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Review Essays of Academic, Professional & Technical Books in the Humanities & Sciences



Architecture's New Media: Principles, Theories, and Methods of Computer-Aided Design  by Yehuda E. Kalay  (The MIT Press) Technology may aid design but as Kalay is adamant in showing our tools do not make our art; though tools definitively facilitate it.

Computer-aided design (CAD) technology has already changed the practice of architecture, and it has the potential to change it even more radically. With Architecture's New Media, Yehuda Kalay offers a comprehensive exposition of the principles, methods, and practices that underlie architectural computing. He discusses the aspects of information technology that are pertinent to architectural design, analyzes the benefits and drawbacks of particular computational methods, and looks at the potential of emerging computational techniques to affect the future of architectural design.

CAD technology, introduced in the postwar era and adopted in everyday architectural practice beginning in the 1970s, is now so indispensable that, as William Mitchell observes in his foreword, architectural practice without it is "as unimaginable as writing without a word processor." Yet, Kalay argues, it has had little qualitative effect. This book provides a detailed introduction for practitioners, educators, students, and researchers to aspects of CAD that go beyond the improvements in drafting, modeling, and rendering for which it is commonly used. Computer-aided architectural design (CAAD) is capable of modeling and manipulating objects (not merely their graphical representations), reasoning about and predicting performance of design solutions, generating new design solutions through algorithmic and other methods, managing vast amounts of information, and taking advantage of opportunities offered by the Internet for collaboration across time and space and for design of the virtual "space" of the Internet itself.

Architecture's New Media covers five main topics: design methods and computer technology and the relationship between computers and design; the principles of communication and representation; generative design methods; the advantages of computational methods for predicting and evaluating the performance of design solutions; and current and future developments in technology, including collaborative design, intelligent design assistants, construction automation, and virtual design environments.

Excerpt from Author’s Preface: Architects, according to John Archea, consider design a "search for the most appropriate effects that can be attained in a unique context."' Horst Rittel characterized this search as "an activity aimed at achieving certain desired goals without undesired side- and after-effects." But how can we tell what are the "desired goals" and "most appropriate effects" in a given context? How can we tell if a proposed design solution will achieve them? How can we measure its "goodness" and uncover its undesired side and aftereffects before constructing the building? How can we begin the search for design solutions in the first place?

These questions perplexed architects and philosophers for thousands of years. In the first century BC, the Roman architect Vitruvius offered some answers, in the form "best practices," that would guarantee a "good" solution. Since then, many architects and researchers have tried to come up with theories, methods, and tools that will make the results of architectural design more predictable and the design process itself more tractable, teachable, and open to analysis and improvement.

The advent of computers in the 1950s provided new hopes—and fears—that the age-old questions may finally be answered; that by using computers an architect could access multitudes of prior solutions, obtain help when generating new ones, test them, even fabricate them at the touch of a button.

Early success in applying computers to solving complex mathematical problems—of the kind found in engineering analyses—encouraged researchers and architects to seek computational means that would help them solve architectural design problems as well. These hopes were bolstered by Ivan Sutherland's 1963 Sketchpad program—the first interactive graphical design tool—which demonstrated that computers could be used for drafting and modeling, not merely for number crunching.

But the drafting and modeling systems of the 1970s that followed Sutherland's example could meet only a few of the original objectives, namely, visual appraisal of the emerging design solutions and certain geometry-based evaluations (e.g., energy consumption, cost). They still could not tell whether the design was really "good," nor did they provide much help in generating the design solutions themselves, except in highly limited domains such as the design of prefabricated hospitals and housing units.

In the 1980s the search for computational methods and tools that could assist architects in their quest for "good" solutions was strongly influenced by the general euphoria associated with artificial intelligence—a branch of computer science dedicated to solving problems in ways that would be considered "intelligent" if done by humans. A large number of "expert" and other types of knowledge-based systems were developed, purporting to package design expertise and to bring it to bear on design problems without the experts who generated the knowledge in the first place. Few of these systems lived up to their creators' expectations. However, the advent of computer graphics at about the same time provided architects a rich tool kit of drafting, modeling, and rendering systems. While these tools could not help architects design, at least they made the production and communication aspects of the process easier.

The globalization of the building industry in the 1990s, coupled with the increasing capabilities of computers as telecommunication devices (due largely to the rise of the Internet), brought about the birth of computer-aided collaboration. The first uses of computers to facilitate collaboration were purely technical: it was easier and faster to send digital design information through the Internet than to send physical drawings through the mail. But this ability, along with accelerated schedules for designing and building, raised serious problems of interoperability, concurrency, authority, and version control. Some systems that can manage the multifarious data formats used in a typical building project have emerged, raising difficult questions about the design process itself along the way.

At the dawn of the third millennium it is pertinent, therefore, to take stock of what has been accomplished in the last half of the twentieth century as far as the use of computing in architectural design is concerned and to assess the directions in which these accomplishments have been leading the discipline and the profession of architecture. But how-ever interesting it may be to review the history of a fast moving field such as computing in general, and computer-aided architectural design in particular, such study holds limited promise to understanding the future of the discipline. To be of relevance, the assessment must look deeper—at the principles underlying the evolution of computer-aided design, and at the impacts these developments have had on the practice of architecture and its products. Only then can we draw meaningful conclusions from the past, understand the successes and failures of information technology as far as architecture is concerned, and help guide future developments in this field.

Consider, for example, the impact computing has had on architecture's sister disciplines—electrical, mechanical, and civil engineering. They have taken advantage of the increasing power of computers to develop CAD software that can manipulate much more sophisticated representations than graphical depictions alone: they manipulate rich data sets that allow models of computer chips, airplanes, automobiles, and buildings to behave much like the physical objects they stand for. As a result, hypothetical electrical, mechanical, and civil engineering design propositions now can be subjected to a vast array of evaluations that help engineers test and optimize them before they are fabricated. Nor has CAD software simply improved the design of conventional mechanical and electrical engineering solutions; it also made possible the design of artifacts that could not have been designed, fabricated, or even used without the aid of computers. As such, it is no longer possible to design a car, an airplane, a ship, or a computer chip—with its tens of millions of transistors—without the use of computers.

Computers have transformed not only the design (CAD) and manufacture (CAM) of many artifacts, but have also changed the way we operate and use them. The average automobile now has more than twenty-six embedded microprocessors, connected through a sophisticated data "bus." They have radically altered the way we maintain (engine failure diagnostics) and operate automobiles (ignition timing, ABS, traction control, collision sensors, etc.) and even how we keep track of them (using GPS and the On-Star system). More profoundly, for the first time since Henry Ford introduced his famed Model T, computers have allowed the automotive industry to change its business model from mass production to mass customization.

In short, computer-aided design has allowed these disciplines to reinvent themselves and their products and to advance their professions into what we now call the post-industrial age, or the age of information technology.

Compare these advances to the progress made in architectural design: although 2D and 3D graphics software proved to be a remark-able departure from pencil and tracing paper and has been adopted almost universally as the predominant, if not exclusive, means of production in architectural practice, it merely represents the commercialization of the simplest and most obvious application of information technology in architectural design: the automation of traditional processes like drafting, modeling, and communicating. Most generative and evaluative software that have been developed over the past five decades failed to gain a foothold in architectural practice, hence to add value to professional design practices and its products. As a result, architectural design solutions are still crafted manually, much the same way they have been for the past 500 years, except that the drawings and models that represent them can now be edited more easily and communicated more expeditiously among the members of the design team. In other words, information technology has had—so far—relatively little qualitative impact on the profession of architecture itself and on the way buildings are constructed and used. At best, it has improved the efficiency of designing buildings, when in fact it has the potential to reinvent the architectural design process itself, much as it has helped to reinvent other disciplines.

Why has architecture been slower than other disciplines to take advantage of information technology? The complexity of the discipline is certainly an important factor, as are its lack of a rigorous research tradition and scientific basis, the conservatism of professionals, and the paucity of funding for research and development. Still, much work has been done in computer-aided architectural design over the past fifty years. Tremendous advances have been made in developing data structures that can support more than just the graphical appearance of architectural objects like walls and windows. Many new methods have been developed to simulate and evaluate how buildings perform with respect to energy usage, lighting, acoustics, traffic, emergency egress—even habitability and aesthetics. Advances have been made in automating standard design procedures and in facilitating collaboration among architects, engineers, contractors, and clients. These advances are intimately tied to the basic tenets of architectural design—from the principles of design methods themselves to the modalities of evaluation, communication theory, and the practices of professional collaboration.

As the first step in overcoming the aforementioned factors that hold back advances in computer-aided architectural design, this book aims to help readers understand the principles, the theories, and the methods that underlie the application of information technology to architecture. It discusses the principles of information technology that are pertinent to architectural design, analyzes the benefits and drawbacks of various computational methods purporting to support designers, and explores the potential of emerging computational techniques to affect the future of the discipline and its products.

The book covers five main topics, each comprising the principles, theories, and methods pertinent to its subject matter, with examples and case studies of their application: 

  1. Introduction: What is design, what are computers, and what are the relationships between them? This topic covers the nature and history of computing in general and CAAD in particular and presents a computational view of the design process.
  2. Communication: Communication has two distinct roles in the process of design: an extra-process role, in which the designer communicates with himself or herself (a process known as "ideation"); and an extra-process role, in which the designer communicates with other members of the design team. This topic covers the principles of communication and representation, including computer graphics, databases, and product models.
  3. Synthesis: How can computers be used to generate design solutions, and what are the advantages and limitations of their synthetic abilities? This topic covers procedural and heuristic design methods, knowledge-based CAAD, neural networks, and genetic algorithms.
  4. Evaluation: What are the roles of evaluation and prediction in design, and how can computers be of assistance? This topic covers the two modalities of computer-aided evaluations of buildings (multicriteria and multilevel) and provides examples from their application to structures, energy, acoustics, human factors, and aesthetics.
  5. The Future: How will developments in computing and telecommunications affect the processes and the products of architecture? This topic covers multi-disciplinary collaboration, design and construction automation, the significance of the Internet for architecture, and the impact of computers on the discipline and its products in the future.

The range of topics covered by this book is much too broad to allow their in-depth treatment. Instead, it is the explicit purpose of this book to provide a comprehensive overview of the subject matter, tying the separate developments to one another and to the principles underlying architectural design. To support in-depth inquiry of specific topics, the book provides over 500 carefully selected references to both classical and cutting-edge publications. Together with this text, they provide a comprehensive treatment of computer-aided design and its related topics.

It is hard to predict the impact of information technology on any discipline, especially one like architecture, because technology tends to create its own uses and often changes established methods and practices in the course of its adoption. Yet understanding the principles on which architectural design and computing are founded is a necessary first step in bringing about these changes. Only then will the development of methods and tools progress in a direction that can truly help the discipline and the practice of architecture, and only then can their relevance, impacts, and desirability for the profession of architecture and the environment(s) it creates be fully understood. 

Time Saver Standards for Architectural Design: Technical Data for Professional Practice, 8th Edition includes CD-ROM by Donald Watson, Michael J. Crosbie (McGraw-Hill Professional) since its release in 1946, this has been one of the most widely recognized and respected resources for architects, engineers, and designers, bringing together the knowledge, techniques, and skills of some of the most well-known experts in the field. The new Eighth Edition takes a fresh, visual approach to the information architects need to access quickly, helping them save time and money by assuring they get it right the first time. Readers will find timely, new chapters on building security, natural disaster mitigation, building diagnostics, facility management, and much more. The accompanying CD-ROM contains the complete contents of the Eighth Edition.


  • Bundled CD-ROM with additional, still-current chapters from the Seventh Edition

  • More graphic illustrations, figures, tables and summaries

  • Latest on building envelope design and diagnostics

  • Updated data on universal design, stairs, and parking

  • Environmental and "green architecture" principles and details

  • New standards of building commissioning, performance measurement, and quality control in construction

For today's hands-on, visual generation

Time-Saver Standards for Architectural Design has reinvented itself! A treasured reference of architects and construction professionals for nearly 60 years, the eighth edition of this classic gives you a fresh, new visual approach to information. Now it's even easier to find the facts, figures, references, and summaries of "lessons learned." Featuring new contributions from world authorities and specialists, Time-Saver Standards for Architectural Design brings you expert insight into the fundamentals of architecture and design practices. You also get a wealth of data on all aspects of architectural design and building construction, including substructure, superstructure, building shell, interiors, and services, formatted according to the Uniformat II classification system. Let this comprehensive overview of the fundamental knowledge and technologies required for exemplary architectural practice augment and enhance your practice—starting today.


Part A. Substructure: Foundations and Basement Construction.

Part B. Shell: Superstructure, Exterior Closure, Roofing

Part C. Interiors: Interior Constructions, Staircases, Interior Finishes, Materials and Specifications, Dimensioning

Part D. Services: Conveying Systems, Plumbing, HVAC, Fire Protection, Electrical

Part E. Appendices: Classic Tables and Data, including metric system conversion and references

Excerpt: Time-Saver Standards for Architectural Design, 8th edition, is a ref­erence for architects, design and construction professionals, and edu­cators. 

It represents the result of more than a half-century of documenting the knowledge and technical database for architectural practice. Over 80 authors and experts have contributed to the present volume, either with entirely new articles or, in other cases, updating topics and rec­ommendations developed over many decades.

How to Use This Book

Scan the first-page summaries. The volume can be quickly scanned to provide an overview of the entire scope of architectural practice data. On the first page of each article, there is an introductory summary as well as key words, also found in the Index.

Use the Index for topic search. All topics covered in text, figures, and tables are listed in the Index, providing a cross-reference to locate specific content items.

Read introductory articles and each specific topic article. Each topic area and separate article presents a series of layers of increasing de-tail, beginning with introductory articles. Highlights of each article are presented through illustrations and text, including checklists of key design criteria. References at the end of each article list sources and citations.

Use the CD-ROM for easy access to selected articles with more data and detail. The CD-ROM Table of Contents is at the end of this volume, just before the Index.

Build your knowledge like a building. Topics in this volume are organized like the process of building a building, "from the ground up." This conforms to the Uni format II classification system, beginning with foundations and proceeding through superstructure, enclosure, interiors, and services. It parallels the sequence and elements by which the ar­chitecture and construction process is logically conceived.

Companion Volumes in the Time-Saver Standards Series

The focus of this volume of Time-Saver Standards for Architectural Design, 8th edition, is the architectural design and building project, as defined in architectural practice, including all technical aspects of its design and construction.

Two additional recent titles of the Time-Saver Standards series follow a similar format and serve as companion volumes and additional ref­erences:

Time-Saver Standards for Building Materials and Systems, 1st edition (2000), is a compilation of technical details and checklists for specifi­cation and selection data. It is an ideal companion volume for the building designer and construction specifier.

Time-Saver Standards for Urban Design, 1st edition (2003), is an archival compilation of articles and references from the past 100 years, documenting the values and knowledge base of urban design. It covers topics beyond the scale of building to include urban design and planning.

Bridges of the World: Their Design and Construction by Charles S. Whitney ( Dover ) Unabridged republication of Bridges: A Study in Their Art, Science and Evolution, originally published by William Edwin Rudge, Publisher, New York , 1929. 401 black-and-white illustrations. Index. 368pp. 83/8 x 11. Paperbound.

More than any other structures built by man, bridges typify progress. From ancient stone viaducts to modern spans of steel, they have not only served as practical constructions, but many have also proved to be works of art. This unique volume, with more than 400 illustrations, offers a method for applying fundamental architectural principles to the design and criticism of bridges. It also presents the historical background of the modern bridge and contains a selection of photographs of aesthetically devised bridges of all types.  

Spans from around the world are depicted, among them wooden passageways such as the landmark Kapellbrucke—a restored medieval covered bridge with a red tile roof, in Lucerne, Switzerland—and a covered bridge over the Connecticut River; the magnificent Maximiliansbrucke in Munich and other stone structures; the "honeycomb" bridge between Orr's Island and Bailey Island, a cellular construction in Casco Bay, Maine; the concrete Queen Victoria Bridge in Madrid; and steel-and-concrete creations such as the George Washington Bridge in New York and the Marble Canyon Bridge in Arizona.

 "A book to delight the heart and eye of a pontist whether he be an admirer and lover of bridges or a designer and builder...."—Saturday Review of Literature

Geometry in Architecture: Texas Buildings Yesterday and Today by Clovis Heimsath ( University of Texas Press ) updates and expands the 1969 edition of Pioneer Texas Buildings: A Ge­ometry Lesson. Thirty‑four years ago it was ahead of its time, for it celebrated the simple geometry of early Texas buildings at a time when they were considered by many to be of no historic significance, and were rou­tinely torn down.

Fortunately the climate of opinion has changed over the last thirty­four years. Not only are the remaining buildings cherished for the heritage they preserve, but also Texas architects continue to design with simple geometry, straightforward structures, and local materi­als to address today's programs.

It is the realization that the geometry lesson of Pioneer Texas Buildings is alive today that led the University of Texas Press to publish an updated edition of the book. In the process of revising the book I have contacted many architects across the state and included their work as an example, today, of the principles of design so clear in the early Texas buildings. While the projects presented are only a small sampling of what has been built by these and many other ar­chitects, the reader does not have to guess how a building today would look if it were built in the pioneer Texas tradition: there are photos of current work in the book that answer this question. Lisa Hardaway, of Hester + Hardaway, architectural photographers, has coordinated the acquisition of appropriate photographs of recent work.

The format of the book remains the same. Each section repro­duces the original photographs by Maryann Heimsath and simple text of the first edition along with photographs of current work by Texas architects designing in this tradition. The transition is seam­less. The continuity in design is broadly interpreted to include a wide range of geometric forms applicable to today's programs and materials.

Classic Country Estates of Lake Forest: Architecture and Landscape Design 1856-1940 by Kim Coventry, Daniel Meyer, Arthur H. Miller (Norton) 290 illustrations, 16 pages of color.  A look at the luxurious homes of Lake Forest , Illinois , from the high period of the country estate.
Lake Forest , Illinois , thirty miles north of Chicago on the western shore of Lake Michigan , has been one of America 's elite residential communities for one and a half centuries. Spread across the edge of lakeside bluffs and along deep ravines, hundreds of elegant country estates house the families of Chicago 's commercial, professional, and cultural leadership—the greatest concentration of American country estates to be found between the two coasts. Lake Forest architecture and landscaping reflect a significant interplay of leading practitioners and design theories spanning the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. This book offers a tour of the houses, landscapes, gardens, gentlemen's farms, and country clubs that have made the community a landmark of architectural and landscape design. Architectural renderings, landscape plans, drawings, and period photographs of architecture and gardens, many of them not previously published, illustrate the work of these masters and the fabulous lifestyles of a bygone era.

Architecture for the Gods by Michael J. Crosbie (Watson-Guptill) A boom in the construction of churches, synagogues, and other places of worship is currently reaching its highest level in three decades. The result has been an exciting diversity of styles, each a response to the needs of a particular congregation. This timely survey explores more than forty such projects, making it a valuable resource for anyone involved in the building or use of religious structures, as well as all lovers of modern architecture. The projects, which represent Protestant, Catholic, Jewish, and Islamic congregations, are shown with full-color photographs, plans, sections, and diagrams. Also provided are discussions of each congregation's traditions, the building's connection to its religious identity, and how that identity is echoed in the community at large.

 The Bishop's Palace: Architecture and Authority in Medieval Italy by Maureen C. Miller (Cornell University Press) looks at the art and architecture of episcopal palaces as expressions of power and ideology. Tracing the history of the bishop's residence in the urban centers of northern Italy over the Middle Ages, Maureen C. Miller asks why this once rudimentary and highly fortified structure called a domus became a complex and elegant "palace" (palatium) by the late twelfth century.

Miller argues that the change reflects both the emergence of a distinct clerical culture and the attempts of bishops to maintain authority in public life. She relates both to the Gregorian reform movement, which set new standards for clerical deportment and at the same time undercut episcopal claims to secular power. As bishops lost temporal authority in their cities to emerging communal governments, they compensated architecturally and competed with the communes for visual and spatial dominance in the urban center. This rivalry left indelible marks on the layout and character of Italian cities.

Moreover, Miller contends, this struggle for power had highly significant, but mixed, results for western Christianity. On the one hand, as bishops lost direct governing authority in their cities, they devised ways to retain status, influence, and power through cultural practices. This response to loss was highly creative. On the other hand, their loss of secular control led bishops to emphasize their spiritual powers and to use them to obtain temporal ends. The coercive use of spiritual authority contributed to the emergence of a "persecuting society" in the central Middle Ages.  The Bishop's Palace is illustrated with many floor planes and some b&w photos.

Ethics and the Practice of Architecture by Barry Wasserman, Patrick Sullivan, Gregory Palermo (Wiley) From theory to practice——a unique, well-rounded guide to ethics for today’s architect The American Institute of Architects has long recognized the importance of self-conscious ethical practice and a variety of levels of conflict of interest in the design and construction aspects of architects. Architectural ethics is a topic of growing interest. This book offers a much-needed primer on the subject, covering the theoretical and historical aspects of ethics as well as practical, design-related issues.

Ethics and the Practice of Architecture offers a complete, broad-based introduction to this crucial subject. First, it examines basic ethical theories and their application to architecture, and discusses different ways of identifying ethical content in architecture. Bridging the gap between theory and practice, the second part of the book surveys different professional settings and building project processes that frequently hold ethical concerns, and charts the ethical mandates that arise from them.

In the final section of the book, thirty case studies explore a wide range of ethical dilemmas encountered in architectural practice, with useful guidance on how to work through them effectively. Arranged by topics that span the key phases of a project from pre-design through post-occupancy evaluation, these case studies allow a detailed look at ethical concerns in real-life situations where multiple issues are often at stake.

Providing a practical framework for the exploration of ethical issues in architecture today, Ethics and the Practice of Architecture is an excellent resource for present and future architects in all areas of the field.

About the Authors:
BARRY WASSERMAN, FAIA, is Professor Emeritus in the Department of Architecture at California State Polytechnic University in Pomona, California, and heads his own architecture, urban design, and community facilitation firm.

PATRICK SULLIVAN, FAIA, is a professor in the Department of Architecture at California State Polytechnic University in Pomona, California, and Principal of Patrick Sullivan Associates.

GREGORY PALERMO, FAIA, is Associate Professor and Associate Chair for Undergraduate Studies in the Department of Architecture of the College of Design at Iowa State University in Ames, Iowa.

Excerpt from Introduction:

Ethics and the Practice of Architecture is part of the growing body of studies identified as applied ethics : explorations of the application of ethical moral concepts and reasoning to everyday concerns and choices we are called upon to make regarding everything from telling the truth, to concern for the environment, to how to die. In this book, we bring together theoretical and practical perspectives in the examination of architecture and its ethics. We describe basic ethical theories and outline a method for applying ethical reasoning to the consideration of architectural issues. Within that context, the objectives of Part I: Awareness can be directly stated: a) to introduce the manner in which architecture and ethics intersect; b) the manner in which architecture contains an ethics and special ethical demands; and c) frameworks for assessing and thinking through architectural ethical issues.

To do this, we briefly explore the nature of ethics in Some Basics About Ethics, and the nature of architecture in The Ethical Nature of Architecture. Our pictures of each are not complete, but they set essential definitions in place. The remaining: four sections: A Look at Ethical Concepts; Businesses, Professions, and Ethical Obligations; Ethics and Architectural Practices; and Ethical Reasoning, are the centerpiece of Part I: Awareness. Through case-study examples in each section, we illustrate the manner in which ethics and architecture overlap and examine architecture as an inherently ethical pursuit. We end with the delineation of an approach to ethical reasoning as it applies to architecture.

The very word Ethics seems to demand being written in capital letters often seem to loom out there as some great, daunting, perhaps even arcane set of theoretical discussions about what is right and wrong, and how to be a good person, to do good deeds, or to accomplish good things in the world. This picture has come into being as philosophers of all points of view have attempted through rigorously argued texts to address how we act in the world, and to define the values and processes we use in deciding what it is we ought to do particularly in circumstances in which other people are affected by our choices. The greater the effort to define ethical constructs in pure terms extracted from everyday realities, for example: trying to define good in some absolute way that would hold for all peoples at all times and in all places, the more abstruse and disconnected from everyday life the theoretical discussions of ethics seemed to become. ETHICS, in this characterization of it as an abstract discipline, seems to not be very helpful with practical applications to such pressing and often-faced questions like: Is it okay to tell a white lie to help a friend? Or, Is it okay to protect my personal financial status at the expense of my business colleagues when making a business decision that is legal?

Architecture which in a manner similar to ethics begs at least to be capitalized if not written in capitals: Architecture is also a discipline of great breadth and complexity with practical applications. Architecture comprises the physical buildings and landscape we have shaped to suit our inhabitation of earth, of course, but it is also a profession, a theoretical study, and includes the processes of both designing and building our habitat. There is also the beauty factor: if a building is not aesthetically pleasing or of a certain status of importance, is it Architecture? While these questions are illumined in ongoing arguments among architecture students, educators, practitioners, and critics, the public says: Design our school so we like the looks of it!

While these characterizations of ethics and architecture may be extreme, there is an underlying truth to the condition that both ethics and architecture are expansive, complex disciplines with internally consistent histories, theories, languages, and modes of argument. They address certain engaging questions of major import that we face in our lives: How do we determine what is right and wrong in order to guide our actions? and What should the design of the landscape and buildings that we will inhabit be? The processes of designing and constructing our habitat, with the presumed intention of improving the quality of life, implicitly require a judgment of the right thing to do. It is in this manner that architecture and ethics are joined together, in which there is a special ethics implicit in architecture. This creates the obligation that we, as architectural students and professionals, examine those special ethics.

This book’s exploration of Ethics and the Practice of Architecture takes place in a particular set of circumstances at the turn of the century. Our contemporary global society is characterized by economic and political interactions that have heightened our awareness of cultural diversity and identity. Advances in science, technology, and communication that greatly enhance the quality of our lives also seem to simultaneously destabilize our very personhood: we can be almost anywhere, anytime, with almost any self-created self-image, experiencing virtual worlds. Substantial imbalances exist from nation to nation, and global region to global region with respect to economics, healthcare, education, food, and material and natural resources.

Within that context, during the past twenty years, there has been a resurgence of interest in ethics. Ethics provides a basis for considering personal, professional, and communal values with respect to moral questions. Indeed, ethics studies help us determine if a situation involves moral questions. Ethical reasoning informs the positions we hold, the choices we make, and the communal or legal policies we may enact as we negotiate the complex dilemmas we face. Ethics applied in everyday life assists in reasoning through, and making decisions about, such moral questions as environmental protection, helping the less fortunate, care for the elderly, euthanasia, genetic engineering, etc. More generally, ethics is concerned with how to go about life, what it means to live well, to accomplish good in the world, and to be just or fair in one s personal and professional life.

The operative conditions of the contemporary global community and communication media outlined here combine to create fluidity to the circumstances of life, including the place-based world of architecture. It seems to put the traditional role and ethics of architecture as a social construction at risk. Yet, countering that fluidity, the everyday world that we construct, inhabit, and experience is a physical reality. It is anchored in particular places and originates at particular points in time. This designed, built, and inhabited landscape is given form and rendered meaningful. The following three contemporary observations point to the essential character of architecture s enduring presence, and its ethical force:

The essence of architecture lies not in its usefulness the purely practical solutions it offers to the human need of shelter but in the way it meets the much profounder spiritual need to shape our habitat. In our culture, architecture transcends the mere physical substance of buildings by endowing constructed forms with aesthetic, emotional and symbolic meanings that elevate them to symbols of civilization.he essence of architecture lies not in its usefulness the purely practical solutions it offers to the human need of shelter but in the way it meets the much profounder spiritual need to shape our habitat. In our culture, architecture transcends the mere physical substance of buildings by endowing constructed forms with aesthetic, emotional and symbolic meanings that elevate them to symbols of civilization.
A work of architecture is an image, a symbolic expression of the limitations, tensions, hopes and expectations of a community. I also believe that architecture is an ethical discipline before it is an aesthetic one. . . . This moral dimension is legitimized when architecture is presented . . . as something concrete and practical which each individual citizen . . . can relate to in a practical way.
When we build, we have not just a responsibility to ourselves and our clients, but to those who came before and those who will come after. . . . architecture transcends local issues. Questions of space, light and material, what makes a great building, are separate from client and site. Yet they are realized in a specific way, according to a genius loci.

Collectively these three references open up several lines of thought about the ethical dimensions of architecture. They are clear statements of architecture's most basic and most clearly understood purposes: that architecture is about shaping our physical habitat to suit human purposes, and in doing so also has the capacity to fulfill spiritual and emotional needs. In these quotes, there is not only a recognition that architecture embodies the values of society that gives rise to it, but there is also clearly an acknowledged duty toward the future: that aspirations can be realized through works of architecture.

Each of these lines of thought is open to articulation and critique; they demand expansion to be more fully understood. To them can be added the themes of the processes of designing and building, the activities of architecture as a discipline and a profession, and the requisite knowledge and role of the architect, each of which has ethical dimensions.

These themes of personal and professional action, of architecture as object and place, as process and practice, together with its ethical content, are central to the explorations in Ethics and the Practice of Architecture.


Introduction To Awareness
Engaging Ethics And Architecture
The Event That is Architecture
Special Knowledge
Architectural Processes
Ethical Issues Embedded In Typical Architectural Practices
Arriving At Ethics
The Organization And Focus of Part I: Awareness
Some Basics About Ethics
Initial Comments On The Nature of Ethics
Primary Questions
Philosophical Context
Ethical Reasoning
Texts and Discourse of Ethics
Roots Of Ethics
The Spectrum Of Ethics
Applied Ethics and Architecture
The Ethical Nature of Architecture
Architecture's Inherently Ethical Nature
Ethics And Architecture
Definitions Of Architecture
Assertions Of Architecture's Ethical Nature
An Architectural Example And Ethical Content
An Architectural Example
Ethical Content
A More In-Depth Look At Ethical Concepts
Four Principal Ethical Theories
Action Based Upon Consequences: Teleology and Utility
Acting from Moral Rules or Principles:
Virtue: Excellence
Contract Theory
Other Views On Ethics
Religious Morality
Ethical Egoism
Feminist Ethics
Continental Philosophy
Businesses, Professions, And Ethical Obligations
What Is A Profession?
Duty: Service and Trust
The Profession Of Architecture
Businesses, Professions, And Ethical Obligations
Architects and Business Ethics
Architects and Professional Ethics
Ethics And Architectural Practices
The Architecture/Ethics Nexus
Five Framing Lenses
The Lens of Architecture's Purposefulness and Social Benefit
The Lens of Material Production
The Lens of Aesthetics
The Lens of Architecture's Rhetoric and
The Lens of Praxis
An Application Example
Ethical Reasoning
Overview And Process
A Case Example: Environmental Sustainability, Ethics, And Policies That
Guide Architecture
Speculation and #4 Deliberation
Learning Objectives
A Closer Look At Being An Architect
A Selected History of the Profession:

The Process (Education/Internship/Licensure)
NCARB: Ethical Standards/State Laws
AIA: Code of Ethics and Professional Conduct
Alternative Roles
Professional Characteristics: Leadership
Community Responsibilities
Professional Development
A Closer Look At Making Architecture
Architecture Delivery Processes
Construction Delivery Options
Organization Issues
Management Responsibilities
Standard of Care
Risk Management
The Changing Client
A Closer Look At Doing Architecture Ethically
Professional Roles, Activities, and Ethical
Architectural Practice Phases; Societal and
Professional Ethical Considerations
Introduction To Choices
Learning Objectives
Making Ethical Judgments
Process for Ethical Reasoning
Learning Settings
Learning Exercises
Case Studies
Case Studies Organization/Matrix
Personal Choices
Public Service
Cultural Diversity and the Public Architect
The Client's House
The Mayor and the School Board
The Neighbor's House
The Master-Plan Study
Building Codes and City Projects
The Elusive Client
Employee Rights
Two Clients/One Project
The Real-Estate-Investment Project
Adaptive Reuse/Historic Preservation
Life Safety
The Fee Proposal
The Joint Venture
The Cash-Flow Bind
The Competition
Design Integrity
The Client's Project Manager
The University Architect
Building-Material Choices
The Building-Code Official
The Public-Bid Opening
The Private-Bid Opening
Construction Observation
Post-Occupancy Evaluation
Right of Confidentiality and the Public
Appendix I: NCARB Rules of Conduct: 1998
Appendix II: AIA Code of Ethics and
Professional Conduct:
Appendix III: Intern Development Program
Competencies and Ethical Considerations
Appendix IV: Architectural-Practice-Organization, Services
Delivery, and Ethical Considerations
Notes To The Text
Works Cited In The Notes
Works Recommended For Further Study
Additional Architectural References
Additional Information About The Photographs

Building Ideas: An Introduction to Architectural Theory by Jonathan A. Hale (Wiley) is an essential text for students of architecture and related disciplines, satisfying the demand for an accessible introduction to the major theoretical debates in contemporary architecture. Written in a lucid and user-friendly style, the book also acts as a guide and companion volume to the many primary theoretical texts recently made available in reprinted collections. Whilst architectural monographs, collections of building precedents and polemical manifestoes are growing more and more numerous, Building Ideas is the first book to provide an introduction to such a broad range of issues in architectural theory. This text therefore serves to fill a widening gap between the everyday practice of architecture and the often-bewildering field of academic theoretical debate.

Beginning with a general introduction to the field of architectural theory, covering the interface between philosophy and technology in the production and interpretation of buildings, the book presents the major theoretical positions in contemporary architecture through a series of thematically structured chapters. Each chapter deals with a specific approach to the theory and criticism of architecture by presenting a series of related buildings as illustrations of a key theoretical position, as well as setting this position in a cultural and historical context. Under the five broad headings of 'Architecture as Engineering - The Technological Revolution', 'Architecture as Art - Aesthetics in Philosophy', 'The Return of the Body - Phenomenology in Architecture', 'Systems of Communication - Structuralism and Semiotics' and 'Politics and Architecture - The Marxist Tradition', the book presents a wide but critical survey of the central questions in the current theoretical debate. Providing the theoretical tools necessary for an understanding of the history of philosophies and technologies in architecture, this book is essential reading for undergraduate architectural theory courses as well as a first point of reference for anyone wishing to understand the complex connections between architecture and related fields of cultural enquiry.


Introduction: Theoretical Practices
Part One: The Question of Meaning in Architecture
Chapter 1: Architecture as Engineering - The Technical Revolution (Rogers's Lloyds' Building)
Chapter 2: Architecture as Art - Aesthetics in Philosophy (Zaha Hadid's Vitra Fire Station)

Part Two: Models of Interpretation
Chapter 3: The Return of the Body - Phenomenology in Architecture (Louis Kahn's Salk Institute)
Chapter 4: Systems of Communication - Structuralism and Semiotics (Hertzberger's Music Centre)
Chapter 5: Politics and Architecture - The Marxist Tradition (Ralph Erskine's Byker Wall)
Conclusion: Towards a Critical Hermeneutics (Heidigger/Gadamer/Vattimo)

Illustration Credits

Louis I. Kahn: Unbuilt Masterworks by Kent Larson, Introduction by Vincent Scully, Afterword by William J. Mitchell

Louis I. Kahn: Unbuilt Masterworks will help in establishing some standard for presenting unbuilt works of architecture in the future. Larson has shows superb skill in computer rendering that reveals new vistas of Kahn's architecture. Scully’s introduction concentrate on the histrorical development of Kahn’s work While Mitchell’s provides some fine analysis of the structures and the reconstruction:

“I could have been a contender,” breathes Marlon Brando in the scene that everyone remembers from On the Waterfront. If things had gone differently at a crucial point in the past, then things would be very different now. The line evokes a poignant image of what might have been.
The beautiful computer-generated plates in this volume are more explicit. They actually show us, in photorealistic detail, what we would have had if some of the most compelling designs of Louis Kahn had been carried through to construction. They are a joy, but one tempered with regret. Kent Larson’s images reveal that these projects could have played a much more significant cultural role than they turned out to have. If they had been constructed, they could have been contenders.
It all came together. These hardware and software advances finally provided the tools that Kent Larson needed to bring his digital models miraculously to life. It took countless hours of computation, but the results are truly a revelation. On every page of this book, it is possible to see what might have been

American architect Louis I. Kahn left behind a legacy of great buildings: the Salk Institute in La Jolla, California; the Kimbell Art Museum in Fort Worth, Texas; and the Indian Institute for Management in Ahmedabad. Yet he also left behind an equally important legacy of designs that were never realized. This exceptional volume unites those unbuilt projects with the most advanced computer-graphics technology—the first fundamentally new tool for studying space since the development of perspective in the Renaissance—to create a beautiful and poignant vision of what might have been.

Author Kent Larson has delved deep into Kahn’s extensive archives to construct faithful computer models of a series of proposals the architect was not able to build: the U.S. Consulate in Luanda, Angola; the Meeting House of the Salk Institute in La Jolla; the Mikveh Israel Synagogue in Philadelphia; the Memorial to Six Million Jewish Martyrs in New York City; three proposals for the Hurva Synagogue in Jerusalem; and the Palazzo dei Congressi in Venice. The resulting computer-generated images present striking views of “real” buildings in “real” sites. Each detail is exquisitely rendered, from the interreflections of glass block to the shading of concrete to the patterns of sunlight and shadow.

Kahn’s famous statement “I thought of wrapping ruins around buildings” is borne out by the views of his unbuilt works; his rigorous exploration of tactility and sensation, light and form, is equally evident. Complementing the new computer images is extensive archival material—rough preliminary drawings, finely delineated plans, and beautiful travel sketches. Larson also presents fascinating documentation of each project, often including correspondence with the clients that shows not only the deep respect accorded the architect but the complicated circumstances that sometimes made it impossible to bring a design to fruition. Not only a historical study of Kahn’s unbuilt works, this volume is in itself an intriguing alternative history of architecture.


Vincent Scully
Unbuilt Ruins
U.S. Consulate, Luanda
Meeting House of the Salk Institute
Mikveh Israel Synagogue
Memorial to Six Million Jewish Martyrs
Hurva Synagogue, First Proposal
Hurva Synagogue, Second Proposal
Hurva Synagogue, Third Proposal
Palazzo dei Congressi
Afterword: Contenders
William J. Mitchell
Illustration Credits

Between Silence and Light: Spirit in the Architecture of Louis I. Kahn by John Lobell (Random House) Offers an introductory look at the aesthetics of Kahn and the elements of design as well as the use of space and form to create living space. As a good preamble to what architecture is about this volume is helpful.

 ARCHITECTURE OF SILENCE Cistercian Abbeys of France photographs by David Heald, introduction and historical notes by Terryl N. Kinder. (98 tritone photographs, 152 pages; Abrams)

The early Cistercian abbeys of France have long been revered for their harmoniously proportioned spaces and ethereal acoustics. Together with the great cathedrals, these remarkable medieval buildings embody the profound mastery of architecture that blossomed in 12th- and 13th-century France. Architecture of Silence is the first book in English devoted solely to these exquisite structures, which draw tens of thousands of visitors of all nationalities each year.

The power and beauty of these sacred buildings and ruins, renowned among architects and designers for their austere, almost minimal design and construction, come alive in David Heald's luminous tritone photographs. The text by Terryl N. Kinder, the world's leading scholar on the subject, offers a clear introduction to the history and architecture of the early Cistercian monks, who built the abbeys nearly 900 years ago.

 6, 000 Years of Housing written and illustrated by Norbert Schoenauer (Revised and Expanded Edition, Norton) This is an essential reference to anyone in the field of housing, beautifully illustrated in the hand of the author.

Part architecture, part history, and part anthropology, this encyclopedic book limns the rich story of housing around the world from the pre-urban dwellings of nomadic, semi-nomadic, and sedentary agricultural societies to the present. Ancient urban dwellings were inward-looking, ranged around a courtyard. Until fairly recently, these dwelling types survived in indigenous urban house forms in the Islamic world, India, China, and the Iberian peninsula and Latin America. After the collapse of the Roman Empire, however, outward-looking house forms replaced the ancient form in most of Europe and the New World.

In the MiddleAges houses served both as homes and as places of work, but gradually the domestic and business lives of the inhabitants became separate. In the wake of the Industrial Revolution, profound changes in the residential development of the western world occurred: housing became segregated along socioeconomic lines and dwelling types polarized, with low-density single-family houses at one extreme, and tall, high-density multifamily tenements and apartments at the other. Side effects of America's automobile-intensive suburban dream housing include inefficient land use, pollution, and urban decay. 6, 000 Years of Housing chronicles how this came about, and suggests solutions based on a rich variety of historical precedents.

 NORBERT SCHOENAUER, an architect and town planner, is William C. Macdonald Emeritus Professor of Architecture at McGill University. Born in Romania, he was educated in Hungary and Denmark before becoming a Canadian citizen. In addition to prizes in national architectural competitions, he is the recipient of the Medaille du Merite (1995) of the Quebec Order of Architects and the 1999 Distinguished Professor Award of the Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture. The author of numerous books and articles on housing, Professor Schoenauer lives in Montreal.

 Planning and Design Guide for Secure Adult and Juvenile Facilities edited by Leonard R. Witke, (ACA, American Correctional Association) With the explosive growth in the correctional population, the need for new facilities has grown exponentially. This book presents a variety of options and considerations regarding the design and construction of adult and juvenile correctional facilities.

The American Correctional Association (ACA) is proud to present this completely revised version of the 1983 Design Guide for Secure Adult Correctional Facilities and to include infor­mation relevant to juvenile facilities, as well. The more than fifty contributors to this volume exemplify what is special about our association. They represent a cross section of professionals -administrators, architects, engineers, builders, and programmers, who are working together to benefit the field of corrections. While there may be some philosophical differences among the contributors, these individuals came together to produce a book for ACA that is a landmark in the field.

One of the major purposes of this work is to allow all these types of individuals to talk with one another so the perspective of each can be enhanced and they can work together toward their common goal-building safe, secure, and humane correctional facilities. We hope everyone will read through the entire work, enjoying the excellent photographs and graphics, and learning more about the totality of what goes into a new facility. We urge those in adult corrections to read the sections concerning juvenile facilities because there may be ideas in these chapters that would be useful in their domains and vice versa. Similarly, the chapter discussing lessons learned from other countries provides a useful antidote to any provincialism of readers.

The ten sections of the book discuss the major aspects of planning and design considerations. The first section, "Planning, Design, Construction Process, and Issues" is the longest and sets the stage for the other sections. Section Two, "Inmate and Juvenile Housing," discusses special popu­lations, including housing for sexual predators who have completed their original sentences. The third section, "Inmate and Juvenile Services," describes several service areas from both adult and juvenile perspectives and offers those designing facilities a background that will provide useful questions to consider in their designs. Likewise, the fourth section, "Inmate and Juvenile Pro­grams," presents a description not only of such programs but of the spaces needed to house them.

The fifth section, "Administrative Functions," examines this area and presents a succinct chart on space needs. Section Six, "Service Facilities," discusses the underbelly of the institution whose neglect can be costly. Section Seven, "Security Features," describes the options and goals of such systems. Section Eight, "Opening a New Correctional Facility," fulfills a very important role in suggesting some procedures for preparing the facility and staff after the physical construction of the building has been completed. Section Nine looks at issues of privatization and provides some thoughtful considerations. In the conclusion, Len Witke, the book's editor, wraps up all the ideas and offers some perspective on the future.

Planning and Design Guide for Secure Adult and Juvenile Facilities was a monumental undertaking. Just as no one person has all the answers, so in collaboration with our colleagues, we gain stature and learn new approaches and methods that we may use. This is one of the goals of our association, providing individuals with an opportunity to network and learn from others, whether it is at our conferences, in our training workshops, or through our publications. We welcome the dialog and encourage our members to recruit others for membership so they, too, can grow with us.

 LE CORBUSIER’S FORMATIVE YEARS by H. Allen Brooks ($65.00, cloth, 514 pages, photos, color plates, notes, index, University of Chicago Press)

The early decades of Le Corbusier’s life and career have always remained elusive due to the absence of accurate documentation other than the architect’s own colorful and often carefully censored accounts. Only after the age of thirty-three, when Charles-Edouard Jeanneret assumed a pseudonym, did his activities become a matter of public record.

H. Allen Brooks, during twenty years of painstaking research, has unearthed an extraordinary wealth of letters, diaries, family records, school reports, and unpublished sketches and drawings that document, beginning from birth, every facet of the formative years of the twentieth-century’s most influential architect and urbanist. For the first time we learn what made Le Corbusier the person, and the designer, that he was.

LE CORBUSIER’S FORMATIVE YEARS examines, drawing on precise data, every aspect of Le Corbusier’s education from preschool through his training as a designer of ornamental watch cases and his early studies in decoration and architectural design. As a young man he traveled extensively, studying in Paris and Berlin before returning home to La Chaux-de-Fonds to teach and practice architecture, interior decoration, and furniture design. Finally, in 1917, he moved to Paris, where, after several unsuccessful years as an entrepreneur, he turned his talents to writing, painting, architecture, and urban design.

This meticulously documented and extensively illustrated biography is a pleasure to read and will long remain the definitive work in its field.

H. Allen Brooks is professor emeritus of the history of art at the University of Toronto and a past president of the Society of Architectural Historians. He is the author or editor of numerous books on Frank Lloyd Wright, the Prairie School, and Le Corbusier, including The Le Corbusier Archive, a thirty-two-volume set of the architect’s drawings.

A CRITIC WRITES: Essays by Reyner Banham edited by Mary Banham, Paul Barker, Sutherland Lyall, and Cedric Price ($39.95 cloth 351 pages, 32 b/w illustrations, notes, bibliography, index, University of California Press)

Few twentieth-century writers on architecture and design have enjoyed the renown of Reyner Banham. Born and trained in England and a U.S. resident starting in 1976, Banham wrote incisively about American and European buildings and culture. Now readers can enjoy a chronological cross-section of essays, polemics, and reviews drawn from more than three decades of Banham’s writings.

A CRITIC WRITES, which includes discussions of Italian Futurism, Adolf Loos, Paul Scneer Dart, among others also generally provides incisive accounts of the contemporary architecture by Frank Gehry, James Stirling, and Norman Foster. It conveys the full range of Banham’s belief in industrial and technological development as the motor of architectural evolution. Banham’s interests and passions ranged from architecture and the culture of pop art to urban and industrial design. In brilliant analyses of automobile styling, mobile homes, science fiction films, and the American predilection for gadgets, he anticipated many of the preoccupations of contemporary cultural studies. Los Angeles, the city that Banham commemorated in a book and a film, receives extensive attention in essays on the Santa Monica Pier, the Getty Museum, Forest Lawn cemetery, and the ubiquitous freeway system.

Readable, provocative, and entertaining, this book is certain to consolidate Banham’s reputation among architects and students of contemporary culture. For those acquainted with his writing, it offers welcome surprises as well as familiar delights. For those encountering Banham for the first time, it comprises the perfect introduction.

"Reyner Banham’s special skill was to take objects that we otherwise might take for granted and to open our eyes and minds to their visual and cultural associates. Unlike many historians he had an ‘eye’ and this came through in his writings. He was also a popularizer—ahead of his time. These perspectives are every bit as relevant now as they were in the past." —Sir Norman Foster, Foster Associates

Reyner Banham (1922-1988) was Sheldon H. Solow Professor of the History of Architecture at the Institute of Fine Arts, New York University, and Professor of Art History at the University of California, Santa Cruz. His many books include Los Angeles: The Architecture of Four Ecologies (1973), Theory and Design in the First Machine Age (1980), and A Concrete Atlantis: U.S. Industrial Building and European Modern Architecture (1986).

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