215 episodes

Interviews with Scholars of Architecture about their New Books
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    • Arts
    • 4.7 • 7 Ratings

Interviews with Scholars of Architecture about their New Books
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    Jisha Menon, "Brutal Beauty: Aesthetics and Aspiration in the Indian City" (Northwestern UP, 2021)

    Jisha Menon, "Brutal Beauty: Aesthetics and Aspiration in the Indian City" (Northwestern UP, 2021)

    Brutal Beauty: Aesthetics and Aspiration in the Indian City (Northwestern UP, 2021) follows a postcolonial city as it transforms into a bustling global metropolis after the liberalization of the Indian economy. Taking the once idyllic “garden city” of Bangalore in southern India as its point of departure, the book explores how artists across India and beyond foreground neoliberalism as a “structure of feeling” permeating aesthetics, selfhood, and everyday life.
    Jisha Menon conveys the affective life of the city through multiple aesthetic projects that express a range of urban feelings, including aspiration, panic, and obsolescence. As developers and policymakers remodel the city through tumultuous construction projects, urban beautification, privatization, and other templated features of “world‑class cities,” urban citizens are also changing—transformed by nostalgia, narcissism, shame, and the spaces where they dwell and work. Sketching out scenes of urban aspiration and its dark underbelly, Menon delineates the creative and destructive potential of India’s lurch into contemporary capitalism, uncovering the interconnectedness of local and global power structures as well as art’s capacity to absorb and critique liberalization’s discontents. She argues that neoliberalism isn’t just an economic, social, and political phenomenon; neoliberalism is also a profoundly aesthetic project.
    Sneha Annavarapu is Assistant Professor of Urban Studies at Yale-NUS College. To know more about Sneha's work, please visit www.snehanna.com
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    • 43 min
    Barbara White Bryson, "Creating a Culture of Predictable Outcomes: How Leadership, Collaboration, and Decision-Making Drive Architecture and Construction" (Routledge, 2020)

    Barbara White Bryson, "Creating a Culture of Predictable Outcomes: How Leadership, Collaboration, and Decision-Making Drive Architecture and Construction" (Routledge, 2020)

    Creating a Culture of Predictable Outcomes: How Leadership, Collaboration, and Decision-Making Drive Architecture and Construction (Routledge, 2020) demonstrates the importance of creating cultures in the design and construction industries grounded in sophisticated-caring leadership, high-performing collaborative teams, and master-level decision-making discipline, informed by values, to finally address massive inefficiencies, waste, and unpredictability.
    Barbara White Bryson offers specific guidance to industry stakeholders to succeed in achieving project-related predictable outcomes by focusing on culture rather than process. This includes selecting the right team members by hiring and firing bravely, valuing psychological safety, leading with values, practicing respect and transparency, fostering empowerment to make decisions at the right level at the right time, and more.
    This book is a must-read for design and construction professionals who want to finally understand how to set goals and meet those goals for their clients as well as for their teams.
    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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    • 41 min
    Kenneth O'Reilly, "Asphalt: A History" (U Nebraska Press, 2021)

    Kenneth O'Reilly, "Asphalt: A History" (U Nebraska Press, 2021)

    In Asphalt: A History (U Nebraska Press, 2021), Kenneth O’Reilly provides a history of this everyday substance. By tracing the history of asphalt—in both its natural and processed forms—from ancient times to the present, O’Reilly sets out to identify its importance within various contexts of human society and culture. Although O’Reilly argues that asphalt creates our environment, he believes it also eventually threatens it. Looking at its role in economics, politics, and global warming, O’Reilly explores asphalt’s contribution to the history, and future, of America and the world.
    Mohamed Gamal-Eldin is a historian of Modern Egypt, who is interested in questions related to the built environment, urban history, architecture, social history and environmental ecology of urban centers in 19th and early 20th century Egypt, the Middle East and globally.
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    • 1 hr 30 min
    Carolyn L. White, "The Archaeology of Burning Man: The Rise and Fall of Black Rock City" (U New Mexico Press, 2020)

    Carolyn L. White, "The Archaeology of Burning Man: The Rise and Fall of Black Rock City" (U New Mexico Press, 2020)

    How do you do archaeological research on a place that exists for only one week per year, in the middle of the Nevada desert, and is based on the ethos of "leave no trace?" In The Archaeology of Burning Man: The Rise and Fall of Black Rock City (U New Mexico Press, 2020), Dr. Carolyn White, a professor of anthropology at the University of Nevada, sets out to tackle just this question. Using the methods of contemporary archaeology, White spent a decade attending the annual Burning Man event in the desert of northwestern Nevada, chronicling the construction, the day to day life, and the dismantling of Black Rock City, which is among the largest cities in the state for the short time exists every August and September. White examines the various ways that people live in Black Rock, the semi-invisible infrastructure and bureaucracy which keep it running and keep its 75,000 residents safe, and the day to day life in the city itself. White shows a side of Burning Man not often seen by outsiders, and one that runs counter to the chaotic, Instagram-ified, narrative often presented in mainstream media.
    Dr. Stephen R. Hausmann is an assistant professor of history at the University of St. Thomas in Minnesota.
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    • 1 hr 1 min
    Conchita Anorve-Tschirgi and Ehsan Abushadi, "The Architecture of Ramses Wissa Wassef" (AU of Cairo Press, 2019)

    Conchita Anorve-Tschirgi and Ehsan Abushadi, "The Architecture of Ramses Wissa Wassef" (AU of Cairo Press, 2019)

    The pioneering Egyptian architect and teacher Ramses Wissa Wassef (1911–74) is best known for his founding in 1951 of the Ramses Wissa Wassef Art Centre in Harraniya, a small village near the Giza Pyramids in Greater Cairo. The center, internationally acclaimed for its tapestries and sculptures, began partly as an art school for young villagers, reflecting Wissa Wassef’s aim of reviving traditional Egyptian architecture and crafts, and his belief in the innate creative power and potential of children.
    Less well known are Wissa Wassef’s prolific architectural output and his efforts and influence beyond the confines of the Harraniya center to promote artistic expression among Egyptian youth. This generously illustrated volume is the first comprehensive survey of Wissa Wassef’s architectural works, both extant and non-extant, shedding light on his legacy and significant engagement with vernacular and contemporary Egyptian architecture. Wissa Wassef renounced self-promotion and monetary reward in his work, placing human physical and psychological well-being at the center of his architectural philosophy. An astute observer and modest personality, he saw himself as part of the people and began experimenting with participatory design and people-centered architecture before they became popular.
    Conchita Anorve-Tschirgi and Ehsan Abushadi's The Architecture of Ramses Wissa Wassef (AU of Cairo Press, 2019) reveals Wissa Wassef’s profuse architectural oeuvre, which spanned private villas and rural houses, as well as public buildings, such as churches, schools, and museums, highlighting his rich contribution to Egypt’s architectural heritage at a moment when that heritage is at risk of being lost.
    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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    • 18 min
    Simon O'Meara, "The Ka'ba Orientations: Readings in Islam's Ancient House" (Edinburgh UP, 2020)

    Simon O'Meara, "The Ka'ba Orientations: Readings in Islam's Ancient House" (Edinburgh UP, 2020)

    The Kaʿba is the famous cuboid structure at the center of the Great Mosque in Mecca. In his book The Kaʿba Orientations: Readings in Islam's Ancient House (Edinburgh University Press, 2020), Simon O'Meara (SOAS) looks at the way Muslims from the beginnings of Islam to the 18th century engaged with the existence of such a structure, as a location, as an architectural object, as a direction, as a focus of devotion and prayer. He studies both material and visual as well as literary engagements through which Muslims pilgrims and scholars interpreted their own place in the world in relation to a location held to be the world's axis, and the consequences from a religious and psychological perspective of the often fraught and violent history of the built structure itself, its uses, and the emotional connection that millions of Muslims continue to feel towards it to this day.
    Miguel Monteiro is a PhD student in Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations at Yale University. Twitter @anphph
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    • 1 hr 2 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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