A Story of Machines and Architecture
A vision of architecture that includes sculpture, machines, and technology and encapsulates the history of the human species.
According to Paul Shepheard, architecture is the rearranging of the world for human purposes. Sculpture, machines, and landscapes are all architecture-every bit as much as buildings are. In his writings, Shepheard examines old assumptions about architecture and replaces the critical theory of the academic with the active theory of the architect-citizen enamored of the world around him.
Artificial Love weaves together three stories about architecture into one. The first, about machines as architecture, leads to speculations about technology and the human condition and to the assertion that machines are the sculptures of today. The second story is about the ways that architecture reflects the tribal and personal desires of those who make it. In the West, ideas of community, multiculturalism, and globalization compete furiously, leaving architecture to exist as it always has, as the past in the present. The third story features individual people experiencing their lives in the context of architecture. Here, Shepheard borrows the rhetorical device of Shakespeare's seven ages of man to propose that each person's life imitates the accumulating history of the human species. Shepheard's version of the history of humans is a technological one, in which machines become sculpture and sculpture becomes architecture. For Shepheard, our machines do not separate us from nature. Rather, our technology is our nature, and we cannot but be in harmony with nature. The change that we have wrought in the world, he says, is a wonderful and powerful thing.
As if Plato and Kerouac had written an encyclopedia of technology, Shepheard's bristling hypertext intellect conjures a magical world of machinic monsters—effortless, insightful and consistently inspiring. A spectacular collage of autobiography, technical manual, philosophical dialogue and literary anthology.
Jonathan Hale, Institute of Architecture, Nottingham University
Half fantasy, half fact, Artificial Love is a brilliant collage of architectronics, bomb-dropping planes, robots on Mars, and video car games. Shepheard propels us into a landscape of careening technologies, revealing the deep techno-emotional bonds that define our lives.
Larry Wayne Richards, Dean, Faculty of Architecture, Landscape, and Design, University of Toronto
A book that challenges the reader to reconsider deeply his relationship to the built world.
'A whopper, hash browns, and a chocolate shake' (slogan of defiance).... If you loved S, M, L, XL, you"ll want this club sandwich of a book, in which Shepheard follows Rem Kolhaas and Reyner Banham where even they have not dared to go. Paul Shepheard is once again hard at work defining architecture and the built, or functioning, environment, all sodium-lit with blotches of turquoise-ridden Texas sunsets!
David B. Stewart
Tokyo Institute of Technology
Shepheard is that very rare thing - an architect who can write, beautifully.
Shepheard seamlessly meshes Shakespeare, Greek mythology, the tale of the origins of Islam and stories from his own life.
The Architects' Journal
Unlike many such books on design, Shepheard's is accessible and entertaining.