This amazing book—part architectural monograph, part urban planning analysis, part screenplay-waiting-to-happen explores in essays, plans, and photographs the incredible story of Torre David, a skyscraper that was abandoned in the wake of the Venezuelan banking crisis—and then transformed in 2007 into a 45-story city that now houses more than 750 families. Within the building are supermarkets, hair salons, churches, playgrounds, and parking lots. Torre David, the authors argue, “with its magnificent deficiencies and remarkable assets, gives us the opportunity to consider how we can create and foster urban communities.”
No, it's not a handbook for cub journalists but rather a beautifully designed book that brings scientists and artists together to explain the “wondrous mysteries of science.” All I can say is “thank you.” I want to know how stars are born, how much of human behavior is predetermined, and how migrating animals find their way back home (especially as the parent of an inquisitive first-grader). And I can’t tell you how much easier and more pleasurable it is to grasp such concepts when they’re accompanied by such incredible illustrations. I especially appreciate the perspective of the book’s authors who were inspired by the charts and diagrams created at a time when the scientific world was still very much in early development. Back then, visual explorations helped impart a greater understanding of natural phenomena. Accordingly, the introduction applauds the plethora of information set before us but gently urges the reader that “before you do a quick online search for the purpose of the horned owl’s horns, you should give yourself some time to wonder.” Excellent advice.
Comments about Allison Arieff’s Notable Books of 2012