A useful toolkit of architectural philosophy, focusing on ethics and aesthetics and taking a neutral stance… acting as a series of clarifications and questions rather than ready-made answers.
The book poses some new questions for us as we now see that there are consequences to the hollowing out of American industries and cities.
It’s a great book for telling us about Europe between the wars; but also because of what can it tell us about today, in particular homelessness?
The ’socially responsible’ designer is a good example of an ideological imposition getting in the way of clarifying graphic design, and its mediating and transformative role in society.
The aesthetic experiences that we have as adults are a kind of echo of these formative infant experiences: an ongoing rediscovery of the world and its possibilities.
We should read: “with a sense of wonder and curiosity at the general and implacable human determination to fill endless space with dubious mental material when life is short and there are so many other things to be done”.
Once the Malthusian link is broken and enough food and liberating technology is available, progress begins to feed through to the general population.
Some of these futurists have taken Enlightenment reasoning and twisted it to a quasi-religious adherence to a technological future… as redemption. Distorted in a post human mind-set which condemns humans to be inferior, presented as a kind of system failure or flaw that only technological superiority can correct.
Described by Xinran as a “brilliant, heart-breaking story”, this is indeed a well-crafted, harrowing tale that interweaves a modern narrative with the war years.
At its simplest, this book will teach you to draw and to learn from the process; with simple line studies and ink renderings. “Architects,” he says, “should aspire to reflect and invent the best of the present, and weigh its value in the future”.