Walter Benjamin
The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, Cambridge, MA, 2002, 1999, English; originally written 1927-40(?) in German
Nonfiction, Architecture; Nonfiction, Art and Cultural History
ISBN: 9780674043268

From the Publisher. The Arcades Project is Benjamin's effort to represent and to critique the bourgeois experience of nineteenth-century history, and, in so doing, to liberate the suppressed "true history" that underlay the ideological mask. In the bustling, cluttered arcades, street and interior merge and historical time is broken up into kaleidoscopic distractions and displays of ephemera. Here, at a distance from what is normally meant by "progress," Benjamin finds the lost time(s) embedded in the spaces of things.


On 4 book lists
Akiko Fukai

An unfinished lifelong project of the philosopher Walter Benjamin; an enormous collection of writings on the city life of Paris during the 19th century, with many references to fashion.

Farshid Moussavi

Borrowing its structure from the Parisian Arcades, this book organizes fragments of Benjamin’s writings as well as citations from other authors to examine life in 19th-century Paris. The fragments of texts are presented side by side in order to present the possibility of chance connections by individual readers.

David Piscuskas

Every design student should read Walter Benjamin. In The Arcades Project he presents a compelling study of the condensation of public space into a controlled environment.

Ian Ritchie

When this was translated from the German it was a book I had heard about and felt somewhat daunted at opening it. A vast work of thought on the birth of consumerism and the commodification of what has become everything today—education, health, housing… . Its availability in English coincided with our work designing an enormous retail and leisure complex in London, and although the title resonates Paris and “glass structures,” it has little to do with the physicality of space, but with the proximity of traders and “weatherless” strutting and strolling shoppers. The birth of retail as a leisure activity.

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