The Future Cities project

challenging risk-aversion and the precautionary principle

» Book reviews

“Style: In defence of Post-Modernism”


by Patrick Lynch | 20 February 2016

In this witty and robust defence, Adam Nathaniel Furman makes a case for thinking about postmodernism as a style and as a way life Read more…

The Great Mall of China

derelict shoppingHow Shopping And Socialism Has Inverted The City.
- by Nick Jewell —

After three and a half decades of double-digit growth, China finally appears to be slowing Read more…

Free Will: An Illusion?

BagginiBy Joel Mills | 12 October 2015

Free will is an illusion. Quite a claim, and one that dominates much contemporary scientific thinking, and the pivotal driver for Julian Baggini to write his latest book Read more…

Context by Eric Parry

brainby Chloe Spiby Loh | 24 August 2015

The latest edition to the AD Primer series comes in the form of Eric Parry’s contemplation on ‘Context’; a gathering of his personal preoccupations on specific locations and projects Read more…

White City Black City

tel aviv jaffaRozie Saunders | 20 May 2015

Sharon Rotbard’s “White City Black City: Architecture and War in Tel Aviv and Jaffa”  is much more than just an architectural history of Tel Aviv and Jaffa. Read more…

ISIS: The mad residue of the war on terror

CockburnTim Black | 04 May 2015

Patrick Cockburn’s study of ISIS indicts both Saudi Arabia and the West says Tim Black in a review we republish courtesy of the spiked Review of Books.   Read more…

The Art of Memory

Modiano2Jane Sandeman | 02 February 2015

Review of ‘Suspended Sentences’ by Patrick Modiano

“A Marcel Proust of our time” was how the Nobel Academy described Patrick Modiano, the French novelist Read more…

Book Review: The Writing on the Wall


by Martin Earnshaw | 7 June 2014

If you’ve ever wondered how much of your life you have wasted on Social Media, Facebook will tell you with its new app. Read more…

The Practical Possibilist

Population 10 Billion: The Coming Demographic Crisis and How to Survive It by Danny Dorling; Constable, 2013. 448pp

Reviewed by Martin Earnshaw | 14 October 2013

population-10 billionThe recent news that the UK is experiencing a mini baby boom was greeted with predictable panic about how Britain’s services would cope. From worries about an ageing population to the familiar refrain (1) about depleted resources, population has long been a lightning rod for broader anxieties about society.  Read more…

Europe and China: Strategic Partners or Rivals?

Roland Vogt

Just half a century after De Gaulle’s vision that Europe (‘from the Atlantic to the Urals’) would decide the destiny of the world, Europe looks anything like a global powerhouse. Read more…

The uncivil civility of Richard Rogers

By Richard J Williams | 31 July 2013

rogers pompidouThe idea of ‘civility’ crops up a lot at Richard Rogers’s exhibition. It’s there right from the start in a room decked out in orange vinyl, with a series of panels laying out Rogers’s ‘ethos’. Read more…

Military Urbanism?

‘Cities Under Siege: The New Military Urbanism’ by Stephen Graham; Verso, 2011. 402pp

Reviewed by Austin Williams | 18 December 2012

Urban transformation has often been considered to be a virtue, but some view it differently; as a source of instability and conflict. Read more…

The world, one sketch at a time

‘The Art of Urban Sketching: Drawing on Location Around the World’ by Gabriel Campanario; Quarry Books, 2012. 320pp

Reviewed by Anna Gibb | 29 November 2012

A renaissance in sketching is occurring.  While advances in technology continue and we now have smartphones that allow us to document our surroundings in an instant, Read more…

The Great Stagnation

‘The Great Stagnation’ by Tyler Cowen; Dutton Books, 2011. 109pp

Reviewed by Stephen Nash | 23 November 2012

With its sizeable subtitle – ‘How America Ate All the Low-Hanging Fruit of Modern History, Got Sick, and Will (Eventually) Feel Better’ – this slim volume has made a big splash since its initial appearance in ebook format at the start of 2011. Read more…

Venice: Myth and Reality

‘Venice in Environmental Peril? Myth and Reality’ by Dominic Standish; University Press of America, 2012. 318pp

Reviewed by Elisabetta Gasparoni | 2 November 2012

You cannot help but wonder how the ancient Venetians managed to create such stunning architecture Read more…

Britain after the riots

‘Out of the Ashes: Britain after the riots’ by David Lammy; Guardian Books, 2011. 272pp

Reviewed by Jane Sandeman | 11 October 2012

The death of Mark Duggan in August last year was followed by four days of riots in London, and later Birmingham and Manchester. While many agreed that the riots were nihilistic, opportunistic ‘mugging’ on a large scale, Read more…

I run therefore I am!

‘The End of the Race (Running Away From The Race)’ by Dan Travis, 2012. 20pp

Reviewed by Jean Smith | 10 October 2012

As an active teenager growing up in the Midlands, I loved field hockey, even though my school team lost most games in the early 1970s. Cross-country running was another story altogether. I was hopeless and dreaded the humiliation Read more…

Architectural Olympiad

‘The Stadium’ by Tim Abrahams;  Machine Books, 2012. 38pp

Reviewed by Josh Broomer | 10 October 2012

‘These 17 days may have changed this country’. So pronounced the Guardian the morning after Stephen Daldry’s closing ceremony concluded a vibrant festival of sport. Read more…


Lost in Space’ by Greg Klerkx: A review by Martin Earnshaw

Neil Armstrong, who died last month, encapsulated humanity’s desire for exploration and discovery, and is believed to have been dismayed at NASA’s diminished ambitions. Here Martin Earnshaw assesses Klerkx’s claim that NASA is the main barrier to realising a human future in space.  Read more…

Emerging Africa

‘Emerging Africa: how 17 countries are leading the way’ by Steven C. Radelet; Center for Global Development, 2010. 169pp

Reviewed by Joel Cohen | 22 August 2012

On the 50th anniversary of the publication of Things Fall Apart, Nigerian author Chinua Achebe was asked “Are things really falling apart or are they starting to come back together in Africa?” Read more…