Landscapes, Highways, and Houses in America
216 pp., 7 x 9 in,
- Published: December 6, 1999
- Published: August 24, 2001
Bridging the gap between architecture and infrastructure, Easterling views architecture as part of an ecology of interrelationships and linkages, and she treats the expression of organizational character as part of the architectural endeavor.
The dominant architectures in our culture of development consist of generic protocols for building offices, airports, houses, and highways. For Keller Easterling these organizational formats are not merely the context of design efforts—they are the design. Bridging the gap between architecture and infrastructure, Easterling views architecture as part of an ecology of interrelationships and linkages, and she treats the expression of organizational character as part of the architectural endeavor.
Easterling also makes the case that these organizational formats are improvisational and responsive to circumstantial change, to mistakes, anomalies, and seemingly illogical market forces. By treating these irregularities opportunistically, she offers architects working within the customary development protocols new sites for making and altering space.
By showing the reciprocal relations between systems of thinking and modes of designing, Easterling establishes unexpected congruencies between natural and built environments, virtual and physical systems, highway and communication networks, and corporate and spatial organizations. She frames her unconventional notion of site not in terms of singular entities, but in terms of relationships between multiple sites that are both individually and collectively adjustable.
In its innovations of form, its depth of research, its acute analysis, and its enormous relevance, this is a remarkable work. Keller Easterling has written one of the most original works about the American environment I've ever read.
Michael Sorkin, architect, Institute for Urbanism, Vienna
Easterling's study revisits material which has for two long ignored or forgotten relative to the postwar transformation of American settlement pattern and infrastructure. She breaks new ground in providing an invaluable critical understanding of the significance of this period. Embedded in her analysis are important implications for the mastery of new design technologies at the urban and regional scales.
Richard Plunz, Director, Urban Design Program, Columbia University