scheidegger & Spiess, 2011
A multi-author volume of stories each focused on an architectural work of the firm AGPS, ranging from houses and storefronts to airports and commercial complexes, and from Southern California to Switzerland. [NL]
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Architecture in Uniform
Jean-Louis Cohen
Canadian Centre for Architecture, 2011
A complex discussion of the role of architects and architecture in the Second World War, and as such, in the words of author Jean-Louis Cohen, an effort "to compensate for the omission of ... the most deadly and extensive conflict in human history from most histories of architecture." [NL]
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Architecture of Regionalism in the Age of Globalization
Liane Lefaivre and Alex Tzonis
Routledge, 2011
A comprehensive history and theory of regionalist architecture in the context of intensifying globalization, with a focus on identity, community, sustainability and geopolitics. [NL]
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Bombast: Spinning Atoms in the Desert
Michon Mackedon
Black Rock Institute Press, 2010
A well-illustrated study of the state of Nevada's long and complex relationship with the landscapes and politics and culture of nuclear power. [NL]
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Bracket: On Farming
Mason White, Maya Przybylski, Editors
Actar, 2010
The first edition of a new annual almanac of architecture, environment and digital culture, founded by InfraNet Lab and Archinect, Bracket 1 explores the interconnections among farming, architecture, landscape architecture and urban design. [NL]
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Bridging the Gap: Public-Interest Architectural Internships
Georgia Bizios & Katie Wakeford, editors
Bizios & Wakeford, 2011
A new collection of essays by leading practitioners and educators, including Victoria Beach, Bryan Bell, Thomas Fisher, Michael Pyatok and Jess Zimbabwe, among others, focusing on the growing field of public-interest design and the need to strengthen opportunities for young designers. [NL]
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Buildings of Hawaii
Don. J. Hibbard, Editor
University of Virginia Press, 2011
The latest volume in the Society of Architectural Historian's series Buildings of the United States is a comprehensive overview of the architecture of the six major islands of Hawaii, from the traditional to the contemporary. [NL]
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California Design, 1930-1965: "Living in a Modern Way
Wendy Kaplan, editor
MIT Press, 2011
The gorgeously illustrated and thoughtfully written catalogue for a recent exhibition at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, with chapters on buildings, furniture, ceramics, technology, fashion, graphic design, etc. [NL]
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Cellophane House
Stephen Kieran and James Timberlake
KieranTimberlake, 2011
A monograph chronicling the creation of Cellophane House, an experiment in prefabricated housing designed by the Philadelphia firm KieranTimberlake and exhibited on site at the Museum of Modern Art as part of Home Delivery: Fabricating the Modern Dwelling. With a foreword by architectural historian Sandy Isenstadt and afterword by the firm's research director Billie Faircloth. [NL]
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Chinati: The Vision of Donald Judd
Marianne Stockebrand
Yale University Press, 2010
A comprehensive catalogue of the collected works of the Chinati Foundation, focusing on its founding artist Donald Judd and the dozen or so others — including John Chamberlain, Dan Flavin, Roni Horn and Richard Long — whose installations have put Marfa on the art map. [NL]
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Cityscapes: San Francisco and Its Buildings
John King
Heyday, 2011
This new guidebook to the architecture of San Francisco, by the urban design critic of the San Francisco Chronicle, mixes architecture and landscape, historical and contemporary, and the everyday and the extraordinary. [NL]
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Clip, Stamp, Fold
Beatriz Colomina & Craig Buckley, editors
Actar, 2010
An ambitious overview of "the radical architecture of the little magazines, 196X to 197X," focusing on how experimental magazines both recorded and inspired the work of avant-garde designers and theorists. [NL]
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Combinatory Urbanism
Morphosis
Stray Dog Cafe/Morphosis, 2011
A monograph on the work and ideas of Morphosis and its founder Thom Mayne. Subtitled "the complex behavior of collective form," the book begins with this central premise: "the contemporary city is dynamic, unstable, and increasingly difficult to trace as a linear process." [NL]
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Design for a Vulnerable Planet
Frederick Steiner
University of Texas Press, 2011
A call to ground design practice in ecological practices, using "nature as a standard," and in democratic ideals, with case studies in the U.S. and abroad. [NL]
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Detroit: 138 Square Miles
Julia Reyes Taubman
Museum of Contemporary Art, Detroit/D.A.P., 2011
A powerful and comprehensive photographic survey of Detroit, with a foreword by Elmore Leonard and essay by Jerry Herron. In Leonard's words: "If what happened in Detroit is a crime, Julia's book is the crime story." [NL]
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Distributed Urbanism: Cities After Google Earth
Gretchen Wilkins, Editor
Routledge, 2010

A wide-ranging collection that explores the increasingly decentralized systems through which cities are organized and produced, and highlights architectural practices emerging in response. [NL]
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Donald Judd
David Raskin
Yale University Press, 2010
A comprehensive monograph on Judd, beautifully written and well produced, that follows the artist from his early career in New York to his last decades in Marfa and the Chinati Mountains. [NL]
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Ecological Urbanism
Mohsen Mostafavi, editor, with Gareth Doherty
Lars Müller Publishers, 2010
Based upon a conference at the Graduate School of Design at Harvard, and weighing in at 656 pages and 4.3 pounds, Ecological Urbanism is a powerhouse collection — starting with Rem Koolhaas and ending with the late Ian McHarg — that offers a wide-ranging view of the state of ecology and the city. [NL]
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Ed Ruscha: Road Tested
Michael Auping & Richard Prince
Hatje Cantz & Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, 2011
The catalogue of a recent exhibition at the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, inspired by the 1956 road trip Ed Ruscha took from his hometown of Oklahoma City to Los Angeles, and focusing on works informed by the artist's love of cars and driving. [NL]
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Expanding Architecture: Design as Activism
Bryan Bell & Katie Wakeford, editors
Metropolis Books, 2008
This upbeat compendium is a cross-section of public-interest design polemics and projects. The projects have low budgets and large ambitions, and include remediated riverways in Taiwan, microcredit-financed housing in Mexico, lightweight shelter for Kosovo refugees, and affordable prefab in Virginia. [NL]
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Having Words
Denise Scott Brown
Architectural Association, 2009
A collection of Scott Brown's essays from 1967 to 2009, on topics ranging from urban planning to pop art to the role of women in the profession. "Sexism and the Star System," from 1989, remains poignant — and all too relevant. [NL]
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High Line: The Inside Story of New York City's Park in the Sky
Joshua David & Robert Hammond
Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2011
The directors of the High Line describe the multi-year effort to create Manhattan's celebrated new park. [NL]
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In the City
greyworld
Greyworld Publishing, 2009
Part catalogue, part children's book, In the City explores the unexpected pleasures of city living, and documents more than a decade of projects by the London-based public art collective greyworld. [NL]
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Insurgent Public Space
Jeffrey Hou, editor
Routledge, 2010
Design educator and activist Jeffrey Hou has assembled a provocative collection that explores "guerilla urbanism and the remaking of the of contemporary cities." [NL]
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Ira Rakatansky: As Modern As Tomorrow
Lynette Widder, with Joan Ockman
William Stout Publishers, 2010
"When and how did the American house become modern?" This is the provocative question posed at the start of this compact but substantial monograph, the first on the six-decade career of the Rhode Island architect Ira Rakatansky. [NL]
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Journeys: How Travelling Fruit, Ideas and Buildings Rearrange Our Environment
Giovanna Borasi, editor
Actar, 2010
The latest in the CCA’s superb series examining the “themes of contemporary life” (e.g., Sorry, Out of Gas), Journeys takes an eclectic spin along the contours and way stations of globalization — everything from the strange saga of European Union cucumber regulation to the postponed Utopian dreams of Amsterdam’s Bijlmermeer housing complex to how the Chinese are reshaping Brazzaville. [TV]
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Kevin Roche: Architecture as Environment
Eeva-Liisa Pelkonen
Yale University Press, 2011
The first book in a generation to explore the career of one of America's most prolific postwar architects, Kevin Roche: Architecture as Environment makes ample use of newly released archives and unpublished interviews to illuminate a complex legacy.  [NL]
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Kuth/Ranieri Architects
Byron Kuth and Elizabeth Ranieri
Princeton Architectural Press, 2010
A monograph on the work of the San Francisco office Kuth/Ranieri Architects, featuring built work and large-scale urban and ecological proposals. With essays by Ila Berman, Aaron Betsky, Rodolphe el-Khoury and Mitchell Schwarzer. [NL]
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L.A. Under the Influence
Roger Sherman
University of Minnesota Press, 2010
Los Angeles urban designer Roger Sherman uses game theory to explore how multiple constituencies compete for "profit, influence, and visibility" in the contemporary city — with the goal of illuminating how designers can influence the myriad negotiations that shape the city. [NL]
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Making Healthy Places: Designing and Building for Health, Well-being and Sustainability
Andrew Dannenberg, Howard Frumkin, Richard Jackson, editors
Island Press, 2011
From a trio of medical doctors, a detailed overview that incorporates the latest research on the many connections between urban design and public health. [NL]
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Metropol Parasol
J. Mayer H.
Hatje Cantz , 2011
from Jurgen Mayer H. Architects, a monograph on their project, the Plaza de la Encarnación, which aims to reinvigorate the city center of Seville. [NL]
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Miami Modern Metropolis
Allan T. Shulman, editor
Bass Museum of Art, 2009
A large-format, generously illustrated history of Miami architecture and urbanism in the decades following World War II, when, writes Allan Shulman, "the city was a virtual laboratory for modern architecture." [NL]
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Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates: Reconstructing Urban Landscapes
Anita Berrizbeitia, editor
Yale University Press, 2009
A hefty and handsome monograph on the work of this landscape architecture firm. Much of the work is for environmentally damaged sites, and combines complex reconstruction techniques with a sophisticated design sensibility. The projects range in scale from a series of gorgeous minimalist courtyards for Tahari’s headquarters to large-scale waterfront parks in Pittsburgh and New York. [NL]
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Montage Revisited
Charlotte Bundgaard
Arkitektskolens Forlag, 2013
An investigation, from a Danish architect, into new approaches to industrial-based architecture. The author proposes "montage" as a strategy to engage increasingly flexible and high-tech manufacturing processes. [NL]
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Myth, Modernity and the Nature of Things
Salvatore LaRosa
B Five Studio, 2012
A visually elegant and thematically rich monograph of the recent design work— from architecture to furniture to objects — of Salvatore LaRosa, one of the partners of the New York firm B Five Studio. [NL]
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Neo-avant-garde and Postmodern: Postwar Architecture in Britain and Beyond
Mark Crinson & Claire Zimmerman, editors
Yale University Press, 2010
An anthology that explores unexpected continuities between the postwar and postmodern eras, with essays on the work of Alice and Peter Smithson, James Stirling, Leon Krier, Robert Venturi and Denise Scott Brown, and Charles Jencks, among others. [NL]
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Perspecta 44: Domain
Tala Gharagozlou, David Sadighian & Ryan Welch, editors
The MIT Press, 2011
The latest edition of the distinguished journal from the Yale School of Architecture centers on a question: How do we establish the domain of architecture? [NL]
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Re-Inventing Construction
Edited by Ilka and Andreas Ruby
Ruby Press/Holcim Foundation, 2010
An engrossing compendium that expands upon a recent conference in Mexico City sponsored by the Holcim Foundation for Sustainable Construction. An international roster of contributors explores how innovative technologies and complex systems thinking can reduce our carbon footprint. [NL]
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Reclaiming (the Urbanism of) Mumbai
Kelly Shannon & Janina Gosseye, editors
SUN, 2009
A well-illustrated anthology exploring a city in the midst of rapid social and ecological change. With contributions from Neera Adarkar, Charles Correa, Padma Achwal Desai, Andre Loeckx, Rahul Mehrotra, and Rohan Shivkumar, among others. [NL]
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Reconstructing the View: The Grand Canyon Photographs of Mark Klett and Byron Wolfe
Rebecca Senf, Stephen Pyne, Mark Klett, Byron Wolfe
UC Press, 2012
Photographers Mark Klett and Byron Wolfe, pioneers in the field of rephotography, spent five years tracking down the locations of historical photos of the Grand Canyon and creating collages with contemporary views from the same point. Read Klett's interview with Places photo editor Aaron Rothman. [JW]
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Retrofitting Suburbia
Ellen Dunham-Jones and June Williamson
John Wiley & Sons, 2011
A comprehensive and knowledgeable guide to redesigning postwar suburbia in response to the new imperatives of sustainability. First published in 2008, with a new edition updated by the authors, and including a foreword by Richard Florida. [NL]
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Revolution of Forms
John A. Loomis
Princeton Architectural Press, 2011
Updated edition of the major English-language history of the Art Schools in Havana — an extraordinary complex of buildings begun in the early years of the Cuban Revolution, left unfinished, and now being restored. [NL]
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Soak: Mumbai in an Estuary
Anuradha Mathur & Dilip da Cunha
Rupa & Co., 2009
A powerful reinterpretation of the relationship of Mumbai to the Mithi River: What if the city ceased to combat the seasonal monsoons with hard engineering, and instead reconceived itself as an estuary, in accord with ecology and geography? Handsomely designed and produced, Soak is the catalogue for a recent exhibition at the National Gallery of Modern Art in Mumbai. [NL]
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Sorry, Out of Gas
Giovanna Borasi, Mirko Zardini, editors
Canadian Centre for Architecture, 2007
The catalogue for an extraordinary exhibition at the Canadian Centre for Architecture, which at once looks back to the oil crisis of 1973 and forward to the urban and energy challenges that are defining our future. [NL]
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Space & Psyche
Elizabeth Danze, Stephen Sonnenberg, Editors
The University of Texas at Austin, 2013
The latest volume from the Center for American Architecture and Design is an anthology that explores the relationship between buildings and psychoanalysis. As the editors argue: "Buildings are inert objects, but our experience of them transcends the physical realm and extends into our deepest consciousness." [NL]
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StossLU
Stoss and Chris Reed
C3 Publishing Co., 2007
A thoughtful and well-produced monograph on the work of the Boston-based StossLU — the LU stands for landscape urbanism — with essays by Stoss founding principal Chris Reed and landscape educator and theorist Charles Waldheim. [NL]
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Street Value
Rosten Woo, Meredith TenHoor & Damon Rich
Princeton Architectural Press, 2010
Collaborators Rosten Woo and Meredith TenHoor, with Damon Rich, mix history, interviews and design guidelines to create a fascinating composite portrait of the past, present and future of Fulton Mall in Downtown Brooklyn. A photo essay by Gus Powell enriches the mix. [NL]
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Territory: Architecture Beyond Environment
David Gissen, Editor
Wiley, 2010
For the May/June 2010 issue of Architectural Design, guest editor David Gissen has assembled an extremely strong collection of articles and projects, all exploring "the possibility of an architecture that actively produces its external, environmental conditions." [NL]
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Terror and Wonder: Architecture in a Tumultuous Age
Blair Kamin
University of Chicago Press, 2010
An excellent collection of articles, covering the past decade and updated with postscripts, by the architecture critic of The Chicago Tribune. [NL]
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The Agile City
James S. Russell
Island Press, 2011
A wide-ranging study that acknowledges the challenges that global warming poses to the health and prosperity of the United States — and then details how our cities can creatively adapt their development patterns to ensure a better future. [NL]
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The Altered Landscape
Edited by Ann M. Wolfe, with contributions by Lucy R. Lippard, Geoff Manaugh, and W.J.T. Mitchell
Skira Rizzoli, 2011
A comprehensive catalogue of an exhibition at the Nevada Museum of Art incorporating the work of dozens of contemporary photographers, all focused on revealing, in the words of curator Ann M. Wolfe, "the ways that individuals and industries have marked, mined, toured, tested, developed, occupied, and exploited landscapes over the last fifty years." [NL]
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The Architecture of Harry Weese
Robert Bruegmann, Kathleen Murphy Skolnick
W.W. Norton & Company, 2010
A comprehensive and thoughtful study of the fifty-year career of the Chicago architect Harry Weese (1915–1998), best known for the remarkable achievement of the Washington Metro. [NL]
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The City as Campus
Sharon Haar
University of Minnesota, 2011
A timely and illuminating study of the interaction between universities and cities, with Chicago and its schools serving as exemplars of an increasingly important institutional/urban relationship. [NL]
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The Function of Form
Farshid Moussavi
Actar, 2009
Farshid Moussavi, co-founder of Foreign Office Architects and professor of practice at the Harvard Graduate School of Design, explores contemporary meanings of the classic — Moussavi calls it "seductive" — dictum "form follows function."   [NL]
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The Landscape of Contemporary Infrastructure
Kelly Shannon and Marcel Smets
NAi Publishers, 2010
Generously illustrated overview of recent projects by leading designers that integrate architecture, landscape and infrastructure, including viaducts and roads, parks and waterfronts, transport stations and port terminals. [NL]
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The Paradox of Urban Space
Sharon E. Sutton and Susan P. Kemp, editors
Macmillan, 2011
An exploration of how urban spaces not only reflect persistent inequalities but also offer sites for collective action and social transformation. [NL]
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The Power of Pro Bono
John Cary and Public Architecture, editor
Metropolis Books, 2010
An impressive compendium of recent projects created by architects working pro bono, compiled by John Cary and the San Francisco non-profit Public Architecture, with a foreword by environmental justice activist Majora Carter and a preface by Public Architecture founder John Peterson. [NL]
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The Religious Imagination in Modern and Contemporary Architecture
Renata Hejduk and Jim Williamson, Editors
Routledge, 2011
A wide-ranging and scholarly anthology on the religious imagination and "its influence on architectural form and ideology," appearing at a moment when religion is resurgent in history and culture. [NL]
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The Studio-X NY Guide to Liberating New Forms of Conversation
Gavin Browning, Editor
GSAPP Books, 2010
The new book from Studio-X at Columbia University is "both a method and manual for fostering conversations," in the words of Gavin Browning, and a record of public conversations held at the Studio's work/event space in Lower Manhattan. [NL]
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The Tennessee Valley Authority
Tim Culvahouse, Editor
Princeton Architectural Press, 2007
An expansive and interdisciplinary examination of one of the most influential infrastructure-building programs of the New Deal, with essays by Jennifer Bloomer, Steven Heller, Barry M. Katz, Christine Macy, Todd Smith and Jane Wolff, and with new photographs by Richard Barnes.  [NL]
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The Third City
Larry Bennett
University of Chicago Press, 2010
A history of contemporary Chicago, which political scientist Larry Bennett calls the "third city" to distinguish today's thriving metropolis from the Rust Belt city of the mid 20th century and the earlier industrial powerhouse of the prewar era. [NL]
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The Waters of Rome
Katherine Wentworth Rinne
Yale University Press, 2011
The fountains of Rome, writes Katherine Rinne, offer "one of the most spectacular urban aquatic displays in the world." Rinne, an urban designer and historian, looks beyond their beauty to reveal the role of Rome's water infrastructure in the city's social, cultural and physical life. [NL]
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Toward Zero Carbon
Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architecture
Images Publishing Group, 2011
Comprehensive documentation of the "Chicago Central Area DeCarbonization Plan," created by the Chicago firm Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architecture. "What if we could tap into Chicago's latent potential," the authors ask, "by using the existing built environment as a carbon asset?" [NL]
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Trouble In Paradise: Examining Discord Between Nature and Society
Julie Sasse
Tucson Museum of Art, 2009
More than 50 artists participated in a Tucson Museum of Art exhibit that explored our apparently bottomless capacity to ravage the planet. The range of media — from color-saturated photographs of uranium tailings to cartoon-like paintings of drowning polar bears — is impressive, as is the artists’ struggle to resist the temptation to make disaster look beautiful. [NL]
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URBANbuild: Local_global
Ila Berman/Mona El Khafif
William Stout, 2009
A beautifully designed and produced record of the work of URBANbuild, a Tulane University design center created to support the rehabilitation of New Orleans in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. [NL]
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Utopia's Ghost
Reinhold Martin
University of Minnesota Press, 2010
An incisive exploration of recent architectural theory, suggestively subtitled "Architecture and Postmodernism, Again." Martin contextualizes design discourse within the larger political, environmental and cultural debates of the mid and late 20th century — ranging from the Vietnam War to public housing — in a provocative effort "to reclaim for architectural thought a decisive role in the analysis, interpretation, and critique of power." [NL]
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Women and the Everyday City
Jessica Ellen Sewell
University of Minnesota, 2011
A provocative study of the complex dynamics between gender and place, focusing on San Francisco at the turn of the 20th century. Sewell, an architectural historian at Boston University, explores how women inhabited and influenced public spaces including streetcars, sidewalks, groceries and department stores, restaurants and cafés, etc. Ultimately Sewell links women's increasing use of public space to the suffrage campaigns that resulted in women's right to vote. [NL]
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Working the Line
David Taylor, Hannah Freiser & Luis Alberto Urrea
Radius Books, 2010
A beautifully produced volume of photographs by David Taylor focused on the social and physical complexities of the U.S.-Mexican border. With texts in English and Spanish by Hannah Freiser and Luis Alberto Urrea. [NL]
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Zaha Hadid: Form in Motion
Kathryn B. Hiesinger
Yale University Press, 2011
The catalogue of a recent exhibition at the Philadelphia Museum of Arts, exploring Hadid's designs for furniture, lighting, jewelry and other objects — a comparatively less known aspect of the career of the Pritzker Prize-winning architect. [NL]
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