Stewart Brand
Viking/Penguin, New York, 1994, English
Nonfiction, Architecture
ISBN: 9780670835157

From the Publisher. Buildings have often been studied whole in space, but never before have they been studied whole in time. Architects (and architectural historians) are interested only in a building’s original intentions. Most are dismayed by what happens later, when a building develops its own life, responsive to the life within. To get the rest of the story—to explore the years between the dazzle of a new building and its eventual corpse—Stewart Brand went to facilities managers and real estate professionals, to preservationists and building historians, to photo archives and to futurists. He inquired, “What makes some buildings come to be loved?” He found that all buildings are forced to adapt, but only some adapt gracefully. How Buildings Learn proposes that buildings adapt best when constantly refined and reshaped by their occupants, and that architects can mature from being artists of space to becoming artists of time. From the connected farmhouses of New England to I.M. Pei’s Media Lab, from “satisficing” to “form follows funding,” from the evolution of bungalows to the invention of Santa Fe Style, from Low Road military surplus buildings to a High Road English classic like Chatsworth—this is a far-ranging survey of unexplored essential territory." "More than any other human artifact, buildings improve with time—if they’re allowed. How Buildings Learn shows how to work with time rather than against it.

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Craig Dykers

I still enjoy the challenge of the practicalities of time in architecture.

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