It All Falls Down

AN rounds up our must-reads for this fall

Sala-inspired recipes created and photographed by Esther Choi - Le Corbuffet (Courtesy Prestel)

Fall—and nearly-winter in some parts of the U.S.—has reared its ugly head again, and AN has prepared a list of books to hunker down with as the weather turns. Impress your relatives on Thanksgiving by brushing up with these books on edible architecture, living as a digital citizen, squatting, and Ezra Stoller.

Architecture of Appropriation: On Squatting as Spatial Practice
Edited by René Boer, Marina Otero Verzier, and Katía Truijen
Het Nieuwe Instituut
MSRP: $28.75

Architecture of Appropriation cover

Architecture of Appropriation (Courtesy Het Nieuwe Instituut)

Centered around the urban life of the Netherlands, this new book brings together a non-author-based approach to discussions surrounding spatial takeover by city residents. The documents, photos, and stories of these squatters transforming their city and spaces through a grayscale of ownership and legality, assert an argument that squatting is a form of architectural practice: an alternative to our contemporary housing systems. 

Avant-Garde in the Cornfields: Architecture, Landscape and Preservation in New Harmony
Edited by Ben Nicholson and Michelangelo Sabatino
University of Minnesota Press
MSRP: $40.00

Avant-Garde in the Cornfields book cover

Avant-Garde in the Cornfields (Courtesy University of Minnesota Press)

An unassuming yet magnetic town in the cornfields of Indiana, New Harmony has been home to two iconic utopian settlements, the Harmonists and the Owenites. However, the Cold War years ushered in a new sort of spiritual “living community,” one to which many renowned artists and designers contributed—from Philip Johnson to Richard Meier. 

This book surveys not only the history of New Harmony but the social and preservationist forces that kept it on the map. The role of modernism in the American imagination, as well as the cornfields as a blank canvas for many starchitect-type figures, make for powerful imagery and archival material, cleverly organized for clarity as well as surprise.

Cyberwar and Revolution: Digital Subterfuge in Global Capitalism
By Nick Dyer-Witheford and Svitlana Matviyenko
University of Minnesota Press
MSRP: $17.23

Cyberwar and Revolution

Cyberwar and Revolution (Courtesy University of Minnesota Press)

In an increasingly digitized moment, technology is not only empowering us but implicating us, as explained by partners Dyer-Witheford and Matviyenko. The adverse psychological effects of social media are well published, but technology and its leanings into a subconscious “cyberwar” over the internet have brought entire countries into the fold, including the United States, notably amidst allegations of Russian interference in the presidential election. 

As professionals often pushing the boundaries of technology, architects should be aware of the impact of technology on their practice, work culture and academia. As creatives working toward the creation of a marketable product with technology as a tool, architects may find that this book opens awareness into the subtleties of the web. 

Eco-Visionaries: Art, Architecture and New Media After the Anthropocene
Edited by Pedro Gadanho
Hatje Cantz
MSRP: $35.14

Eco-Visionaries

Eco-Visionaries (Courtesy Hatje Cantz)

Gadanho begins this book with a question: “Are we just secretly yearning for an endless summer?” An endless summer for the few, the privileged, those whose money or upbringing situated them in the technological havens of the developed world and its iPhone app-coordinated climate controls. 

Architects, artists, and designers are thinking beyond this bubble, though, and timeliness in the efforts of built environmentalism in the 21st century has led to some of the most adventurous experiments in egalitarian ecological thought yet. Eco-Visionaries is asking and drawing up the big questions and projecting the messages of artists around the world telling us to wake up. 

Le Corbuffet: Edible Art and Design Classics
By Esther Choi
Prestel
MSRP: $26.14

Le Corbuffet Cover

Le Corbuffet: Edible Art and Design Classics (Esther Choi/Prestel)

While Ina Garten might label you low-brow for not crushing your olive oil from scratch, photographer Esther Choi’s cookbook of celebrity pun recipes will bring the high-brow clout of art and architecture into any kitchen. From Rem Brûlée to the Robert Rauschenburger, there is a recipe for everyone’s favorite artist, and some you can test your friends with. (Anri Dammi i Colori Sala(d)?)

Modern Management Methods: Architecture, Historical Value, and the Electromagnetic Image
By Caitlin Blanchfield and Farzin Lotfi-Jam
Columbia Books on Architecture and the City
MSRP: $25.19

Modern Management Methods

Modern Management Methods (Courtesy Columbia Books on Architecture and the City)

An X-ray look at the UN Building, a structure iconic in its metaphors of organization and management, directs the new narrative of this book. Dense with images of x-rayed architectural details, the new book adds to the arguments made by Beatriz Colomina in her work, X-Ray Architecture, and is inspired by the document archive by Frau Anja Kramer of the Weissenhofmuseum im Haus Le Corbusier—a standardized set of information existing to correct the eventual and inevitable repair, replacement, and maintenance of a built environment. Modern Management Methods recontextualizes the active archive of architecture by experimenting with a new narrative of archive and visual media. Read the full AN review here.

Signal. Image. Architecture.
By John May
Columbia Books on Architecture and the City
MSRP: $18.00

Signal.Image.Architecture

Signal.Image.Architecture. (Courtesy Columbia Books on Architecture and the City)

In this slim volume, MILLIØNS cofounder John May tackles the culture of digital images that architecture is immersed in and simultaneously creating. Dipping into philosophical pondering, Signal. Image. Architecture. explores how an experiment in images is shaping how we perceive ourselves, our world, our politics, and our aesthetics. These are questions that are unique in that we are already living their effects, but that we have no idea how to interrogate them. 

Ezra Stoller: A Photographic History of American Modern Architecture
By Pierluigi Serraino
Phaidon
MSRP: $87.69

Ezra Stoller

Ezra Stoller (Courtesy Phaidon)

In a monumental visual homage to the power of architecture under a lens, this largely black-and-white coffee table tome leaves nothing out. A pioneer in the use of photography to inform the world’s knowledge of architecture and design, Stoller brought the greatest American experiments to life. This collection of over 450 images documents the prolific output of the photographer, spanning subjects from the desert of Frank Lloyd Wright’s Taliesen West to the Nordic woods of Alvar Aalto’s Villa Mairea.

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