Ada Tolla

Architect / Italy; United States / LOT-EK

Ada Tolla’s Book List

The founding partners of LOT-EK, Ada Tolla and Giuseppe Lignano, have provided a joint list of books that have influenced their work as architects, educators, thinkers, and people of the world.  It should come as no surprise to anyone who knows Tolla and Lignano that there were two distinct reactions as they were deciding on which books to include: passionate accord or sharp disagreement. There is no middle ground about what resonates with LOT-EK.  As with the work they produce, or the projects they decide to pursue, things either resonate, or they simply do not.

The following titles reflect the attitudes, desires, and subject matter that inform the minds of LOT-EK.

11 books
Henry Petroski

To discover, experiment, and invent. This is all we (LOT-EK) do and it really is the only way to evolve.  And it is full of unpredictable risk and actual failure—no matter how “scientifically” we try to anticipate the outcomes (as this book argues). Our evolution accelerates in leaps where so much risk is involved and we simply love it.

Jun’ichiro Tanizaki

The fantastic tension between the perfection of imperfection and the imperfection of perfection is probably the greatest contribution of Japanese culture to modern/contemporary aesthetic culture. This tension is what LOT-EK’s pathos is all about.

Cesare Brandi

This book vividly reveals how to conceive and manifest visionary spatial concepts by pushing geometries to obsessively abstract extremes. It has significantly influenced our work—especially as of late, as we strive to generate skewed geometries with very elementary objects.

Richard Marshall et al.

A wonderful engineer of layering, accidents, and color.

Bruno Munari

Pure ‘70s genius. Almost Japanese in its attempt to systematize the impossible.

Marc Levinson

How could we not list this great and detailed account of the origin, history, and reasons of the shipping container?

Noah Webster et al.

Our absolute favorite book—since we first saw it—and, even more, since we managed to get our hands on this used 1961 edition. We wanted this edition specifically: it's the last one using color tables, illustrations, and drawings. We love that it’s clear, systematic, illustrated, physically present, big, heavy, and indented. It’s a seemingly infinite compendium of answers.

Gianni Rodari

One more piece of Italian intelligence. A methodology for writing based on productive and compelling collisions—very parallel to our own work in architecture.

Corinne Diserens et al.

The great master of physical and conceptual cutting.

Greg Girard
Ian Lambot

A building as a city, a city as a building. Ad hoc, spontaneous. The hyper-incarnation (in hyper Hong Kong, of all places) of a human, social, physical, and architectural common condition.

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