Experiencing Architecture, Second Edition
Widely regarded as a classic in the field, Experiencing Architecture explores the history and promise of good design. Generously illustrated with historical examples of designing excellence—ranging from teacups, riding boots, and golf balls to the villas of Palladio and the fish-feeding pavilion of Beijing’s Winter Palace—Rasmussen’s accessible guide invites us to appreciate architecture not only as a profession, but as an art that shapes everyday experience.
In the past, Rasmussen argues, architecture was not just an individual pursuit, but a community undertaking. Dwellings were built with a natural feeling for place, materials and use, resulting in “a remarkably suitable comeliness.” While we cannot return to a former age, Rasmussen notes, we can still design spaces that are beautiful and useful by seeking to understand architecture as an art form that must be experienced. An understanding of good design comes not only from one’s professional experience of architecture as an abstract, individual pursuit, but also from one’s shared, everyday experience of architecture in real time—its particular use of light, color, shape, scale, texture, rhythm and sound.
Experiencing Architecture reminds us of what good architectural design has accomplished over time, what it can accomplish still, and why it is worth pursuing. Wide-ranging and approachable, it is for anyone who has ever wondered “what instrument the architect plays on.”
About the Author
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.
“A book of great charm and broad understanding.”—Architectural Forum
“...so lucid and clear that every layman and beginner will be able to understand and to enjoy it.”—Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism