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Steen Eiler Rasmussen

Steen Eiler Rasmussen was Professor of Architecture at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Copenhagen and Visiting Professor at M.I.T., Yale, Pennsylvania, and the University of California, Berkeley, and lectured widely at universities in Europe and the United States. He was author of London: The Unique City, called "the best book on London as a town,” and other books.

Titles by This Author

The Unique City

This study of London and of English social history and manners traces the city's growth from its original walls, emphasizing how the lives of its people shaped the character of the city. Since its first publication in 1934, the book has become a minor classic on the subject. This revised edition contains a new chapter, "Forty Years After: An Essay on London New Towns," in which Rasmussen describes the New London as a continuation and perfection of the special pattern of the 17th and 18th centuries which made it so completely different from other continental cities planned during that period. There are also some new views on historic London, an account of the old English system of measures that was basic to residential London's original layout, and additional illustrations.

Profusely illustrated with fine instances of architectural experimentation through the centuries, Experiencing Architecture manages to convey the intellectual excitement of superb design. From teacups, riding boots, golf balls, and underwater sculpture to the villas of Palladio and the fish-feeding pavilion of the Peking Winter Palace, the author ranges over the less-familiar byways of designing excellence. At one time, writes Rasmussen, "the entire community took part in forming the dwellings and implements they used. The individual was in fruitful contact with these things; the anonymous houses were built with a natural feeling for place, materials and use and the result was a remarkably suitable comeliness. Today, in our highly civilized society, the houses which ordinary people are doomed to live in and gaze upon are on the whole without quality. We cannot, however, go back to the old method of personally supervised handicrafts. We must strive to advance by arousing interest in and understanding of the work the architect does. The basis of competent professionalism is a sympathetic and knowledgeable group of amateurs, of non-professional art lovers."