153 episodes

Interviews with Scholars of Architecture about their New Books

New Books in Architecture New Books Network

    • Visual Arts

Interviews with Scholars of Architecture about their New Books

    Diana Darke, "Stealing from the Saracens: How Islamic Architecture Shaped Europe" (Hurst, 2020)

    Diana Darke, "Stealing from the Saracens: How Islamic Architecture Shaped Europe" (Hurst, 2020)

    Visitors around the world have travelled to Europe to see the tall spires and stained glass windows of the continent’s Gothic cathedrals: in Cologne, Chartres, Milan, Florence, York and Paris. The trappings of Gothic architecture have become shorthand for “medieval Europe”.
    Yet in Stealing from the Saracens: How Islamic Architecture Shaped Europe (Hurst: 2020), Diana Darke investigates the Islamic origins of Gothic architecture, tracing its history through pre-Islamic Syria through the Islamic empires to the tall European cathedrals between the 12th and 17th centuries. The book sold out on its first day of sale, in part due to its review in The Guardian, which called the book "an exhilarating, meticulously researched book that sheds light on centuries of borrowing."
    In this interivew, Diana Darke and I talk about the origins of what we consider to be “Gothic architecture”, how those styles came to Europe, how this history of cultural and intellectual exchange may have gotten lost, and what we miss when we code something as fully “European”, fully “Islamic”, or fully any kind of culture.
    Diana Darke is an Arabist and cultural expert who has lived and worked in the Middle East for over thirty years. Among her better-known books are The Merchant of Syria: A History of Survival and My House in Damascus: An Inside View of the Syrian Crisis.
    You can find more reviews, excerpts, interviews, and essays at The Asian Review of Books, where you can find its review of Stealing from the Saracens. Follow on Facebook or on Twitter at @BookReviewsAsia.
    Nicholas Gordon is a reviewer for the Asian Review of Books. In his day job, he’s a researcher and writer for a think tank in economic and sustainable development. He is also a print and broadcast commentator on local and regional politics. He can be found on Twitter at @nickrigordon.
    Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

    • 37 min
    Philip D. Plowright, "Making Architecture Through Being Human: A Handbook of Design Ideas" (Routledge, 2019)

    Philip D. Plowright, "Making Architecture Through Being Human: A Handbook of Design Ideas" (Routledge, 2019)

    Architecture can seem complicated, mysterious or even ill-defined, especially to a student being introduced to architectural ideas for the first time. One way to approach architecture is simply as the design of human environments. When we consider architecture in this way, there is a good place to start – ourselves. Our engagement in our environment has shaped the way we think which we, in turn, use to then shape that environment. It is from this foundation that we produce meaning, make sense of our surroundings, structure relationships and even frame more complex and abstract ideas. This is the start of architectural design.
    Philip D. Plowright's book Making Architecture Through Being Human: A Handbook of Design Ideas (Routledge, 2019) is a reference book that presents 51 concepts, notions, ideas and actions that are fundamental to human thinking and how we interpret the environment around us. The book focuses on the application of these ideas by architectural designers to produce meaningful spaces that make sense to people. Each idea is isolated for clarity in the manner of a dictionary with short and concise definitions, examples and illustrations. They are organized in five sections of increasing complexity or changing focus. While many of the entries might be familiar to the reader, they are presented here as instances of a larger system of human thinking rather than simply graphic or formal principles. The cognitive approach to these design ideas allows a designer to understand the greater context and application when aligned with their own purpose or intentions.
    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 a professor at Alfred State College and 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.
    Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

    • 32 min
    Douglas Kelbaugh, "The Urban Fix: Resilient Cities in the War Against Climate Change, Heat Islands and Overpopulation" (Routledge, 2019)

    Douglas Kelbaugh, "The Urban Fix: Resilient Cities in the War Against Climate Change, Heat Islands and Overpopulation" (Routledge, 2019)

    Cities are one of the most significant contributors to global climate change. The rapid speed at which urban centers use large amounts of resources adds to the global crisis and can lead to extreme local heat. The Urban Fix: Resilient Cities in the War Against Climate Change, Heat Islands and Overpopulation (Routledge, 2019) addresses how urban design, planning and policies can counter the threats of climate change, urban heat islands and overpopulation, helping cities take full advantage of their inherent advantages and new technologies to catalyze social, cultural and physical solutions to combat the epic, unprecedented challenges humanity faces.
    The book fills a conspicuous void in the international dialogue on climate change and heat islands by examining both the environmental benefits in developed countries and the population benefit in developing countries. Urban heat islands can be addressed in incremental, manageable steps, such as planting trees and painting roofs white, which provide a more concrete and proactive sense of progress for policymakers and practitioners. This book is invaluable to anyone searching for a better understanding of the impact of resilient cities in the monumental and urgent fight against climate change, and provides the tools to do so.
    For a 20% discount on the book, go here and enter "SOC19" at checkout.
    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 a professor at Alfred State College and 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.
    Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

    • 42 min
    Stephen H. Whiteman, "Where Dragon Veins Meet: The Kangxi Emperor and His Estate at Rehe" (U Washington Press, 2020)

    Stephen H. Whiteman, "Where Dragon Veins Meet: The Kangxi Emperor and His Estate at Rehe" (U Washington Press, 2020)

    In 1702, the second emperor of the Qing dynasty ordered construction of a new summer palace in Rehe (now Chengde, Hebei) to support his annual tours north among the court’s Inner Mongolian allies. The Mountain Estate to Escape the Heat (Bishu Shanzhuang) was strategically located at the node of mountain “veins” through which the Qing empire’s geomantic energy was said to flow. At this site, from late spring through early autumn, the Kangxi emperor presided over rituals of intimacy and exchange that celebrated his rule: garden tours, banquets, entertainments, and gift giving. 
    Stephen Whiteman's book, Where Dragon Veins Meet: The Kangxi Emperor and His Estate at Rehe (University of Washington Press in 2020) draws on resources and methods from art and architectural history, garden and landscape history, early modern global history, and historical geography to reconstruct the Mountain Estate as it evolved under Kangxi, illustrating the importance of landscape as a medium for ideological expression during the early Qing and in the early modern world more broadly. Examination of paintings, prints, historical maps, newly created maps informed by GIS-based research, and personal accounts reveals the significance of geographic space and its representation in the negotiation of Qing imperial ideology. The first monograph in any language to focus solely on the art and architecture of the Kangxi court, Where Dragon Veins Meet illuminates the court’s production and deployment of landscape as a reflection of contemporary concerns and offers new insight into the sources and forms of Qing power through material expressions.
    Suvi Rautio is a Postdoctoral Researcher at the University of Helsinki. As an anthropologist, her interests delve into themes, such as Chinese state-society relations, space and memory, to deconstruct the social orderings of marginalized populations living in China and reveal the layers of social difference that characterize the nation today. suvi.rautio@helsinki.fi
    Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

    • 1 hr 25 min
    Jennifer S. Light, "States of Childhood: From the Junior Republic to the American Republic, 1895-1945" (MIT Press, 2020)

    Jennifer S. Light, "States of Childhood: From the Junior Republic to the American Republic, 1895-1945" (MIT Press, 2020)

    A number of curious communities sprang up across the United States in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century: simulated cities, states, and nations in which children played the roles of legislators, police officers, bankers, journalists, shopkeepers, and other adults. They performed real work—passing laws, growing food, and constructing buildings, among other tasks—inside virtual worlds. In States of Childhood: From the Junior Republic to the American Republic, 1895-1945 (MIT Press, 2020), Jennifer Light examines the phenomena of “junior republics” and argues that they marked the transition to a new kind of “sheltered” childhood for American youth. Banished from the labor force and public life, children inhabited worlds that mirrored the one they had left.
    Light describes the invention of junior republics as independent institutions and how they were later established at schools, on playgrounds, in housing projects, and on city streets, as public officials discovered children's role playing helped their bottom line. The junior republic movement aligned with cutting-edge developmental psychology and educational philosophy, and complemented the era's fascination with models and miniatures, shaping educational and recreational programs across the nation. Light's account of how earlier generations distinguished "real life" from role playing reveals a hidden history of child labor in America and offers insights into the deep roots of such contemporary concepts as gamification, play labor, and virtuality.
    Jennifer S. Light is the Department Head of the Program in Science, Technology, and Society and a Professor of the History of Science and of Urban Studies and Planning at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
    Nushelle de Silva is a PhD candidate in the Department of Architecture at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Her work examines museums and exhibitions, and how the dissemination of visual culture is politically mediated by international organizations in the twentieth century.
    Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

    • 1 hr 3 min
    Eric Reinholdt, "Architect and Entrepreneur" (Design Workshop Press, 2015)

    Eric Reinholdt, "Architect and Entrepreneur" (Design Workshop Press, 2015)

    Today I talked to Eric Reinholdt about two excellent books: Architect + Entrepreneur Volume 1: A Field Guide (Design Workshop Press, 2015) and Architect + Entrepreneur Volume 2: A How-To Guide (Design Workshop Press, 2015).
    Architect + Entrepreneur: A Field Guide is filled with contemporary, relevant, fresh tips and advice, from a seasoned professional architect building a new business. The guide advocates novel strategies and tools that merge entrepreneurship with the practice of architecture and interior design. The Problem: Embarking on a new business venture is intimidating; you have questions. But many of the resources available to help entrepreneur architects and interior designers start their design business lack timeliness and relevance. Most are geared toward building colossal firms like SOM and Gensler using outdated methods and old business models. If you’re an individual or small team contemplating starting a design business, this is your field guide; crafted to inspire action. The Solution: Using the lean startup methodology to create a minimum viable product, the handbook encourages successive small wins that support a broader vision enabling one to “think big, start small, and learn fast.” It’s a unique take on design practice viewed through the lens of entrepreneurship and is designed to answer the questions all new business owners face, from the rote to the existential.
    Architect + Entrepreneur: A How-To Guide challenges the foundations of traditional practice and asks: + In what ways can we hack our craft to serve both our personal lifestyle and our professional goals? + What if design practice capitalized on the architect’s drive to be creative and consumer buying culture in equal measure? + How can we turn our services into products? + How can young professionals compete in today’s marketplace leveraging the power of the Internet? Reinholdt, founder of 30X40 Design Workshop describes in detail how his business model has evolved to leverage passive income producing products and offers a new paradigm for practice. It’s a manual of high-level strategies, field-tested tactics, and case studies showing how architects are reinventing practice in the 21st century.
    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 a professor at Alfred State College and 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.
    Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

    • 56 min

Top Podcasts In Visual Arts

Listeners Also Subscribed To

More by New Books Network