Summer Reading

A selection of recent and upcoming books, from our desks (or lawn chairs) to yours.

SuggestED BY Readers, COMPILED BY The Editors, Written by Casey Romaine

David Rockwell with Bruce Mau, edited by Sam Lubell | Phaidon
Drawing on David Rockwell’s passion for theater, Drama illuminates the architect’s work by diving into the principles that guide it. Striking photographs are accompanied by words from creatives working across a spectrum of professions, all contributing to an interdisciplinary celebration of design and experience.
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The Future of Modular Architecture
David Wallance | Routledge
Making a case for the manufacturing and global mass-distribution of modular housing, David Wallance argues that existing systems can be leveraged to deliver affordable housing on a global scale. Addressing issues of globalization, equitable urbanism, and sustainable development, Wallance posits a near future marked by radical change in the way cities are designed and built.
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Buildings in Print: 100 Influential & Inspiring Illustrated Architecture Books
John Hill | Prestel
Stemming from his long-running influential blog A Daily Dose of Architecture, which pivoted to focus on architecture books in 2019, John Hill curates a thoughtfully selected list of architectural works spanning genres and time periods. From Le Corbusier to Beatriz Colomina, the books are organized in categories such as Manifestos, Housing, and Monographs, and include Hill’s perceptive personal takes on the relevance of each title, alongside cover images and excerpts.
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Hip-Hop Architecture
Sekou Cooke | Bloomsbury Visual Arts
Architect and educator Sekou Cooke explores the relationship between architecture and cultural expressions of hip-hop, expanding the theory and philosophy through which the built environment is viewed. Through the lens of hip-hop, Cooke presents a declaration for underrepresented and marginalized voices within the field. Illustrated by case studies and interviews with architects, designers, and academics, the book places hip-hop architecture within a broader historical context while also looking to its future.
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Moving to Higher Ground
John Englander | Science Bookshelf
The realities of climate change and sea-level rise are unstoppable and daunting, but author and oceanographer John Englander presents a path forward: accept these inevitable changes and plan for a future of rising temperatures and seas. Steering clear of political agenda, Englander uses facts to explore how excess heat becomes stored in Earth’s oceans, thus contributing to severe weather and climate change, while providing practical insight into how to adapt to our changing planet.
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Architecture for Teens
Danielle Willkens, Associate AIA, FRSA, LEED AP BD+C | Rockridge Press
Blending architectural history with useful information about careers within the field, Architecture for Teens is an engaging, enlightening work for young adults interested in pursuing the profession. Accompanied by colorful illustrations, the book also tackles issues of sustainability and inclusion, and uncovers the design processes through detailed, real-world examples.
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Architecture is a Verb
Sarah Robinson | Routledge
Sarah Robinson views architecture as a practice in symbiosis with the human experience, and her new book presents a fundamentally altered take on the process of designing and interacting with the built environment. Using her own taxonomy, Robinson explores the relationship between the human mind and body and the buildings we occupy.
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The Advanced School of Collective Feeling
Nile Greenberg, Matthew Kennedy | Park Books
Considering the often overlooked influence of sport on architecture during the 1920s and ’30s, authors Matthew Kennedy and Nile Greenberg piece together both archival materials and redrawn plans by architects like Marcel Breuer and Richard Neutra to articulate the relationship between physical culture and the design of modern domestic spaces.
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Contextualizing Light
Abhay M Wadhwa | ORO Editions
Through 18 essays and innovative research, using examples from more than 80 projects around the world over the last 18 years, Abhay M Wadhwa explores a holistic approach to lighting design solutions, with an attention to health and wellness. Highlighting a historical lack of consideration to the context of culture and place, Wadhwa offers a thoughtful perspective on the possibilities of lighting globally.
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Sigurd Lewerentz: Architect of Death and Life
Edited and with texts by Kieran Long, Johan Örn, and Mikael Andersson | Park Books
One of Sweden’s most revered modernists, Sigurd Lewerentz has proved to be increasingly influential among architects since his death in 1975. This monograph is based on extensive research undertaken at ArkDes, Sweden’s national center for architecture and design, where Lewerentz’s archive and personal library are kept. Inside are never-before-published drawings and sketches, designs for furniture and interiors, model photographs, and more from his estate, as well as new photographs of his realized buildings. Essays by leading experts discuss Lewerentz’s life, work, legacy, and lasting significance from a contemporary perspective.
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Geo Bio Miami
Laurinda Spear | Architectura & Natura Publishers and Authors
Based in Miami, Laurinda Spear is an architect, landscape architect, and co-founder of ArquitectonicaGEO, through which she explores sustainable design principles in landscape architecture, master planning, and urban design. Geo Bio Miami presents an overview of the various issues and topics addressed by the practice—including green infrastructure, climate change, and stormwater management—and examines the value that landscape architecture brings to a project. Designed by Irma Boom, the book takes shape as a dense collage of projects, sketches, bright colors, and insightful analyses, and also features an introduction by landscape architect Charles Birnbaum.
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No Compromise: The Work of Florence Knoll
Ana Araujo | Princeton Architectural Press
Florence Knoll invented the visual language of the modern office through her groundbreaking interiors and the creation of the acclaimed “Knoll Look,” which remains a standard for interior design today. Although Knoll’s motto was “no compromise, ever,” as a woman in a white, upper-middle-class, male-dominated environment, she often had to make accommodations to gain respect from her colleagues, clients, and collaborators. No Compromise looks at Knoll’s extraordinary career in close-up, from her student days to her professional accomplishments.
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The Invention of Public Space: Designing for Inclusion in Lindsay’s New York
Mariana Mogilevich | University of Minnesota Press
Mariana Mogilevich details a watershed moment when designers, government administrators, and residents sought to remake New York City in the image of a diverse, free, and democratic society. Combining psychology, politics, and design, she uncovers a critical moment of transformation in understanding city life and reveals the emergence of a concept of public space that remains a powerful aspiration.
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The Floating Pool Lady: A Quest to Bring a Public Pool to New York City’s Waterfront
Ann L. Buttenwieser | Cornell University Press
Ann L. Buttenwieser recounts her triumphant adventure that started in the bayous of Louisiana and ended with a self-sustaining, floating swimming pool moored in New York Harbor. Throughout The Floating Pool Lady, Buttenwieser raises consciousness about persistent environmental issues and the challenges of developing a constituency for projects to make cities livable in the 21st century. Her story and that of her floating pool function as both warning and inspiration to those who dare to dream of realizing innovative public projects in the modern urban landscape.
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Architecture: From Prehistory to Climate Emergency
Barnabas Calder | Pelican Books
In this expansive history of architecture told through the relationship between buildings and energy, Calder reveals how every building—from the Parthenon to the Great Mosque of Damascus to a typical Georgian house—was influenced by the energy available to its architects, and why this matters. Today 40% of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions come from the construction and running of buildings. If the world is to avoid catastrophic climate change, we need intelligent architecture as well as architects determined to retrofit rather than demolish the buildings we already have.
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Antarctic Resolution
Edited by Giulia Foscari / UNLESS | Lars Müller Publishers
The Antarctic, which makes up 10% of planet Earth’s land mass, provides crucial information for future environmental policies, and, at the same time, is the greatest possible menace to global coastal settlements when sea levels rise because of global warming. Antarctic Resolution presents a holistic study of the continent’s unique geography, unparalleled scientific potential, contemporary geopolitical significance, experimental governance system, and extreme inhabitation model. A transnational network of multidisciplinary polar experts—represented in the form of authored texts, photographic essays, and data-based visual portfolios—reveals the intricate web of growing economic and strategic interests, tensions, and international rivalries of our darkest continent.
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Daddy Wouldn’t Buy Me A Bauhaus
As a writer for London-based Blueprint magazine in the 1980s, Janet Abrams sat down with now-legendary figures like Rem Koolhaas and Peter Eisenman, just before they were household names (that is, in houses inhabited by architects). In her interview-based profiles, a format she preferred to the artificially “neutral” Q&A, Abrams powers of observation and judicious argumentation yield crackling feature-length conversations with not only architects but designers from all corners. This collection spans three decades of writing (for a variety of publications), and includes profiles with Reyner Banham, Berthold Lubetkin, Philip Johnson, Phyllis Lambert, Frank Gehry; graphic designers Paul Rand and Muriel Cooper; and industrial revolutionaries like a youthful Michael Bloomberg. Deyan Sudjic, Blueprint's founding editor, contributes the foreword.
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Fall Preview

Breuer’s Bohemia: The Architect, His Circle, and Midcentury Houses in New England
James Crump | Monacelli (September 2021)
A period of Mid-century Modern design and culture as seen through the influential New England houses designed by Marcel Breuer for his circle of clients and friends.
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Peter Marino: The Architecture of Chanel
Peter Marino, with an introduction by Pilar Viladas | Phaidon (October 2021)
A celebration of the creative intersection between the architecture of Peter Marino and the aesthetic of Chanel.
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Creative Acts for Curious People: How to Think, Create, and Lead in Unconventional Ways
Sarah Stein Greenberg | Ten Speed Press (September 2021)
Diverse perspectives on how to tackle ambitious projects, developed for Stanford University’s world-renowned Hasso Plattner Institute of Design, aka “the d.school.”
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Justin Beal | The MIT Press (September 2021)
An account of the life and work of the architect Minoru Yamasaki, which leads the author to consider how (and for whom) architectural history is written.
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Once More to the Sky: The Rebuilding of the World Trade Center
Scott Raab and Joe Woolhead | Simon & Schuster (September 2021)
A collection of features detailing the rebuilding of One World Trade Center after the 9/11 attacks, paired with never-before-seen photos by the official World Trade Center photographer, Joe Woolhead.
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