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Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Holiday Gift Books: 2009.3

As in the last four years, I'm presenting a list of gift books just in time for the holidays. This time around I'm presenting one each by 50 publishers, posted in five digestible installments of ten each, in alphabetical order. Below is the third installment. Once posted, the rest can be found here.

Laurence King Publishing:
Extreme Architecture: Building in Challenging Environments
by Ruth Slavid
"Forty-five recent buildings designed for challenging environments, giving valuable insights into the extremes of architectural thinking. Futhermore, in an increasingly unstable world, some of the lessons they teach about self-sufficiency may yet become more generally applicable." Read my review of the book here.

Map Book:
Public Works: Unsolicited Small Projects for the Big Dig
edited by J. Meejin Yoon with Meredith Miller
"A series of 14 disarmingly modest, speculative interventions by the Boston-based MY Studio, a multidisciplinary design firm operating in the space between architecture, art and landscape. Collectively, these interventions expose, connect and reconfigure the relationship between the underground expressways and the new parks that emerged in the Big Dig's wake, demonstrating the effect design can have on our conception of public space."

The Smart Growth Manual
by Andres Duany and Jeff Speck with Mike Lydon
"With this long-awaited companion volume [to Suburban Nation], the authors have organized the latest contributions of new urbanism, green design, and healthy communities into a comprehensive handbook, fully illustrated with the built work of the nation's leading practitioners."

Merrell Publishers:
Books Do Furnish a Room
by Leslie Geddes-Brown
"In this beautifully illustrated guide, self-confessed bibliophile Leslie Geddes-Brown offers inspirational solutions and practical tips on how to make the most of books in every room and forgotten nook of the house."

Metropolis Books:
Design Revolution: 100 Products That Empower People
by Emily Pilloton
"Featuring more than 100 contemporary design products and systems--safer baby bottles, a high-tech waterless washing machine, ... universal composting systems, DIY soccer balls--that are as fascinating as they are revolutionary, this exceptionally smart, friendly and well-designed volume makes the case for design as a tool to solve some of the world's biggest social problems in beautiful, sustainable and engaging ways--for global citizens in the developing world and in more developed economies alike."

MIT Press:
Asylum: Inside the Closed World of State Mental Hospitals
by Christopher Payne
"Architect and photographer Christopher Payne spent six years documenting the decay of state mental hospitals, visiting seventy institutions in thirty states. Through his lens we see splendid, palatial exteriors and crumbling interiors."

The Monacelli Press:
The Architecture of Natural Light
by Henry Plummer
"For all those seeking to create space that transcends the physical, The Architecture of Natural Light is a powerful and poetic yet practical survey that provides an original and timeless approach to contemporary architecture."

NAi Publishers:
Architecture in the Netherlands: Yearbook 2008/09
by Samir Bantal, JaapJan Berg, Kees van der Hoeven, Anne Luijten
"The shortlist of 30 projects provides a wide-ranging overview of trends, design strategies, architectural typologies and topical themes that have influenced architecture in 2008. The editorial team also highlights relevant and urgent developments and places them on the agenda in a series of essays, visual and textual."

Oxford University Press:
The Oxford Companion to Architecture
by Patrick Goode, Stanford Anderson and (the late) Sir Colin St John Wilson
"Embracing the world of architecture in all its variety, the Companion offers complete coverage of architecture from around the world, giving equal weight to architecture in Asia, Africa, the Middle East, and South America as to the more familiar examples from Western Europe and the United States,and of both modern and vernacular architecture."

Papadakis Publishers:
Drawing Parallels: Architecture Observed
by Quintin Lake
"From megacities to the remotest villages, from man-made structures to natural forms, [Quintin Lake] takes us through pairings of photographs that force us to re-examine the world around us and challenge our understanding of what constitutes architecture."


  1. The Extreme Architecture book is very engaging - I liked that most of the architectures within are the product of extreme environmental conditions rather than styles, fashions or whim of the designer.

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  4. Thankyou for suggesting my Book, Drawing Parallels Architecture Observed in your list.

    You can see a preview of a number of pages from the book and other info here


    Quintin Lake

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