Oculus - Winter 2013 - (Page 42)
Raves + Reviews
REVIEWS BY S TA N LEY S TA RK , FA IA
Why We Build: Power and Desire in Architecture
By Rowan Moore
London-based Rowan Moore, architecture critic for The
Observer and former director of the Architecture Foundation,
examines the motives and preoccupations that drive modern
and historic design. Power and desire are prominent factors,
but just part of the equation. His exploration is wide, encompassing spectacle, ambition, ideology and belief, aspiration and
hope, sensuality, authenticity vs. something less, the realities of
finance, the look vs. the reality of life, and the slippery nature of
architecture in that it functions as both symbol and instrument
- it can say one thing and do another.
The author shows how these elements manifest themselves
through examples, such as the spectacle that is Dubai and the
increasing reliance on the market rather than the government to
deliver public projects. He also recounts the dispiriting saga of
the redevelopment of Ground Zero, contrasted with the doughty
example of James Corner Field Operations/Diller Scofidio +
Renfro's High Line, Herzog & de Meuron's Beijing Stadium, and
OMA's CCTV Tower as first drafts of an architecture that works
on global, citywide, and neighborhood levels simultaneously.
Moore's fundamental belief is that the powers of a building's
appearance and form are usually exaggerated. Form is just one
property or effect among several; buildings require interaction
and habitation with sense, use, and time to be complete.
This is a useful and rewarding book, thanks to the writer's
wide-ranging intelligence and disciplined - yet discursive - style.
Architecture School: Three Centuries of Educating
Architects in North America
Edited by Joan Ockman, with Rebecca Williamson,
Architecture School, a principal element of the Association of
Collegiate Schools of Architecture's centennial celebration, is the
first comprehensive history of architectural education in North
America. Edited by Joan Ockman with 35 contributors, the
book traces the evolution of architectural education from the
colonial period to 2012. It reflects how education and schools
New York: Harper Design,
2013, 400 pp. $30.00
Oculus Winter 2013
Washington, DC: Association
of Collegiate Schools of
Architecture; Cambridge, MA:
The MIT Press, 2012, 400 pp.
have mirrored trends in the economy, science and technology,
the worldviews espoused by the arts and aesthetics, and the
structures within society at large and in social demography.
Throughout each stage, tension has characterized the relationship between the academy and practice.
Six long essays provide a chronological overview of each era.
These are followed by 29 short essays on themes and topics that
have emerged throughout the history of architectural education
in North America, such as studio practice and culture, books,
drawing, travel abroad, professional practice, race, and diversity.
It's a rich stew.
Extremely well written, edited, and illustrated, this book
should be of interest and value to architects and anyone who
hopes to understand them.
Noted but Not Reviewed
How Architecture Works: A Humanist's Toolkit
By Witold Rybczynski
A compact tour through the elements, concerns, and preoccupations of architectural design, this is a refreshing return trip for
many of us.
Irony; or, The Self-Critical Opacity of Postmodern
By Emmanuel Petit
Petit presents an examination of five leading Postmodernists
(Eisenman, Isozaki, Koolhaas, Tigerman, Venturi), and their use
of irony as both a rhetorical and design strategy and a design
objective in the evolution of late 20th-century design.
James Stirling: Revisionary Modernist
By Amanda Reeser Lawrence
This is a critical monograph on the work of the influential
Pritzker Prize-winning architect.
Stanley Stark, FAIA, served as chair of the Oculus Committee
from 2005 to 2007.
New York: Farrar, Straus and
Giroux, 2013, 368 pp. $27
New Haven: Yale University
Press, 2013, 272 pp. $50
New Haven: Yale University
Press, 2012, 248 pp. $45
The Fun Factor: Visitors + Vistas
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Oculus - Winter 2013
First Words Letter from Two Presidents
A Word from the Editor
Center for Architecture
One Block Over
Opener: Designing – and Defi ning – a Moment in Time
Eat, Drink, and Wear the Brand
Architecture Tourism: New York City’s Waterfront – and Beyond
Development Does DUMBO
A Tale of Two Piers
Healing Buildings to Heal a City Once Again
Index to Advertisers
Oculus - Winter 2013