Best Architecture Books of 2010

Best Architecture Books of 2010

Ten books pointing the way to larger professional horizons

By Norman Weinstein
December 3, 2010

Eric J. Cesal, Down Detour Road: An Architect in Search of Practice (The MIT Press, $21.95). This coming-of-age memoir of a young architect should prove equally illuminating to oldsters because of Casel’s witty and penetrating analysis of the need to align professional shibboleths with real-world economic realities. Where else in architectural literature can you heed a voice laced with the deadpan worldly humor of a Huck Finn, the commonsense of a Stoic, and the idealism of a 20-something who finds himself in post-Katrina New Orleans suffering, but smiling. One generation’s odyssey, post-graduation, learning architecture in the studio disasters mercilessly built.


Thomas Fisher, Ethics for Architects: 50 Dilemmas of Professional Practice (Princeton Architectural Press, $24.95). Professional Codes of Ethics are often boringly scribed “ought to” wish lists. Ethics in architecture might best be learned through penetrating case studies, through untying knotty dilemmas. Written with disarming directness and simplicity, Fisher offers sage ethical guidance through re-purposing the idea of “lifecycle costing” (for us mystics “karma?”) when deciding whether you’ve acted ethically in your practice, with particularly invaluable examples for the U.S. design juggernaut working in China and the Middle East. His postscript could have been preface: “In a depressed economy, ethics may seem extraneous: something nice to do once we pay the bills. But the opposite is true.”


Mark Garcia, The Diagrams of Architecture (AD/Wiley, $85). If you value the drawings and doodles starachitects leave on cocktail napkins as manna-droppings, Garcia’s gallery of original drawings by the obscure as well as Fountainheads you’ll find even more entertaining. As 21st-century designers increasingly work with “flow” in the forefront of their thinking, diagrammatic thinking evolves from simple shorthand to complex mapping of multi-dimensional territories. The scholarly text can be rough going, but the wild diagrams absolutely justify the price of admission.


Philip Jodidio, Shigeru Ban: Complete Works 1985 -2010 (Taschen, $150). This weighty and slick and pricey coffee table book of Japan’s greatest “Nordic” architect – dare you to leaf through 10 pages without thinking of Aalto Orientalized – puts photographically in your face why Ban might just be Japan’s most profoundly versatile architect of our time – period. There’s the obvious irony of making emergency shelters with enough sexiness to end up in a high-end eye-candy volume like this. Then there’s the additional irony of paper structures heralded in this deluxe book, one aimed at those with deep pockets who might marvel at a paper shelter – but NIMBY. Lightweight text, but the photography is as graceful as Ban’s way with the lightest of materials made monumentally memorable.


Charles Jencks and Edwin Heathcote, The Architecture of Hope: Maggie’s Cancer Caring Centres (Frances Lincoln, $60). Not all healthcare facilities present similar design challenges, and the hybrid form of Maggie’s Centres offers cancer patients a unique blend of meditational, educational, and therapeutic spaces for rest and reflection. Despite much of the accumulated and often justified boredom surrounding starchitect self-aggrandizement, here are exquisite healing spaces by Frank Gehry, Zaha Hadid, and Richard Rogers. Celebrity architects as occasional secular saints? Rare is that architecture that can instruct us about how to live and how to die. This book makes the Stars just like us in their quest for the imaginatively caressing spaces cushioning crucially painful life passages.


Giovanni Curatola, Turkish Art and Architecture: From the Seljuks to the Ottomans (Abbeville, $95). There is a trick in finding an erudite, but not academic tone, in introducing the majesty of Islamic classical architecture to a wide audience of Western readers. Curatola looks lovingly at Turkish art and architecture from a span across the 10th to 19th centuries, matching intricately detailed descriptions with 250 striking photographs, with images of some of the most devoutly illuminating Mosque architecture ever seen between book covers. And who would have guessed the impact Ming Dynasty porcelain plate design would have on the tiles of the Ottoman Empire, and how inspiring these motifs look through 21st-century vision?


George Ranalli, Research & Design: Faculty Work, The City College of New York – Bernard and Anne Spitzer School of Architecture (Oscar Riera Ojeda Publishers, $25). From the over-the-top Hotel Jellyfish for Tianjin, China, by Michael Sorkin that straddles a line between zoomorphic and dadamorphic design, all to way to the dignified apollonian civility of Ranalli’s Saratoga Community Center in Brooklyn, NY, the architecture students at CCNY luck out by having a teaching faculty practicing with so much visionary panache.


Jane Alison, editor, The Surreal House (Yale University Press, $70). Archigram’s merry pranksters gave legs to future British cities, but back in Paris between the wars, the surrealists gave urban housing erotic breasts, vertiginous stairways to nowhere, and fireplaces serving as toy train stations. Framed by a variety of informative (but unfortunately humorless) scholarly essays that offer a single epiphany – the deepest gift surrealism gave to modern architecture was the rebirth of the Gothic – the hundreds of color illustrations offer a remarkably discerning catalogue of bizarre architectural dreams that could ricochet into whimsically engaging follies for our time.


James P. Cramer and Jane Paradise Wolford, editors, Almanac of Architecture & Design 2010 (Ostberg/Greenway Communications, $149). Let’s get the nasty fact of the price tag for this 578-page paperback out of the way. If the reason for the inexcusable price point is attributed to this being the first full-color edition of this essential reference, how about publishing a special “recession” edition in black and white? That said, this encyclopedic yearbook ranks the top 333 largest architecture firms, lists damn near every architectural organization worth knowing in North American, and has comprehensive awards lists. You could save a bundle by researching all of this on the Internet for a year, so maybe the price is almost right?


Ruth Barnes and Mary Hunt Kahlenberg, Five Centuries of Indonesian Textiles (Prestel USA, $95). Simply the most spectacularly radiant book on textiles from any locale I’ve seen in years. But after a second look at nearly two dozen ikat patterns based on architectural motifs, the deep value of this art book for architects snapped into sharp focus. As building facades (through high-tech light show capacities) increasingly offer ever-changing, environmentally responsive, design possibilities, these traditional Indonesian textiles based on island architecture have astonishing lessons to teach. Even those textiles free of architectural designs tell stories about layering flashing colors and dramatically composing biomorphic motifs. And while the astute authors refrain largely from linking this priceless collection of fabrics to buildings, their obvious adoration and understanding of these textiles invite you to link them to every imaginable art, including the art of living well.


Norman Weinstein writes about architecture and design for Architectural Record, and is the author of “Words That Build” – an exclusive 21-part series published by – that focuses on the overlooked foundations of architecture: oral and written communication. He consults with architects and engineers interested in communicating more profitably; his webinars are available from ExecSense. He can be reached at


More by Weinstein:


A Meditation on the Beauty of Zaha Hadid’s Door Handle

Hadid’s design issues a challenge: define beauty by lyrically playing with illusion.


Why “Greatest Hits” Lists by Architecture’s Stars Should Be Mocked
Transferring the musical or cinematic “greatest hits” list mind-set to architecture is deleterious, and here’s why.


Celebratory Meditations on SANAA Winning the Pritzker Prize


Op-Ed: Life After Ada: Reassessing the Utility of Architectural Criticism 
Ada Louise Huxtable deserves mucho thanks and praise – but other questions moving us to a new flavor of criticism have to be asked.


Book Review: “Architecture and Beauty: Conversations with Architects about a Troubled Relationship”: Yael Reisner exuberantly interviews architects about beauty
Any of you architects seen Mr. Keats Lately?


Book Review: Shedding Light on Concrete: Tadao Ando: Complete Works 1975-2010 by Philip Jodidio
Photographic presentation of a poet of light and concrete triumphs over lackluster commentary.


Book Review: Sage Architectural Reflections from Architecture’s “Athena”: Denise Scott Brown’s “Having Words” distills a lifetime of theorizing and practice into practical and succinct guidance for thriving through difficult times
Brown’s occasional papers trace a trenchant trajectory of learning from Las Vegas to learning from everything.


Book Review: Keeping the Architectural Profession Professional: “Architecture from the Outside In: Selected Essays by Robert Gutman” celebrates Gutman’s legacy as invaluable outsider
Selected essays by a penetrating sociologist of architecture pose the kinds of tough-minded questions needed now to keep architectural professional on-track.


Book Review: “Design through Dialogue: A Guide for Clients and Architects,” by Karen A. Franck and Teresa von Sommaruga Howard
A helpful communications primer offers case studies of winning collaborations between clients and architects, but as useful as this book proves, it leaves some uncomfortable questions about communication unaddressed.


Twilight Visions: Vintage Surrealist Photography Sheds New Light on Architecture 
An exhibition and book of photographs of Paris between the wars might just be the necessary correctives to the virtual sterility of digital imagery


Best Architecture Books of 2009 
10 crucial volumes from the classic to the iconoclastic


Book Review: “Gunnar Birkerts: Metaphoric Modernist” by Sven Birkerts and Martin Schwartz

A major architect in the history of Modernism finally receives recognition – and sundry asides about why Modernism never exited.


Book Review: “Urban Design for an Urban Century: Placemaking for People,” by Lance Jay Brown, David Dixon, and Oliver Gillham 
To the credit of the erudite authors, their sketch of urban design brings levels of political, sociological, and architectural analysis together in a readable synthesis.


Book Review: “Everything Must Move: 15 Years at Rice School of Architecture 1994-2009” 
There’s a Texas flood of architectural ideas that gives ample evidence of an architecture school that unsettles pat assumptions. Who could ask for anything more?


Book Review: A Subversive Book Every Architect Needs: “Architect’s Essentials of Negotiation” by Ava J. Abramowitz 
Supposedly architects don’t need negotiating skills along with other communication skills because great design “sells itself.” How lovely that an AIA legal counsel created this definitive book to shatter that thin myth.


Book Review: A Perspective from One Elevation: “Conversations With Frank Gehry” by Barbara Isenberg

Gehry’s conversations offer portraits of an astute listener as well as talker, an architect as aware of his flaws and limitations as of his virtues.


Best Architecture Books of 2008 
10 tomes from the superior to the indispensable


Book Review: You’ve Got to Draw the Line Somewhere

A review of Drafting Culture: a Social History of Architectural Graphic Standards by George Barnett Johnston


Book Review: “NeoHooDoo: Art for a Forgotten Faith,” edited by Franklin Sirmans

Sharpen your pencils – and get ready to do a NeoHooDoo shimmy.



via ArchNewsNow.

2011 읽을책.

사놓고 안읽은 책이 이렇게 많다니…

1. 철학과 굴뚝청소부.
2. 과학이 나를 부른다.
3. 행복은 혼자오지 않는다.
4. 진보의 재탄생.
5. 현대건축의 철학적 모험.
6. 프로페셔널의 조건.
7. 앨러건트 유니버스.
8. 육식의 종말.
9. 죽음의 수용소.
10. 내 젊은날의 숲.
11. 연전연패.
12. 이기적 유전자.
13. 텅빈충만.
14. 존재와 시간.
15. 열린사회와 그 적들.
16. 운명이다.
17. 유럽의 발견.
18. 상저받지 않을 권리.
19. 그들이 말하지 안는 23가지
20. 붓다 브레인.
21. 수난1,2.
22. 차이들.
23. 건축텍토닉과 기술니할리즘.
24. 역사의 연구.
25. 료마가 간다.
26. 천개의 고원.
27. 대국굴기.
28. 정의란 무엇인가.
29. 노마디즘.
30. 1960년 이후의 건축이론.
31. 침묵의세계.
32. 박애 자본주의.
33. 공지영의 지리산행복학교.
34. 밥값.
35. 오래된연장통.
36. 욕망의진화.


11.27. 안중근기념관, 정기용건축가 전시회. LEED 2nd.

11.30. HGAI 최종마감.

12.3. BIM conference.

12.4. 양규선배 결혼식. LEED 3rd.

12.4. with 133 ROTC.

12.5. LEED 4th.

12.11. LEED 5th.

12.15. 땅집사향. 구영민교수.

12.18.LEED 6th.

12.??.LEED GA Exam.

12.23. dmp christmas party

12.??. with Albatross.

12.??. with 운칠삼기.

12.??. with 죽마고우.

12.??. with Family.

12.31. dmp 종무식.


11.7.일. -3rd Agenda Exhibition.

11.9.화. – 한강예술섬 음향실험실(강화도) /송도 / 동대문

11.11.목. – 원도시세미나 / 곽희수

11.12.금.~13.토 – 동기여행 / 양평

11.17.수. – 땅집사향세미나 / 김개천

11.27.토. – LEED GA re-3rd.

우리가 오를 봉우리는 / 양희은

사람들은 손을 들어 가리키지 높고 뾰족한 봉우리만을 골라서

내가 전에 올라가봤던 작은 봉우리 얘기 해줄까?


지금은 그냥 아주 작은 동산일 뿐이지만

그래도 그때 난 그보다 더 큰 다른 산이 있다고 생각하진 않았어

나한테는 그게 전부였거든…


난 내가 아는 제일 높은 봉우리를 향해 오르고 있었던 거야

너무 높이 올라온 것일까?

너무 멀리 떠나온 것일까?

얼마 남지 않았는데…

잊어버려! 일단 무조건 올라보는 거야

봉우리에 올라가서 손을 흔드는 거야

고함도 치면서

지금 힘든것은 아무것도 아냐

저 위 제일 높은 봉우리에서 늘어지게 한 숨 잘텐데 뭐…

허나 내가 오른 곳은 그저 고갯 마루였을 뿐

길은 다시 다른 봉우리로

거기 부러진 나무 들걸에 걸터 앉아서 나는 봤지

낮은 데로만 흘러 고인 바다

작은 배들이 연기 뿜으며 가고

이봐 고갯마루에 먼저 오르더라도

뒤돌아서서 고함치거나 손을 흔들어 댈 필요는 없어

난 바람에 나부끼는 자네 옷자락을 멀리서도 똑똑히 알아볼 수 있을 테니까 말야

또 그렇다고 괜히 허전해 하면서

주저 앉아서 땀이나 닦고 그러지는 마

땀이야 지나가는 바람이 식혀주겠지 뭐

혹시라도 어쩌다가 아픔같은 것이 저며올 때는

그럴땐 바다를 생각해


봉우리란 그저 넘어가는 고갯마루일 뿐이라구…

하여 친구야 우리가 오를 봉우리는 바로 지금 여긴 지도 몰라

우리 땀 흘리며 가는 여기 숲속의 좁게난 길

높은 곳에 봉우리는 없는 지도 몰라

그래 친구야 바로 여긴지도 몰라

우리가 오를 봉우리는…


10.1. Pechakucha Seoul. – completed.

10.2. LEED GA 1st. – completed.

10.2. Energizer-Night Race. 10km. – completed.

10.3. Seoul Design Fair 2010. – x

10.7. Wondoshi Seminar. -x

10.8. 정동도시건축세미나. – x

10.8. with. 유곤. -x

10.9. FC dmp vs. Mooyoung -x

10.10. Seoul Architecture Festival. Architecture Tour. -completed

10.10. Marcos Novak Exhibition. -x

10.10. LEED GA 2nd. -completed

10.13. 땅집사향 Seminar. – x

10.15-16. dmp 가을가족여행. – completed

10.16. KCC Archi-League 2 game. v.MAP , v.DA -completed

10.16-17. Jarasum International Jass Festival. – x

10.23. October Sky. 예비소집. / LEED GA 4th.

10.24. Nike we run seoul 10k. -X

10.29. i-arch OPEN house.

10.30. ’10월의 하늘’ @삼천포

10.30. dmp 2011 신입사원 면접. -X


손 마사요시 (そんまさよし | 손정의 | Son Masayoshi) 기업인

1957년 8월 11일 (일본) / 소프트뱅크 (대표이사 회장) /캘리포니아대학교 경제학 학사

 소프트뱅크 LIVE2011 :

소프트뱅크 ‘새로운 30년 비전’ 손정의 회장 발표 :

높은 뜻을 가지고 인생을 살아간다. 보다 큰 일을 해라.

“오르고 싶은 산을 정하라. 이로써 인생의 절반은 결정된다. ”

인생의 뜻. 나에게 있어서 뜻.

사카모토 료마.

무엇을 이루기 위해서 태어났는가.

디지털 정보혁명.

불평을 말하면, 자신의 그릇을 작게 한다.

머리로 승부해야 한다.

감각이 좋은 사람.

컴퓨터는 인간의 뇌세포를 넘어선다. 2018년.

소프트뱅크 아카데미아. 2010년 7월.

“기하학을 모르는자, 이문을 지나지 말것.”

높은 뜻, 리더.

뜻을 높이, 인생은 한번뿐입니다.

세상에 태어난 이유는 뜻을 이루기 위해서 이다.

company –  함께 빵을 나누는 동료, 뜻을 함께하는 사람들.

정보혁명을 통해서 사람들을 행복하게 해주고 싶다.

사람들이 가장 슬플때, 고독.

사람들이 가장 행복할때, 감동.

먼미래를 보기위해서는 과거를 봐야한다. 300년 전을 봐야한다.

사상 최대의 패러다임의 변화.

인간의 뇌를 넘는 최초의 존재의 등장.

뇌형 컴퓨터. 스스로 정보를 얻고, 생각하게 된다. 클라우딩 캄퓨터.

지식의 자동집접이 이미 이루어지고 있다.


컴퓨터가 스스로 감정을 가지도록 해야하는가.

평균수명 200세.

뇌형컴퓨터, 몸을 통한 정보전달, 텔레파시, 자동번역.

다양한 종류의 로봇등장. 완전히 다른 라이프 스타일.

다정다감함, 하트, 애정을 지닌 로봇.

컴퓨터, 로보트가 주역.

인간보다 다정다감하는 로봇 있을 수도.

정보혁명으로 사람들에게 행복을 주고 싶다.

30년후, 속도 100만배, 메모리 100만배, 속도 100만배.

무한대 클라우드.

모든 가전제품. 속도, 용량, 속도.

일하는 방식, 보는 감동, 배우는 감동, 만나는 감동, 노는감동.

진화를 거듭하는 조직구조.

자립분사형, 웹형, 서로 협조.

소프트뱅크의 가치.

정보혁명으로 사람을 행복하게.

뜻을 높이, 정의를 유지하라.

압도적인 No.1을 고집하라.

머리가 터져나갈 정도로 고민하라.

바닥에 발이 닿는 혁명은 없다.

동지적 협력.


트윗, 페북에서, 찜해놓고, 묵혀두던 동영상들이랑 글들 천천히 살펴보면서,

무심코 지나갈뻔한, 손정의 강연(?)을 다시 듣는다.

똑같은 사람인데,

누구는 성공을 하고, 99.9999999999%는  성공을 하지 못하는가.

또한번, 그동안의 게으름과 무지함을 반성한다.

어쩔 수 없다. 이런거 보고 들으면서, 빠짝 긴장할 수 밖에.

건축과. 정보혁명.

근본적으로  너무나 대조적인 두 분야.

분명, 건축에도 그의 경영철학이 녹아들 수 있을것이다.

큰 생각을 이해하고, 공부하고, 실행하고,

내 인생에도 녹아들 수 있다.