John Hill

Writer; Editor; Designer / United States /

John Hill’s Notable Books of 2011

9 books
Edward R. Ford

Ford, an architect and educator at the University of Virginia (and the author of The Details of Modern Architecture), continues his exploration of details in architecture by defining five different types found in contemporary architecture and buildings from last century. Theoretically he grounds each type of detail into a larger context, ultimately arguing for autonomous details that work on their own terms.

Anne Guiney Editor
Brendan Crain Editor

This book collects over 150 design proposals in response to the Institute for Urban Design’s By the City/For the City competition. While not all of the proposals are necessarily worthy of publication, the book is notable as an exploration of how crowd sourcing can be used to define problems and develop appropriate design solutions toward the betterment of the public realm.

Cédric Delsaux

Delsaux’s photographs merge urban and industrial settings—many of them ruins—with characters and crafts from the Star Wars films. Sure they make one think about the fate of these earthbound places, but they are also just plain cool, and beautiful to look at. The best photos occur when the alien insertion is difficult to detect.

Thom Mayne

This collection of a dozen urban design projects by Morphosis is elegantly designed and illustrated, a visual feast. But it is also theoretically intriguing, in the way Mayne uses the computer for exploring the evolution of urban form.

Finnish architect, educator, and writer Juhani Pallasmaa wraps up his trilogy of books on the senses in architecture—Eyes of the Skin and The Thinking Hand are the first two—by focusing on images at a time when they saturate our mediated lives. He skillfully argues for reconsidering image based on experience rather than image based on novelty.

Introduction by Steven Holl

This collection of Pamphlet Architecture’s second decade is notable on a personal level. These issues coincide with my undergraduate architectural education, and were therefore important in shaping how I thought about architecture. Those by Lebbeus Woods and Kaplan and Krueger hold up especially well all these years later. This collection also replaces issues that I have misplaced over the years.

This beautifully produced monograph on Chicago-based Studio Gang Architects redefines the genre with its thorough illustration of process. It reveals the imagination and working methods of Jeanne Gang and her team through an archival presentation of a half-dozen projects. A sequel with more projects is much anticipated.

Nishat Awan
Tatjana Schneider
Jeremy Till

This encyclopedia of alternatives to traditional architectural practice is a valuable reference at a time when many architects are still out of a job and are disenfranchised by the profession. It also illustrates the great diversity of architectural production that exists outside of the “individual hero” mold. Collaboration and empowerment are key instead of authorship and formal novelty.

David Grahame Shane

Shane’s second book on urban design presents four models of the city since World War II: the metropolis, the megalopolis, the fractured metropolis, and the megacity/metacity. Loaded with case studies that illustrate the characteristics of each model, the book is a solid history of urban design as well as a snapshot of cities today and advice on how we move forward.

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