Neil Denari

Architect / United States / Neil M. Denari Architects

Neil Denari’s Book List

I am primarily a reader of nonfiction, and reports, almanacs, and encyclopedias have always interested me as they dryly lay out apparently unbiased information. I am also interested in the opposite: spurious conjectures, crackpot theories, conspiracies, and theoretical arguments. Reports are not, however, immune to jargon and subtle coercion, and spurious conjectures can be very clear and persuasive. When books of any kind collapse this distinction, that’s where I find the most pleasure.

11 books
J. G. Ballard

Through this book I was introduced to Ballard in 1983 by a friend after designing a 200-foot tall house located on a freeway median strip. Ballardian and didn’t know it.

Herbert Kunze et al.

Otl Aicher’s graphic design, Frei Otto’s stadia, the Israeli Hostage Crisis, and the hopes and dreams of a proto-democratic Germany all compiled, classified, and described in this three-volume report on the 1972 Munich Olympics.

Ingnasi Solà-Morales Rubió

An incredibly elegant and persuasive yet undogmatic collection of arguments.

G. Spencer-Brown

Formal logic for intuitive people.

John Hejduk

I lived a couple of blocks from Cooper Union when this came out. Hejduk loomed large over the East Village (and beyond).

Robert Bresson

This is the Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus of cinema. (The Tractatus refers to Wittgenstein’s text of the same title—another book that has been influential for me but did not make my uppermost list.) If there is one book I always travel with, this is it.

Aldof von Hildebrand

Published in 1907, this is still the most useful book on visual perception.

Lester Bangs

You’ve got to love the only rock critic whose favorite record was Lou Reed’s Metal Machine Music.

Jean Baudrillard

Design and politics colliding at a moment when everything else did too. Baudrillard’s Marxist teeth were quite sharp. I like the mood the James Rosenquist piece on this cover puts me in when I read the book.

The President’s Commission on the Assassination of President Kennedy

The best roman à clef ever written, and the first serious book I read as a kid.

Michael Feher Editor
Sanford Kwinter Editor

Bruce Mau’s design startled me and so did Paul Virilio’s text “The Overexposed City.”

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