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  • Mohammad al-Asad » CSBE
    s writing is clear concise incisive and illuminating One only wishes that most of today s architectural historians and critics are able to write half as well as and half as clearly as he does Christopher Alexander et al A Pattern Language Towns Buildings Construction 1977 I do not recall who it was but someone once wrote that if he is stranded on a deserted island and could only have one book it would be this one The book provides a most useful guide for designing architectural elements spaces and environments ranging from a window to a kitchen to a town It provides very thoughtful information based on how people interact with and relate to the built world around them John Cook and Heinrich Klotz Conversations with Architects 1973 This book features in depth and honest conversations about architecture with a number of the great architects of their time including Louis Kahn Philip Johnson Charles Moore Paul Rudolph Robert Venturi and Denis Scott Brown I read it as a third year student of architecture it transformed my understanding of architecture Jan Gehl and Larz Gemzoe New City Spaces Strategies and Projects 2001 Jan Gehl is one of the great urbanists of our time as is evident in his design planning work and his writings Our understanding today of how cities may interact with people in a humane manner that values the pedestrian and celebrates public spaces where all can come together is very much influenced by Gehl s work and by his writings including New City Spaces William J Mitchell City of Bits Space Place and the Infobahn 1996 and E Topia Urban life Jim but not as we know it 2000 William Mitchell died prematurely in 2010 He was a true visionary He wrote beautifully and insightfully about how

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  • D. Fairchild Ruggles » CSBE
    for that Gender is often treated as an intervention in a practice of architectural history and theory that is already in place already gendered as male and on which it therefore has a marginal impact This notion of limited intervention is not a description of how things actually are but rather a byproduct of the continuing blindness to gender as a significant force in the making of the built environment and writing about it However since Joan Scott s famous Gender A Useful Category of Analysis first appeared in 1986 it is no longer tenable to assert or imply through omission that gender doesn t matter Gender is an important aspect of how we think and write about architecture Just as it affects the space that we write about it has a formative effect on the writers themselves Among other things gender awareness teaches us to be cognizant of how we construct lists and canons that although written with innocent intentions serve to exclude not only women but also non Europeans and others characterized by religious ethnic class or sexual difference the canon both creating the category of difference and then using it to justify exclusion Awareness is key here The incomplete list of key authors below who wrote classic texts and or changed what we know about the built environment is a modest intervention that places women back into the conversation about favorite writers about architecture Wilhelmina Jashemski Gardens of Pompeii published in two volumes in 1979 and 1993 This archaeological work on the gardens of Pompeii literally created a new field of study Instead of seeing Roman and all other gardens entirely through the lens of literature Wilhelmina Jashemski has allowed us to view them as archaeologically knowable entities thus giving us a better understanding of their forms and materials Dolores Hayden The Power of Place Urban Landscapes as Public History 1996 and other books Dolores Hayden draws important ground breaking connections between politics urban space gender and ethnicity Her work has provided us with a richer understanding of how Americans of diverse backgrounds have shaped their landscapes towns and buildings Denise Scott Brown Learning from Las Vegas co authored with Robert Venturi and Steven Izenour 1977 This book became an instant classic stimulating architects and historians to think about registers of design that are typically ignored by architects as tasteless and yet are encountered constantly in the everyday landscape billboards signs motels parking lots and casinos It demands that architects learn from the existing landscape and gain insight from the commonplace Gwendolyn Wright Moralism and the Model Home Domestic Architecture and Cultural Conflict in Chicago 1873 1913 1980 and other books Gwendolyn Wright writes about urbanism the role of history in architectural design schools and architectural history especially the history of domestic housing Housing and there are far more ordinary homes built than grand museums palaces and public buildings is a virtually ignored field but it is an architectural arena in which the impact of women consumers

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  • Nora Akawi » CSBE
    Theory 1997 This volume was my first encounter as a first year architecture student with architectural theory The texts included here provided me with the tools to begin exploring the relationship between architecture and politics Carolyn Hamilton ed Refiguring the Archive 2002 This book was recommended to me by my advisor Professor Felicity Scott as I was working on my thesis focusing on the political role of the archive in imagining alternative political and spatial organization This book which culminated from a symposium held at the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg in 1998 made it impossible to think about the politics of the archive in Palestine without studying the South African experience This might at first glance seem irrelevant to the built environment unless we understand the city as the surface of inscription of events and cultures The process of selecting of the narratives which are to take part in the official archive of a place or a state whether through the preservation of places documents or oral histories and consequently the erasure destruction of those rendered invisible directly shapes our built environment Jacques Rancière Disagreement Politics and Philosophy 2004 Illustrating the impossibility of democracy without conflict Jacques Rancière

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  • Emre Arolat » CSBE
    as a long text that uses several scales different ranges and various instruments to scan the whole architectural field and build a perceptible working document about designing and constructing the various elements of the built environment Aldo Rossi The Architecture of the City 1984 La Tendenza was the pioneering international architectural movement that came out of Italy in the post war period As a practicing architect Rossi was the leader of this movement but he also was an influential theorist The Architecture of the City is his major written work and is a critique of the Modern Movement that focuses on cities and emphasizes the collective memory and the public realm I remember how as a university student I had a lot of difficulty reading this book in French I found it boring and confusing A few years later I tried to read it in English but still found it boring and I realized that the problem was not with the language in which I read it Just like his buildings Rossi s writings are important and deserve to be considered very carefully but they are not easy to live with Despite that this book is one of my all time favorites as is the case with most of Rossi s buildings Kevin Lynch The Image of the City 1960 Some say that Lynch s The Image of the City is as important as Camillo Sitte s The Art of Building Cities Others find it too formalistic It is one of my favorite writings about large scale design theory This easy to follow book discusses environmental images in our urban lives by mostly analyzing the central areas of three American cities Boston Jersey City and Los Angeles and by focusing on the evaluation of city form In addition to the

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  • Han Tumertekin » CSBE
    university One positive outcome of those difficult years during which many paid a serious price both socially and personally was that we had a good amount of time to read Naturally the majority of the books read and the arguments discussed were political The discussions were very intense and everything was open to discussion This condition also applied to architectural education My education was supposed to begin with a period where reading was as important as drawing but due to boycotts the start date of the term was delayed from September to May I used the incredible amount of free time I had to read books that my brother picked for me That is how I started to read about architecture One of the first books I read during that period was Bruno Zevi s Apprendre A Voir L Architecture 1948 translated into English under the title of Architecture as Space How to Look at Architecture I suppose that my unexpectedly easy understanding of the concept of space comes from two drawings in Zevi s book that consisted of plans of Saint Peter s Cathedral in Rome placed side by side In one plan he marked the walls and columns to attract attention to the void In the other he marked the void instead Through this comparison I understood that the void is not what remains after one removes the walls and columns but that it actually has a body and a mass itself Zevi presented an amazing way to make the void visible During that same period I also read Sigfried Giedion s Space Time and Architecture The Growth of a New Tradition 1941 The book was about how modern architecture emerged through industrial developments and how it is still developing through various dynamics For instance the invention of

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  • Rami Farouk Daher » CSBE
    the other I was able to project many concepts I have learnt from this book onto real life situations through projects I have worked on relating to building architecture and place transformations This book together with other writings by Foucault triggered me to reveal qualify and grant voice to disguised and subjugated local realities and knowledge Christian Norberg Schulz Genius Loci Towards a Phenomenology of Architecture 1979 I have developed an interest over the years in the epistemologies of knowledge This book on the phenomenology of architecture introduced me to notions of place and to an understanding of a higher order and of a different nature of such notions Norberg Schulz who was influenced by Martin Heidegger helped me arrive at a phenomenological understanding of place beyond its physical qualities and even beyond a romantic and over simplified relationship between place and the individual The meaning of place accordingly reveals itself to you based on the nature of your level of engagement and understanding Again and as is the case with the first book in this list a second reading of this book and especially after reading Heidegger as well revealed hidden concepts that were not clear to me the first time around I read it and helped me arrive at a different level of understanding of place Kenneth Frampton Modern Architecture A Critical History 1992 This remarkable narrative on Modern architecture presented to me architectural technical and territorial transformation that took place in Europe and the United States during the past three centuries Embedded in social theory and political economy I consider this book a fundamental reference to the understanding of Modernity as a cultural movement of change and transformation that also affected the rest of the world including our Arab World towards the end of the first half

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  • Hanif Kara » CSBE
    American novels Reading it is a great way to learn the English language Jan Gehl and Lars Gemzoe Public Spaces Public Life 1996 This publication has led me to think beyond buildings and to develop a wider knowledge of the built environment The book synthesized for me how we as designers can impact the wellbeing of society since it made me appreciate the fact that the impact of our work goes far beyond the engineering of buildings per se It explains in the simplest of manners the role of public space in making cities This has allowed me among other things to relegate the design of a given artifact which includes my own preoccupation with structures to its proper place within the larger context of the built environment Reyner Banham Design by Choice 1981 This book has had a strong an impact on many members of my generation particularly as we embarked on the first steps of our professional careers I read it when I was starting my first year in university as a student of Civil and Structural Engineering The book opened my mind early on to the many connections between design engineering and other disciplines such as sociology and anthropology Banham s writing with its concise and simple but unique language was a revelation for a young engineer like me Christopher Alexander Notes on the Synthesis of Form 1964 I bought this book only after hearing Alexander speak but thinking that he is not a great speaker Upon reading his work however I understood the effect he has had on the teaching and practice of design This book is hugely important as it reminded and assured me as well as many others about the importance of process In fact as our world has gotten exponentially more complex and

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  • Favorite Book Lists on Architecture and the Built Environment » CSBE
    Box 830751 Amman 11183 Jordan Telefax 962 6 461 5297 Email us Read more about Contact Us Activities Read more about Activities Architectural Competitions Architectural Competitions Read more about Architectural Competitions Courses Workshops Courses and Workshops Read more about Courses Workshops Publications Resources Read more about Publications Resources Mission Statement CSBE Mission Statement Read more about Mission Statement Board of Directors Read more about Board of Directors Current Staff Read

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