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The Idea of Design is an anthology of essays that addresses the nature and practice of product design and graphic design in the contemporary world. The essays, selected from volumes 4-9 of the international journal Design Issues, focus on three themes: reflection on the nature of design, the meaning of products, and the place of design in world culture. The authors are distinguished scholars, historians, designers, and design educators. The diversity of their work illustrates the pluralistic and interdisciplinary dimensions of the idea of design in contemporary culture.

Contributors:
Rudolf Arnheim, S. Balaram, Richard Buchanan, A. Cheng, Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, Yves Deforge, Clive Dilnot, Alain Findeli, Jorge Frascara, Tony Fry, Rajeswari Ghose, Takuo Hirano, Martin Krampen, Laus Krippendorf, Tomas Maldonado, Victor Margolin, Abraham Moles, Victor Papanek, Gert Selle, Ann Tyler, Barbara Usherwood.

A Design Issues Reader

Essays in the Modern Unhomely

The Architectural Uncanny presents an engaging and original series of meditations on issues and figures that are at the heart of the most pressing debates surrounding architecture today. Anthony Vidler interprets contemporary buildings and projects in light of the resurgent interest in the uncanny as a metaphor for a fundamentally "unhomely" modern condition. The essays are at once historical and theoretical, opening up the complex and difficult relationships between politics, social thought, and architectural design in an era when the reality of homelessness and the idealism of the neo-avant-garde have never seemed so far apart.

This is an entirely different garden book: a pattern book in which a score of landscapes and gardens are drawn, described, and analyzed not just as a bouquet of pleasures but as sources, lodes to be mined for materials, shapes and relationships, and ideas for transforming our own backyards.

Charles W. Moore, one of America's best-known architects, is O'Neil Ford Professor of Architecture at the University of Texas at Austin. William J. Mitchell is Dean of the School of Architecture and Planning, and Professor of Architecture and Media Arts and Sciences at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. William Turnbull, Jr., is Principal of William Turnbull Associates, San Francisco.

The Story of Practice

Although architecture is the fastest-growing profession in America, its private context remains shrouded in myth. In this book, Dana Cuff delves into the architect's everyday work world to uncover an intricate social art of design. The result is a new portrait of the profession that sheds light on what it means to become an architect, how design problems are construed and resolved, how clients and architects negotiate, and how design excellence is achieved.

Dana Cuff has taught as a social scientist among architects and as an architect among social scientists. Her participant/observer studies for this book, carried out over the past decade, involved more than 200 individuals representing 80 different firms. She is Associate Professor of Architecture and Planning at the University of Southern California.

Gardens reveal the relationship between culture and nature, yet in the vast library of garden literature few books focus on what the garden means - on the ecology of garden as idea, place, and action. The Meaning of Gardens maps out how the garden is perceived, designed, used, and valued. Essays from a variety of disciplines are organized around six metaphors special to our time - the garden muses of Faith, Power, Ordering, Cultural Expression, Personal Expression, and Healing. Each muse suggests specific inspirations for garden and landscape design.

De Re Aedificatoria, by Leon Battista Alberti (1404-1472), was the first modern treatise on the theory and practice of architecture. Its importance for the subsequent history of architecture is incalculable, yet this is the first English translation based on the original, exceptionally eloquent Latin text on which Alberti's reputation as a theorist is founded.

How America Rebuilds Cities

Our cities are on the move again. Pioneering observers of the urban landscape Bernard Frieden and Lynn Sagalyn delve into the inner workings of the new public entrepreneurship and public private partnerships that have revitalized the downtowns of such cities as Boston, San Diego, Seattle, St. Paul, and Pasadena. They bring a unique combination of political and economic expertise to their analysis of this hot new marketplace, depicting a generation of mayors and administrators who differ in style from their predecessors and who have a more informed relationship with developers.

Downtown Inc. is a progress report on what has happened to our cities in the second half of this century, documenting new directions and more productive strategies for rebuilding downtown. Frieden and Sagalyn take a close look at the retail industry and illustrate how, in cities across the country, maverick developers and enterprising mayors found creative solutions to the problems presented by conservative lenders, political controversy, and shrinking Federal subsidies.

Substantial studies of four big city malls - Faneuil Hall Marketplace in Boston, Town Square in St. Paul, the Pike Place Market in Seattle, and Horton Plaza in San Diego - show in detail what it takes to succeed: a free wheeling entrepreneurial style, flexible deals, financing on the go, and design plans that change as needed. They also highlight the inventive designs that fit these projects into crowded downtowns, attracting record crowds to their doors, and show conversely how conflicts over Columbus Circle, Times Square, and Bryant Park in New York embody the problems that cities must overcome when they try to combine private profit with civic purpose.

Downtown Inc. surveys the results to date to see if there is a real agenda for downtown in the mix of convention centers, malls, stadiums, hotels, and promotional events. Besides the obvious successes of bringing in money and reversing decay in urban centers, Frieden and Sagalyn document the emergence of new downtown economies in New York, Pittsburgh, and other cities as major job centers for a broad cross section of people.

In Design Thinking Peter Rowe provides a systematic account of the process of designing in architecture and urban planning. He examines multiple and often dissimilar theoretical positions whether they prescribe forms or simply provide procedures for solving problems - as particular manifestations of an underlying structure of inquiry common to all designing. Over 100 illustrations and a number of detailed observations of designers in action support Rowe's thesis.

A Multidisciplinary Approach

Understanding Buildings provides students in architecture and other allied disciplines with a basic introduction to building technology in all its aspects. This general, multidisciplinary text provides an overall explanation of the building process through an examination of underlying principles as well as design examples.

In seven chapters, each with a short introduction, the book discusses structure, enclosure, climate services, utility services, lighting, acoustics, fire safety, and future needs. It is generously illustrated with 400 diagrams, tables, charts, and construction details.

The Poetics of Order

This fascinating introduction to classical art and architecture is the first book to investigate the way classical buildings are put together as formal structures. It researches the generative rules, the poetics of composition that classical architecture shares with classical music, poetry, and drama, and is enriched by a variety of examples and an extensive analysis of compositional rules. The 205 line drawings make up a discourse of their own, a pictorial text that serves as an introductory theory of composition or basic design aid.

Drawing from Vitruvius, the poetics of Aristotle, the theories of classical architecture, music, and poetry since the Renaissance, and the poetics of the Russian formalists, the authors present classical architecture as a coherent system of architectural thinking that is capable of producing a tragic humanistic discourse, a public art with critical, moral, and philosophical meaning.

Alexander Tzonis is Crown Professor of Architectural Theory and Methodology at the Technische Hogeschool, Delft. Liane Lefaivre teaches at the Akademie voor Beeldende Kunsten in Arnhem.

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