Oculus - Fall 2012 - (Page 40)
Raves + Reviews
The Future of Architecture Since 1889 By Jean-Louis Cohen
REVIEWS BY S TA N LEY S TA RK , FA IA
This substantial and comprehensive volume is a thematically organized historic and critical narrative of 20th- and early 21st-century architecture and planning. It is supplemented by explorations of the byways and back roads of design that have eluded critical attention, such as the drive to memorialize the fallen of World War I, and the emergence of Modern architecture as a global phenomenon between the wars and after World War II. Just as no one voice can define the future, no singular viewpoint can explain the past. Cohen, an art historian, architect, and professor at NYU’s Institute of Fine Arts, casts his net wide. He delves into architecture, art, planning, engineering, theory, social dynamics, and popular culture to explain how Modern design grew, what it grew into, and how it was disseminated. While acknowledging the “Great Men” view of Modern architecture history organized around masters like Gropius, Mies, Corbusier, and Wright, Cohen recognizes that Modern design has a more fragmented and richer history. The book spans from 1889 (the date of the Paris International Exposition and a convenient marker for the emergence of Modernism) to the first decade of the 21st century. It is rich, vital, and worthy of standing beside Gideon and Frampton on your shelf.
Aalto and America Edited by Stanford Anderson, Gail Fenske, and David Fixler
London: Phaidon Press, 2012, 528 pp. $75
Fair in New York. The book then examines his other important projects, notably Baker House at MIT, and how his influence on post-war American designers grew. The essayists also address the reciprocal effect that America had on Aalto. As editors and authors, Anderson, Fenske, and Fixler have done an excellent job of organizing the broad spectrum of viewpoints and insights represented in this collection. Together they present a coherent picture of Aalto and how his work continues to inspire us.
Noted but Not Reviewed
The Mythic Modern: Architectural Expeditions into the Spirit of Place By Travis Price
New Haven: Yale University Press, 2012, 340 pp. $75
Price’s record of projects conducted with his students from Catholic University over a period of 20 years in settings around the globe, alien to Postmodern cosmopolitan cities and suburbs. Minimal in scale and artisanal and elegant in design, the projects attempt to connect to or highlight something about the nature of the place in which they are built.
Schlepping Through Ambivalence: Essays on an American Architectural Condition By Stanley Tigerman, ed. by Emmanuel Petit
New York: W.W. Norton/ Library of Congress, 2012, 336 pp. $75
Essays by the iconoclastic architect, teacher, theorist, and critic on Chicago, the state of design, his contemporaries, and the profession.
The Harlem Edge | Cultivating Connections 2012 Biennial Ideas Competition Edited by AIANY Emerging New York Architects Committee
This collection of essays reflects the appreciation that a new generation of critics and historians has for Alvar Aalto’s work and influence in America. While Aalto is an acknowledged master of 20thcentury architecture, he occupies an anomalous position. He bridged styles and ideologies, yet continued to display influential, revolutionary work that united the rigor of functionalism; sensitivity to the particularities of place, context, and materials; and a deep understanding of human social and psychological needs. Essay contributors illuminate the relationships Aalto was able to foster that enabled him to perform significant work in America. He first achieved considerable public recognition for the design of the Finnish Pavilion at the 1939 World’s
40 Oculus Fall 2012
The competition catalogue highlights 24 entries, including the winning designs [see pg. 39].
New Haven: Yale University Press, 2011, 192 pp. $45
Stanley Stark, FAIA, is director of strategic planning at Vanguard Construction and Development Co., Inc. He served as chair of the Oculus Committee from 2005 to 2007.
New York: AIANY Emerging New York Architects Committee, 2012, 77 pp. $15
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Oculus - Fall 2012
Letter from the President: The Future: Here and Now
Of Ladybugs and Learning
Manhattanville Shuffl e: A no-real-community-here might just become one
Opener: The New Learning Landscape
Oh, the Places We’ll Go!
One Firm, Two Schools of Thought
Schools Made to Order
Expanding Architecture Beyond Form and Function
New Kids on the Boards
Real Solutions at Harlem’s Edge
The Future of Architecture Since 1889
Aalto and America
The Mythic Modern: Architectural Expeditions into the Spirit of Place
Schlepping Through Ambivalence: Essays on an American Architectural Condition
The Harlem Edge | Cultivating Connections 2012 Biennial Ideas Competition
A pioneering example of Modernism in New York is the 1931 New School for Social Research building by Joseph Urban
The Young and the Edgeless
Alphabetical and Categorical Index
Oculus - Fall 2012