Book Bites: Philosophy of Architecture by Illies & Ray
Jul25

Book Bites: Philosophy of Architecture by Illies & Ray

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.

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Book Bites: “Voices from the Rust Belt” by Anne Trubek(ed)
Jul02

Book Bites: “Voices from the Rust Belt” by Anne Trubek(ed)

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.

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Down and out in Paris and London by George Orwell.
May31

Down and out in Paris and London by George Orwell.

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?

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The Fundamentals of Graphic Design
Apr05

The Fundamentals of Graphic Design

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.

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Defining Art, Creating the Canon: Artistic Value in an Era of Doubt by Paul Crowther
Feb28

Defining Art, Creating the Canon: Artistic Value in an Era of Doubt by Paul Crowther

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.

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Tim Parks’ “Pen in Hand”
Oct11

Tim Parks’ “Pen in Hand”

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”.

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Book Bites: Paul Morland’s “The Human Tide”
Aug03

Book Bites: Paul Morland’s “The Human Tide”

Once the Malthusian link is broken and enough food and liberating technology is available, progress begins to feed through to the general population.

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Book Bites: Mark O’Connell’s “To Be A Machine”
Aug03

Book Bites: Mark O’Connell’s “To Be A Machine”

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.

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Book Bites: Jing-Jing Lee’s “How We Disappeared”
Jul07

Book Bites: Jing-Jing Lee’s “How We Disappeared”

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.

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Book Bites: Peter Magyar’s Pen Zen Diaries
Mar17

Book Bites: Peter Magyar’s Pen Zen Diaries

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”.

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