At intervals of a decade or so I reread what I consider to be the great books of architecture. The real standbys have been Venturi's Complexity and Contradiction in Architecture, Le Corbusier’s Towards a New Architecture, Rem Koolhaas’s Delirious New York and Jane Jacobs’s Death and Life of Great American Cities. Depending on my stage in life—and on ambient circumstance—they become different books. Death and Life is now ascendant in my estimation, while the others are sounding a bit foolish for the first time. The books haven’t changed of course, but I have, and so has the general prospect. I am now a 37-year veteran of practice; and the 21st century is rather up to its neck in environmental, economic, and social crises. The conceptual and the aesthetic now seem to matter much less; and what does is good, practical know-how about normal humans and the places that serve them well—particularly the modest ones. What is so compelling about Jacobs is that real people with all their foibles come first; and architects, when appearing at all, are dangerous fools. This coincides with my personal experience. I must emphasize that the modest pragmatism that I now value is not a surrender of ideals, but the result of mature consideration. To read Jacobs is to be in the presence of an adult. This time around the others read variously like the works of a charming scoundrel, a wild-eyed teenager, and a self-indulgent child. I leave it up to you to guess which is which.
Enter Print Magazine’s Regional Design Awards by March 1, 2017
PRINT’s Regional Design Awards 2017 Early Bird deadline to enter, March 1, 2017
The annual Regional Design Awards (RDA) is the industry’s most prestigious and well-respected American design competition. Thousands of art directors, studios and creative professionals not only enter the RDA every year, but also look to it to find the country’s top talent.
In 2017, PRINT is also launching a new RDA Student showcase for the very first time in the competition’s 36-year history—giving young designers a chance to start their careers off right with national recognition.
Askew: A limited-edition notebook designed by Debbie Millman in collaboration with Baron Fig
“A ruled notebook unlike any you’ve ever used. Every line is hand drawn, and while some cooperate—others are downright unruly. This limited edition is designed to inspire thinkers to bend the rules and follow even their most meandering ideas.”