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Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Literary Dose #38

Contemporary Bibliography
"For Pierre Restany it was the society founded on the eternal that was obsessed with the values of permanence and materiality; today, instead, we share the understanding, matured from the 1960s onwards, that what is real is not eternal. ... The danger of contemporary culture is not the freshness of the image, its here and now, but rather its freezing, mummifying it in a form that remains immutable over time. The obstinate hope for perrenial monuments in the end testifies to a headstrong obtuseness that we have dragged behind us since the time of the Egyptians, and which consists of wanting, at all costs, to exorcise death and refuse the deeper meaning of life, which is precisely that of mutability."
- Luigi Prestinenza Puglisi from New Directions in Contemporary Architecture: Evolutions and Revolutions in Building Design Since 1988 (Wiley, 2008, pp. 111)

(Luigi Prestinenza Puglisi's book contains a bibliography of "50 books, 10 of which are must-haves." I don't have all of the must-haves, but I do have 10 of the 50, pictured above.)


  1. hey john

    since I can't go to an english architecture bookshop and check it out myself, would you be so kind as to tell your readers which books are in this 10 must-have list ?

  2. Certainly. Note that Puglisi groups books into ten categories, five in each with one of them being a must-have. I think this might create omissions, but nevertheless it's helpful. Six (actually 5.5) of the 10 must-haves are in my library.

    Theories and Manifestos of Contemporary Architecture edited by Charles Jencks and Karl Kropf

    Architecture and Disjunction by Bernard Tschumi

    City of Bits by William J. Mitchell

    Architectural Design: Folding in Architecture edited by Greg Lynn (the title Architecture and Science by Giuseppa Di Cristina contains many of the essays from Lynn's book.)

    Minamilsms by Anatxu Zabalbeascoa and Javier Rodriguez

    Supermodernism by Hans Ibelings

    Green Architecture by James Wines

    Questions of Perception by Steven Holl, Juhani Pallasmaa and Alberto Perez-Gomez

    The Architecture of Intelligence by Derrick de Kerchove

    The Anaesthetics of Architecture by Neil Leach

    Theoretical Anxiety and Design Strategies in the Work of Eight Contemporary Architects by Rafael Moneo


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