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Sunday, May 03, 2009

Unpacking My Library

On Monday Peter Eisenman and Michael Graves are speaking at the Municipal Arts Society (MAS). They will be discussing, with David Childs, their "personal book collections and the books that have most influenced their work." The discussion is part of Urban Center Books' Unpacking My Library exhibition, a series of ten interactive displays with interviews and more. Peter Eisenman's is the first. The last time I found myself at Urban Center Books they also had on display a top ten list of books recommended by Eisenman. Following Eisenman and Graves will be Toshiko Mori, Stan Allen, Liz Diller and Ric Scofidio, Michael Sorkin, Henry Cobb, Steven Holl, Bernard Tschumi, and Tod Williams and Billie Tsien.

[Urban Center Books | image source]

The exhibition takes its name from an essay by Walter Benjamin, who writes about the memories sparked by the act of unpacking his collection of books after having them stored in boxes for two years. While Benjamin speaks as a collector and looks at books as objects tied to their owner, these architects will be speaking about the ideas found in the books and the influence on their own work. As someone who reads voraciously, I'm most interested by the recommendations, something that also occurs at the Storefront for Art and Architecture's curated micro-bookshop. Hopefully MAS will provide more online content for the exhibition, such as these lists, as it should be interesting to see any overlap between architects (if any) and to discover some lesser-known gems.

[photo by | source]

The discussion is Monday, May 4, 6:30-8pm, at the Municipal Art Society of New York, 457 Madison Avenue (between 50th & 51st Streets). The cost is $25, $15 for MAS members. Purchase tickets online or call 212-935-2075.

Update 08.25: Here's the website for Unpacking My Library.

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