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CRITICAL SPATIAL PRACTICE 4

Subtraction

Keller Easterling

Edited by Nikolaus Hirsch, Markus Miessen.

Featuring artwork by Metahaven.

Unbuilding is the other half of building. Buildings, treated as currency, rapidly inflate and deflate in volatile financial markets. Cities expand and shrink; whether through the violence of planning utopias or war, they are also targets of urbicide. Repeatable spatial products quickly make new construction obsolete; the powerful bulldoze the disenfranchised; buildings can radiate negative real estate values and cause their surroundings to topple to the ground. Demolition has even become a spectacular entertainment.

Keller Easterling’s volume in the Critical Spatial Practice series analyzes the urgency of building subtraction. Often treated as failure or loss, subtraction—when accepted as part of an exchange—can be growth. All over the world, sprawl and overdevelopment have attracted distended or failed markets and exhausted special landscapes. However, in failure, buildings can create their own alternative markets of durable spatial variables that can be managed and traded by citizens and cities rather than the global financial industry.

These ebbs and flows—the appearance and disappearance of building—can be designed. Architects—trained to make the building machine lurch forward—may know something about how to put it into reverse.

Design by Zak Group

STERNBERG PRESS, BERLIN
May 2014, Softcover
4 1/4 x 6 inches, 112 pages, 9 color and 6 b&w
ISBN: 978-3-95679-046-1 · Retail Price: $22.00

Suburban Ark

Duzan Doepel, Ton Matton and Wim Timmermans
Episode Publishers, The Netherlands
2007, Softcover, 6 x 8 1/4 inches
80 pp, 100 color reproductions
ISBN: 90-5973-038-0 · Retail Price: $36.00

Tacit Urbanism

Hawkers and The Production of Space in Everyday Kolkata

Christopher Dell

A much-overlooked aspect of urbanism is the complex tapestry of how public spaces are appropriated by micro-businesses, and the ways this affects city life. In this engrossing little paperback, Hamburg-based architectural theorist Christopher Dell looks at the vibrant community of hawkers on the streets of Kolkata (formerly known as Calcutta). “Modernism has passed the concept of determined planning, and postmodernism has passed the concept of chaotic fragmentation down to us,” writes Dell. “Can’t we try to learn from hawking how to enable the urban to perform better?” Charming color photos feature food vendors, open-air restaurants and enterprises like laundries and hairdressers, and the temporary and permanent sidewalk structures that house them.

Post Editions, The Netherlands
January 2010 / Softcover / 5.25 x 8.25 inches / 148 pp / 170 color
ISBN: 978-94-6083-006-8 · Retail Price: $29.95

THE WONDERFUL WORLD OF VENHOEVEN CS ARCHITECTS

This is the first monograph of the Amsterdam architecture firm Venhoeven CS, an ambitious and innovative office for architecture and urbanism. Their remarkable designs propose different ways in which people, animals and things can live together within a limited space. VenhoevenCS has a desire to create sustainable solutions, not only in a ecological sense, but also in the sense that buildings are not emotionally disposable, and therefore have longevity. In the world of this cutting-edge firm, a building can look like a village, hangar, animal, machine, spaceship or cave; it can have a patterned or textured skin; contain homelike or adventurous spaces. Any reader interested in the future of architecture will find this book essential.

Episode Publishers, The Netherlands
2009 / Softcover / 6 1/2 x 9 inches / 296 pp / extensive color
ISBN: 978-90-5973-073-1 · Retail Price: $59.95

TRANSITIONAL MOMENTS

Marcel Breuer, W. C. Vaughan & Co. and the Bauhaus In America

Robert Wiesenberger

Architect Marcel Breuer’s “House in the Museum Garden,” now considered one of the most influential architecture exhibitions of the 20th century, was commissioned by the Museum of Modern Art and built in their garden in 1949. Exhibited to record attendance, the house featured the updated Bauhaus prescriptions for modern living—an airy, informal combination living room / dining room and a pass-through kitchen—and was intended to inspire the future of American housing. The project featured custom hardware produced by W. C. Vaughan in collaboration with Breuer, which included everything from mahogany door knobs to cabinet hinges. Vaughan also supplied hardware for Breuer’s iconic Frank House, the Geller House, Breuer’s own houses in Massachusetts and Connecticut plus houses by Walter Gropius, Philip Johnson and other modernist masters. An essay by historian Robert Wiesenberger, historical black-and-white and color photographs by Ezra Stoller plus shop drawings by Vaughan of the hardware complete this deeply engaging and important architectural publication.

AUGUST EDITIONS, NEW YORK
December 2016 / Hardcover
11 x 8 ½ in. / 144 pp
50 b&w and 50 color
ISBN: 978-0-9859958-6-7 · Retail Price: $45.00

Universal Versus Individual

The Architecture of the 1960’s

Pekka Korvanmaa and Esa Laaksonen
Alvar Aalto Academy, Finland
2004, Softcover, 81/2 x 81/2 inches
147 pp, extensive b&w and color reproductions
ISBN: 978-952-5371-15-4 · Retail Price: $69.95

URBANIZED DELTAS IN TRANSLATION

Han Meyer & Steffen N ijhuis (Eds.)

Extremely vulnerable to flooding, erosion, and silting of ports, urbanized deltas must respond to the increasing imbalances caused by climate change. Part of the Delta Urbanism research program at Delft University of Technology, this important and informative publication addresses the many challenges facing the world’s coastal cities and deltaic regions. E ight international urban deltas—the Parana Delta in Argentina, Mekong Delta in Vietnam, the Rhine-Meuse-Scheldt Delta in the N etherlands, Germany’s E lbe E stuary and Portugal’s Tagus E stuary, the Venetian Lagoon in Italy and Galveston Bay and the Mississippi River Delta in the USA—are compared using GIS (Geographic Information Systems) maps and discussed by an international group of urban researchers and designers. In this compendium, they examine the societal developments and climate issues that lead to conflicting land use claims and offer proposals for ways to enhance the adaptability of these vital regions towards their long-term survival.

JAP SAM BOOKS, THE NETHERLANDS
January 2015 / Softcover
9 1/2 x 13 1/2 inches
104 pp / 23 b&w and 164 color
ISBN: 978-90-8594-054-8 · Retail Price: $48.00
 

WAFU-RETREATS

The Modern Classics of Japanese Resort Architecture

Editions Treville, Japan
2000, English and Japanese text
Hardcover, 1012 x 10 inches
144 pp, 145 color reproductions
ISBN: 4-309-90367-3 · Retail Price: $67.00

WALLS THAT TEACH

On the Architecture of Youth Centres

Susanne Pietsch & Andreas Müller (Eds.)

At the inaugural festivities of the Moscow Palace of Young Pioneers in 1962, a Soviet news agency enthusiastically reported, “In this house, the walls will teach!” Propagandistic, yes, but this prescriptive attitude about the potential of architecture to shape modern life was implicit in much of the architecture of the 20th century. This collection of 12 essays and 24 case studies from leading architects and academics examines the architecture and programming of mid-century youth centers across Europe, from Utrecht to Manchester. The organization of these centers around leisure activities partially concealed their educational (and ultimately political) goals: their pedagogical power could be found not only in their physical design, but also in the way they were used and inhabited by the children themselves. Contributors include Tom Avermaete, Peter Blundell Jones, Jennifer Mack, Susan Reid, Sue Robertson, Piet Vollaard and many others.

JAP SAM BOOKS, THE NETHERLANDS
DELFT UNIVERSITY OF TECHNOLOGY, THE NETHERLANDS
October 2014 /Softcover
8 1/2 x 10 3/4 inches / 176 pp / 48 b&w and 32 color
ISBN: 978-94-90322-42-7 · Retail Price: $55.00

Who’s Afraid of Niketown?

Nike-Urbanism, Branding and the City of Tomorrow

Friedrich von Borries
Episode Publishers, The Netherlands
2004, Softcover, 6 x 75/8 inches
104 pp, text with 6 color reproductions
ISBN: 90-5973-014-3 · Retail Price: $39.95