242 episodes

Interviews with Scholars of Architecture about their New Books
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New Books in Architecture Marshall Poe

    • Arts
    • 4.7 • 7 Ratings

Interviews with Scholars of Architecture about their New Books
Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/architecture

    John DeFerrari and Douglas Peter Sefton, "Sixteenth Street NW: Washington, DC's Avenue of Ambitions" (Georgetown UP, 2022)

    John DeFerrari and Douglas Peter Sefton, "Sixteenth Street NW: Washington, DC's Avenue of Ambitions" (Georgetown UP, 2022)

    Sixteenth Street NW in Washington, DC, has been called the Avenue of the Presidents, Executive Avenue, and the Avenue of Churches. From the front door of the White House, this north-south artery runs through the middle of the District and extends just past its border with Maryland. The street is as central to the cityscape as it is to DC's history and culture.
    In Sixteenth Street NW: Washington, DC's Avenue of Ambitions (Georgetown UP, 2022), John DeFerrari and Douglas Peter Sefton depict the social and architectural history of the street and immediate neighborhoods, inviting readers to explore how the push and pull between ordinary Washingtonians and powerful elites has shaped the corridor ― and the city. This highly illustrated book features notable buildings along Sixteenth Street and recounts colorful stories of those who lived, worked, and worshipped there. Maps offer readers an opportunity to create self-guided tours of the places and people that have defined this main thoroughfare over time.
    What readers will find is that both then and now, Sixteenth Street NW has been shaped by a diverse array of people and communities. The street, and the book, feature a range of sites ― from Black Lives Matter Plaza to the White House, from mansions and rowhomes to apartment buildings, from Meridian Hill (Malcolm X) Park with its drum circles to Rock Creek Park with its tennis tournaments, and from hotels to houses of worship. Sixteenth Street, NW reveals a cross section of Washington, DC, that shows the vibrant makeup of our nation's capital.
    Bryan Toepfer, AIA, NCARB, CAPM is the Principal Architect for TOEPFER Architecture, PLLC, an Architecture firm specializing in Residential Architecture and Virtual Reality. He has authored two books, “Contractors CANNOT Build Your House,” and “Six Months Now, ARCHITECT for Life.” He is an Assistant Professor at Alfred State College and has served as the Director of Government Affairs and as the Director of Education for the AIA Rochester Board of Directors. Always eager to help anyone understand the world of Architecture, he hosts the New Books Network – Architecture podcast, is an NCARB Licensing Advisor and helps coach candidates taking the Architectural Registration Exam. btoepfer@toepferarchitecture
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    • 39 min
    Lisa Reilly, "The Invention of Norman Visual Culture: Art, Politics, and Dynastic Ambition" (Cambridge UP, 2020)

    Lisa Reilly, "The Invention of Norman Visual Culture: Art, Politics, and Dynastic Ambition" (Cambridge UP, 2020)

    In The Invention of Norman Visual Culture: Art, Politics, and Dynastic Ambition (Cambridge UP, 2020), Lisa Reilly establishes a new interpretive paradigm for the eleventh and twelfth-century art and architecture of the Norman world in France, England, and Sicily. Traditionally, scholars have considered iconic works like the Cappella Palatina and the Bayeux Embroidery in a geographically piecemeal fashion that prevents us from seeing their full significance. Here, Reilly examines these works individually and within the larger context of a connected Norman world. Just as Rollo founded the Normandy "of different nationalities", the Normans created a visual culture that relied on an assemblage of forms. To the modern eye, these works are perceived as culturally diverse. As Reilly demonstrates, the multiple sources for Norman visual culture served to expand their meaning. Norman artworks represented the cultural mix of each locale, and the triumph of Norman rule, not just as a military victory but as a legitimate succession, and often as the return of true Christian rule.
    Tanja Tolar is a Senior Teaching Fellow at the School of Oriental and African Studies in London.
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    • 53 min
    Hilton Judin, "Architecture, State Modernism and Cultural Nationalism in the Apartheid Capital" (Routledge, 2021)

    Hilton Judin, "Architecture, State Modernism and Cultural Nationalism in the Apartheid Capital" (Routledge, 2021)

    Hilton Judin's book Architecture, State Modernism and Cultural Nationalism in the Apartheid Capital (Routledge, 2021) is the first comprehensive investigation of the architecture of the apartheid state in the period of rapid economic growth and political repression from 1957 to 1966 when buildings took on an ideological role that was never remote from the increasingly dominant administrative, legislative and policing mechanisms of the regime. It considers how this process reflected the usurpation of a regional modernism and looks to contribute to wider discourses on international postwar modernism in architecture.
    Buildings in Pretoria that came to embody ambitions of the apartheid state for industrialization and progress serve as case studies. These were widely acclaimed projects that embodied for apartheid officials the pursuit of modernization but carried latent apprehensions of Afrikaners about their growing economic prospects and cultural estrangement in Africa. It is a less known and marginal story due to the dearth of material and documents buried in archives and untranslated documents. Many of the documents, drawings and photographs in the book are unpublished and include classified material and photographs from the National Nuclear Research Centre, negatives of 1960s from Pretoria News and documents and pamphlets from Afrikaner Broederbond archives.
    State architecture became the most iconic public manifestation of an evolving expression of white cultural identity as a new generation of architects in Pretoria took up the challenge of finding form to their prospects and beliefs. It was an opportunistic faith in Afrikaners who urgently needed to entrench their vulnerable and contested position on the African continent. The shift from provincial town to apartheid capital was swift and relentless. Little was left to stand in the way of the ambitions and aim of the state as people were uprooted and forcibly relocated, structures torn down and block upon block of administration towers and slabs erected across Pretoria.
    This book will be of great interest to students and scholars of architectural history as well as those with an interest in postcolonial studies, political science, and social anthropology.
    Bryan Toepfer, AIA, NCARB, CAPM is the Principal Architect for TOEPFER Architecture, PLLC, an Architecture firm specializing in Residential Architecture and Virtual Reality. He has authored two books, “Contractors CANNOT Build Your House,” and “Six Months Now, ARCHITECT for Life.” He is an Assistant Professor at Alfred State College and has served as the Director of Government Affairs and as the Director of Education for the AIA Rochester Board of Directors. Always eager to help anyone understand the world of Architecture, he hosts the New Books Network – Architecture podcast, is an NCARB Licensing Advisor and helps coach candidates taking the Architectural Registration Exam.
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    • 27 min
    Laura J. Martin, "Wild by Design: The Rise of Ecological Restoration" (Harvard UP, 2022)

    Laura J. Martin, "Wild by Design: The Rise of Ecological Restoration" (Harvard UP, 2022)

    Environmental restoration is a global pursuit and a major political concern. Governments, nonprofits, private corporations, and other institutions spend billions of dollars each year to remove invasive species, build wetlands, and reintroduce species driven from their habitats. But restoration has not always been so intensively practiced. It began as the pastime of a few wildflower enthusiasts and the first practitioners of the new scientific discipline of ecology.
    Restoration has been a touchstone of United States environmentalism since the beginning of the twentieth century. Diverging from popular ideas about preservation, which romanticized nature as an Eden to be left untouched by human hands, and conservation, the managed use of natural resources, restoration emerged as a “third way.” Restorationists grappled with the deepest puzzles of human care for life on earth: How to intervene in nature for nature’s own sake? What are the natural baselines that humans should aim to restore? Is it possible to design nature without destroying wildness? In Wild by Design: The Rise of Ecological Restoration (Harvard University Press, 2022), Laura J. Martin shows how, over time, amateur and professional ecologists, interest groups, and government agencies coalesced around a mode of environmental management that sought to respect the world-making, and even the decision-making, of other species. At the same time, restoration science reshaped material environments in ways that powerfully influenced what we understand the wild to be.
    In Wild by Design, restoration’s past provides vital knowledge for climate change policy. But Martin also offers something more—a meditation on what it means to be wild and a call for ecological restoration that is socially just.
    Laura J. Martin is Assistant Professor of Environmental Studies at Williams College. She is a past fellow of the American Council of Learned Societies, the Stanford Humanities Center, and the Harvard University Center for the Environment. She has written for Scientific American, Slate, Environmental History, Environmental Humanities, Trends in Ecology and Evolution, and other publications.
    Kathryn B. Carpenter is a doctoral candidate in the history of science at Princeton University. She is currently researching the history of tornado science and storm chasing in the twentieth-century United States. She is also the creator and host of Drafting the Past, a podcast on the craft of writing history. You can reach her on twitter, @katebcarp.
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    • 1 hr
    Richard K. Rein, "American Urbanist: How William H. Whyte's Unconventional Wisdom Reshaped Public Life" (Island Press, 2022)

    Richard K. Rein, "American Urbanist: How William H. Whyte's Unconventional Wisdom Reshaped Public Life" (Island Press, 2022)

    On an otherwise normal weekday in the 1980s, commuters on busy Route 1 in central New Jersey noticed an alarming sight: a man in a suit and tie dashing across four lanes of traffic, then scurrying through a narrow underpass as cars whizzed by within inches. The man was William “Holly” Whyte, a pioneer of people-centered urban design. Decades before this perilous trek to a meeting in the suburbs, he had urged planners to look beyond their desks and drawings: “You have to get out and walk.”
    American Urbanist: How William H. Whyte's Unconventional Wisdom Reshaped Public Life (Island Press, 2022) shares the life and wisdom of a man whose advocacy reshaped many of the places we know and love today—from New York’s bustling Bryant Park to preserved forests and farmlands around the country. Holly’s experiences as a WWII intelligence officer and leader of the genre-defining reporters at Fortune Magazine in the 1950s shaped his razor-sharp assessments of how the world actually worked—not how it was assumed to work. His 1956 bestseller, The Organization Man, catapulted the dangers of “groupthink” and conformity into the national consciousness.
    Over his five decades of research and writing, Holly’s wide-ranging work changed how people thought about careers and companies, cities and suburbs, urban planning, open space preservation, and more. He was part of the rising environmental movement, helped spur change at the planning office of New York City, and narrated two films about urban life, in addition to writing six books. No matter the topic, Holly advocated for the decision-makers to be people, not just experts.
    “We need the kind of curiosity that blows the lid off everything,” Holly once said. His life offers encouragement to be thoughtful and bold in asking questions and in making space for differing viewpoints. This revealing biography offers a rare glimpse into the mind of an iconoclast whose healthy skepticism of the status quo can help guide our efforts to create the kinds of places we want to live in today.
    Bryan Toepfer, AIA, NCARB, CAPM is the Principal Architect for TOEPFER Architecture, PLLC, an Architecture firm specializing in Residential Architecture and Virtual Reality. He has authored two books, “Contractors CANNOT Build Your House,” and “Six Months Now, ARCHITECT for Life.” He is an Assistant Professor at Alfred State College and has served as the Director of Education for the AIA Rochester Board of Directors. Always eager to help anyone understand the world of Architecture, he can be reached by sending an email to btoepfer@toepferarchitecture.
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    • 32 min
    Lucy Donkin, "Standing on Holy Ground in the Middle Ages" (Cornell UP, 2022)

    Lucy Donkin, "Standing on Holy Ground in the Middle Ages" (Cornell UP, 2022)

    Dr. Lucy Donkin’s Standing on Holy Ground in the Middle Ages (Cornell University Press, 2022) illuminates how the floor surface shaped the ways in which people in Medieval Western Europe and beyond experienced sacred spaces.
    The ground beneath our feet plays a crucial, yet often overlooked, role in our relationship with the environments we inhabit and the spaces with which we interact. “The ground beneath our feet goes unnoticed for the most part. Yet it guides our steps and shapes our identity in many ways. We obey or disregard markings that indicate where to cross the road, stand back from the edge of the platform, or position ourselves on a sports pitch…Differencing convention in homes and places of worship remind us that our own treatment of the surface is culturally constructed."
    Dr. Donkin argues that “In the Middle Ages too, the surface of the ground conveyed information to those who stood on it, prompted physical and imaginative responses, and marked out individual and groups in accordance with the values and concerns of the time. Indeed, in some respects, it played a greater role today in articulating space and identity, especially within ecclesiastical settings…. This book focuses on Medieval interaction with holy ground, within and beyond the church interior, asking how these shaped both place and people.”
    By focusing on this surface as a point of encounter, Dr. Donkin positions it within a series of vertically stacked layers—the earth itself, permanent and temporary floor coverings, and the bodies of the living above ground and the dead beneath—providing new perspectives on how sacred space was defined and decorated, including the veneration of holy footprints, consecration ceremonies, and the demarcation of certain places for particular activities.
    Using a wide array of visual and textual sources, Standing on Holy Ground in the Middle Ages also details ways in which interaction with this surface shaped people's identities, whether as individuals, office holders, or members of religious communities. Gestures such as trampling and prostration, the repeated employment of specific locations, and burial beneath particular people or actions used the surface to express likeness and difference. From pilgrimage sites in the Holy Land to cathedrals, abbeys, and local parish churches across the Latin West, Dr. Donkin frames the ground as a shared surface, both a feature of diverse, distant places and subject to a variety of uses over time—while also offering a model for understanding spatial relationships in other periods, regions, and contexts.
    This interview was conducted by Dr. Miranda Melcher whose doctoral work focused on post-conflict military integration, understanding treaty negotiation and implementation in civil war contexts, with qualitative analysis of the Angolan and Mozambican civil wars.
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    • 1 hr 10 min

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5
7 Ratings

7 Ratings

Local263947 ,

Great books

I really enjoy listening to the interviews. I have found many new books to buy. Its much more interesting to hear the author talk about the book then reading a review.

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