Hilary Sample

Hilary Sample is a Principal at MOS, Associate Professor at Columbia University's Graduate School of Architecture Planning, and Preservation, and author of Maintenance Architecture (MIT Press).

  • An Unfinished Encyclopedia of Scale Figures without Architecture

    An Unfinished Encyclopedia of Scale Figures without Architecture

    Michael Meredith, Hilary Sample, and MOS

    More than 1,000 representations of the human figure in architectural drawings by architects ranging from Aalto to Zumthor, removed from their architectural context.

    Michael Meredith, Hilary Sample, and MOS present their rich findings on the human presence in architectural drawings not in any chronological or other linear order, but based on the convention of the encyclopedia, thus presenting (and perhaps deliberately condoning) surprise encounters made possible by the contingency created by alphabetical order.…. From the contemporary perspective of a pluralistic world, the form of the encyclopedia may be particularly apt to represent such a vast body of material as is presented here: defying any linear historical account or master narrative, it invites the reader to construct his or her own readings of the material by establishing relationships between individual drawings.—From the foreword by Martino Stierli

    Throughout history, across radically different movements in Western culture, the human figure appears and reappears, in multiple guises, to remind us, the observers, of architectural purpose and of our mutual position in the world.…This encyclopedia has enlarged or reduced all figures to the same approximate scale. Meredith, Sample, and MOS have gathered them here in an unprecedented, intoxicating way, like being at a fabulous party.—From the afterword by Raymund Ryan

    Architects draw buildings, and the buildings they draw are usually populated by representations of the human figure—drawn, copied, collaged, or inserted—most often to suggest scale. It is impossible to represent architecture without representing the human form. This book collects more than 1,000 scale figures by 250 architects but presents them in a completely unexpected way: it removes them from their architectural context, displaying them on the page, buildingless, giving them lives of their own. They are presented not thematically or chronologically but encyclopedically, alphabetically by architect (Aalto to Zumthor). In serendipitous juxtapositions, the autonomous human figures appear and reappear, displaying endless variations of architecturally rendered human forms.

    Some architects' figures are casually srcawled; others are drawn carefully by hand or manipulated by Photoshop; some are collaged and pasted, others rendered in charcoal or watercolors. Leon Battista Alberti presents a trident-bearing god; the Ant Farm architecture group provides a naked John and Yoko; Archigram supplies its Air Hab Village with a photograph of a happy family. Without their architectural surroundings, the scale figures present themselves as architecture's refugees. They are the necessary but often overlooked reference points that give character to spaces imagined for but not yet occupied by humans. Here, they constitute a unique sourcebook and an architectural citizenry of their own.

    • Hardcover $85.00 £66.00
  • Maintenance Architecture

    Maintenance Architecture

    Hilary Sample

    An inventive examination of a crucial but neglected aspect of architecture, by an architect writing to architects.

    Maintenance plays a crucial role in the production and endurance of architecture, yet architects for the most part treat maintenance with indifference. The discipline of architecture values the image of the new over the lived-in, the photogenic empty and stark building over a messy and labored one. But the fact is: homes need to be cleaned and buildings and cities need to be maintained, and architecture no matter its form cannot escape from such realities. In Maintenance Architecture, Hilary Sample offers an inventive examination of the architectural significance of maintenance through a series of short texts and images about specific buildings, materials, and projects. Although architects have seldom choose to represent maintenance—imagining their work only from conception to realization—artists have long explored subjects of endurance and permanence in iconic architecture. Sample explores a range of art projects—by artists including Gordon Matta-Clark, Jeff Wall, and Mierle Laderman Ukeles—to recast the problem of maintenance for architecture. How might architectural design and discourse change as a building cycle expands to include “post-occupancy”?

    Sample looks particularly at the private home, exhibition pavilion, and high-rise urban building, giving special attention to buildings constructed with novel and developing materials, technologies, and precise detailing in relation to endurance. These include Buckminster Fuller's Dymaxion House (1929), the Lever House (1952), the U.S. Steel Building (1971), and the O-14 (2010). She considers the iconography of skyscrapers; maintenance workforces, both public and private; labor-saving technology and devices; and contemporary architectural projects and preservation techniques that encompass the afterlife of buildings. A selection of artworks make the usually invisible aspects of maintenance visible, from Martha Rosler's Cleaning the Drapes to Inigo Manglano-Ovalle's The Kiss.

    • Hardcover $26.95 £21.00
    • Paperback $19.95 £14.99