Weinstein: From Ada to Zaha and Everything In Between
Weinstein writes about architecture and design for Architectural Record, and is the author of “Words That Build” 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 .
Words That Build
Part 1 – 21
exclusive 21-part series published by gsqeg8w.icu
Feature Articles (scroll down for Book Reviews)
Nostalgia, Inexhaustible Shocks of the New: How to Navigate Through a Fake
A path to avoid the
quagmire of architecture's style wars.
"Quiet Design" and Why Should It Matter? Some Troubling Queries for
Cathleen McGuigan and Sundry Fans of "Architectural Quietism"
Can great architecture be so subdued that we remain unconscious of even
experiencing it as architecture?
Op-Ed: Which "Past" Should Architects
Embrace and Why? Posing Alternatives to Architectural Nostalgia
Rybczynski How Architecture Works Humanist Toolkit might be his most urbanely
written and sensibly organized books but his traditional definition of
architecture past might be pass
- October 11, 2013
Krier Answers Weinstein's Questions (and then some!)
Weinstein Thank you for mentioning my Speer reprint will respond gladly to your
questions if you respond to my pointed questions
- July 2, 2013
Op-Ed: Some Pointed Architectural Queries for Three
Connoisseurs of Albert Speer's Monumental Classicism on the Occasion of the
Re-publication of "Albert Speer: Architecture 1932-1942" by Leon
- June 18, 2013
Albert Barnes Offers Critical Response to Placement
of New "Barnes"
agrees to talk with fellow Central High School of Philadelphia alum after 61
years of silence but only on the condition that his remarks remain unedited
This transcript respects his requirement
- June 19, 2012
A Meditation on the Beauty of Zaha Hadid's Door
design issues challenge define beauty by lyrically playing with illusion
- October 28, 2010
Why "Greatest Hits" Lists by Architecture's
Stars Should Be Mocked
the musical or cinematic greatest hits list mind set to architecture is
deleterious and here why
- August 12, 2010
Celebratory Meditations on SANAA Winning the Pritzker
- March 29, 2010
ArchNewsThen: Life After Ada: Reassessing the Utility
of Architectural Criticism (first published March 2, 2009)
Huxtable deserves mucho thanks and praise but other questions moving us to new
flavor of criticism have to be asked ALH response couldn agree more
- January 11, 2013
Reading the Grain:
"Wood" by William Hall
Hall's photographic essay of wood architecture spanning a 1,000 years broadens
thinking about a trendy material so it appears as an ever-changing, perennial,
and crucial one.
"The Work of
MacKay-Lyons Sweetapple: Economy as Ethic": Transforming the local and
commonplace into the global and rare
(with a little help from his friends) crafts a majestic survey long overdue.
Clarifying The Art of
Layering Space, or How Architects Outdo Superman's X-Ray Vision Daily
Space, and Material: The Mechanics of Layering in Architecture,"
Anne-Catrin Schultz provocatively illuminates essentials of architectural
layering, storytelling, interpretation, and wonder that are concentrated in the
acts of creating and appreciating architecture, layer after layer.
Rearranging Intangibles in Public Space: The Art of Rogers Partners
Architects+Urban Designers in "Learning Through Practice"
A new monograph
highlights transformative designs by a firm strikingly dedicated to
re-enchanting public space.
Abbey Church: Marcel Breuer and the Creation of a Modern Sacred Space," by
Victoria M. Young
A history of the
making of a contemporary sacred architectural masterpiece transcends its
subject and becomes a broadly applicable study of peerless client-architect
Opening a New Chapter
on Designing Public Libraries
Why Robert Dawson's
“The Public Library: A Photographic Essay” plays it safe by looking back when
architects need to scan an emerging horizon.
Books of 2012
10 books reflect
the changing climate - in every sense - of the profession.
The Pesky Persistence
of Psychological Encounters with Home Design
elegantly meditates on the symbols and myths infusing domestic design in
"The Meaning of Home."
Two recent books
track a trajectory of a spiritual engagement with Modernism.
"Just Trying to
Do This Jig-Saw Puzzle"
and urban design's practice can change through studying of a little-appreciated
Renaissance art, intarsia.
Probing the Porous Interface between Architecture and Health
A new book and
website linked to a recent Canadian Centre for Architecture exhibition offer a
healthy tonic countering academically anemic architectural education.
Advancing Windswept Design: Pointers from Art Nouveau, Zaha Hadid, and Charles
New books and
installation art highlight breezy refinements in wind-inspired design.
Laboratory Architecture for Observing Nature at Play
Books on Luis
Barragan's house and BNIM's Omega Center for Sustainable Living reveal how
transparently daring designs teach Nature's processes.
Book Review: Tracing
a Hidden Track from Adolf Loos as Modernist Architect to Jennifer Post as
Modernist Interior Designer
By considering this unlikely couple, we can air out that beleaguered term
"architectural minimalism" and trace a trajectory of what might be
better identified as "essentialist architecture."
Two Books to Accelerate
the Translation of Ideas into Practical Forms
New books on design
research and transformational ideas through architectural history have potent
practical uses: "The Designer's Guide to Doing Research: Applying
Knowledge to Inform Design" Sally Augustin and Cindy Coleman; and
"100 Ideas That Changed Architecture" by Richard Weston
Book Review: How to
be a Useful Architectural Critic: Alexandra Lange's Perspicacious Primer Points
Architecture: Mastering the Language of Buildings and Cities" - use it
often and you'll never think of the word "critic" pejoratively again.
Architectural Critic as Scam Scanner and Urban(e) Design Sage
Over the Map," a sprawling miscellany of recent essays on buildings and
cities, a triumph of enlightened nay-saying and affirmation.
Books of 2011
10 Books Sparking Creative Inspiration Plus Escapist Fare for Financially
Review: Pencils that Refuse to Die: Meditations about New Books on
recent books dealing with architectural drawing by pencil you need to read:
"Eleven Exercises in the Art of Architectural Drawing: Slow Food for the
Architect's Imagination" by Marco Frascari; "The Architect's
Sketchbook" by Will Jones; and "Robbie Cornelissen: The Capacious
Memory" by Lex ter Braak and Edwin Jacobs
Review: "One Million Acres & No Zoning": Lars Lerup's Outrageous
Encomium to Houston Instructs and Infuriates
This isn't some dryly academic reconfiguration of trendy urban planning theory.
I recommend it for the intrepid.
Review: Talkin' 'Bout (Not) My Generation: Uplifting Gen X Architects Showcase
In "New York Dozen: Gen X Architects" by architect Michael J.
Crosbie, the framing of each architectural firm is extraordinary.
Lloyd Wright's Guggenheim Museum": Bravura Example of an Architectural
Documentary - Wright's Guggenheim Done Right
A look at great architecture as the product of the dance of the designer's
intellect in an architectural film that doesn't miss a beat.
Review: A Shout Out for Leers Weinzapfel Associates: "Made to
Measure" - Some Meditations on Rejuvenating Campus Architecture
Review: Diving into Architecture from Every New Angle: Reading Guillevic's
Why an obscure book of French poetry in a flashy translation goes to the heart
of every architectural practice.
Review: "Immaterial World: Transparency in Architecture": Marc
Kristal crystallizes increasingly complex notions of transparency with a light
Although most of the 25 projects discussed are well-known, they take on
additional meaning in this sensitively curated selection.
Review: "Visual Planning and the Picuresque" by Nikolaus Pevsner.
Edited by Mathew Aitchison
rediscovered manuscript unveils a portrait of the famed architectural historian
as neglected urban designer. His commitment to the picturesque aesthetic for
buildings and towns is as urgently needed as ever.
Review: How New Urbanism's Case Triumphs Best Through "The Language of
Towns & Cities: A Visual Dictionary" by Dhiru A. Thadani
Thadani's oversized reference charms, infuriates, and enlightens.
Architecture Books of 2010
books pointing the way to larger professional horizons
"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?
Review: Shedding Light on Concrete: Tadao Ando: Complete Works 1975-2010 by
presentation of a poet of light and concrete triumphs over lackluster
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
occasional papers trace a trenchant trajectory of learning from Las Vegas to
learning from everything.
Review: Keeping the Architectural Profession Professional: "Architecture
from the Outside In: Selected Essays by Robert Gutman" celebrates Gutman's
legacy as invaluable outsider
essays by a penetrating sociologist of architecture pose the kinds of
tough-minded questions needed now to keep architectural professional on-track.
Review: "Design through Dialogue: A Guide for Clients and
Architects," by Karen A. Franck and Teresa von Sommaruga Howard
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
and book of photographs of Paris between the wars might just be the necessary
correctives to the virtual sterility of digital imagery
Architecture Books of 2009
crucial volumes from the classic to the iconoclastic
Review: "Gunnar Birkerts: Metaphoric Modernist" by Sven Birkerts and
major architect in the history of Modernism finally receives recognition – and
sundry asides about why Modernism never exited.
"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.
"Everything Must Move: 15 Years at Rice School of Architecture
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
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
tomes from the superior to the indispensable
Book Review: You've Got to Draw the Line Somewhere
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
your pencils - and get ready to do a NeoHooDoo shimmy