Stanford Anderson

Stanford Anderson is Head of the Department of Architecture at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

  • Peter Behrens and a New Architecture for the Twentieth Century

    Peter Behrens and a New Architecture for the Twentieth Century

    Stanford Anderson

    Stanford Anderson's long-awaited study of the great architect and designer Peter Behrens' contribution to the visual culture of the twentieth century.

    Most histories of twentieth-century architecture cite Peter Behrens' influence on three of his protégés—Walter Gropius, Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, and Le Corbusier—and mention the turbine factory and arc lamp he designed for the German electrical firm AEG. Now Behrens' full contribution to the history of twentieth-century architecture is finally told, in Stanford Anderson's indispensable guide to one of the great designers of our century.

    The author was first attracted to Behrens as one of the emblematic figures in the development of architectural modernism. Over the years, he has reflected critically on the growing body of Behrens scholarship that has appeared on both sides of the Atlantic, as well as on the views of such tastemakers as Philip Johnson, who rejected Behrens' AEG Turbine Factory, the signature icon of his early experiments in modernism, in favor of his later conservatively classical work. Anderson now assimilates decades of research into a definitive work that considers Behrens from the most nuanced perspective yet and that clarifies many problematic issues such as Behrens' endorsement of historical determinism and his work on Hitler's proposed monumental axis in Berlin.

    The book looks at the cultural and architectural context in which Behrens worked, his early career, and the relation of his own house in Darmstadt to his ideal of a society where life is formed as art. It also looks at his directorship of the School of Arts and Crafts in Düsseldorf, where he drew on the work of such brilliant historiographers of art and architecture as Alois Riegl and August Schmarsow. In his conclusion, Anderson considers Behrens' melancholy in the face of modern industrial society and his avoidance of a direct address of life, despite, or rather because of, his professed commitment to express life as art.

    • Hardcover $78.00
    • Paperback $50.00
  • On Streets

    Streets as Elements of Urban Structure

    Stanford Anderson

    On Streets offers a superbly illustrated study of the history and sociology of streets, their role in urban life, their design and structure, as well as an actual demonstration project. Following an introduction on the urban ecology of streets by the editor, Joseph Rykwert and Anthony Vidler discuss streets in the past. They are followed by three essays on the structure of streets by William C. Ellis, Thomas Schumacher, and Victor Caliandro. Peter Wolf writes about the impact of different transportation types on street use. The semiology of the street is taken up by Thomas V. Czarnowski and Diana Agrest who focus on the street as the locus of communication and signification in the community. Social scientists Gloria Levitas, Gary H. Winkel, and Robert Gutman's contributions are especially intriguing investigations of the anthropology and sociology of streets, man/environment research, and the architectural profession's nostalgia for street life. Stanford Anderson's own study of neighborhoods in Paris and Cambridge forms the basis for a system of classification for public/private space, while Kenneth Frampton writes about architectural efforts to build alongside streets or to create megastructures with streets inside them. The book concludes with a demonstration project by the Institute for Architecture and Urban Studies for Binghamton, New York.

    • Hardcover $55.00
    • Paperback $27.50
  • Planning for Diversity and Choice

    Possible Futures and Their Relations to the Man-Controlled Environment

    Stanford Anderson

    There is an obvious “future-orientation” in the work of architects and planners, and yet it must be acknowledged that they cannot “know” the future for which they plan. The resolution of this problem has too often been their assumption of authoritarian positions. Whether the dictates from this position of authority have been applied piecemeal or sweepingly, the life of the community has much too often been as bad as before, and sometimes worse. The image of the architect as a social prophet and of the planner as an architect of the social state has lost whatever credibility it may once have had.

    Planning for the future is made particularly difficult by the fact that trending, extrapolations from available data, and other seemingly “hard” approaches are suspect on at least two counts. Social and technical discontinues – sudden changes of scale or rates of change – call the accuracy of such projections into question. And, in any case, it is not obvious that a planner should accept the dictates of a trend, however well formulated the projection may be. But since the architect and planner will necessarily influence the future (whatever they do), even though they cannot prophesy it and should not dictate it, some other means of thinking about the future must be provided. The contributors to this volume suggest several alternatives possibilities to meet these difficulties. Their general position is that the free invention of many possible futures is to be encouraged, with the condition that these should be carefully criticized with regard to such concerns as present social welfare, accommodation of diversity, possibility of implementation, and increasing range of opportunities. This policy of invention and criticism has been called “critical utopianism,” in which the direction of the creative imagination is constantly corrected by the positive feedback of social criticism. In particular, the architect and planner should be as concerned with the process as with the product. Their designs should “build in” possible futures as well as accommodate the actual present.

    And the architect and planner must join other professionals in the creative, critical, and practical application of future-inventing. There must also be active participation on the public's part. All possible futures will result from the interactions of these groups. Any desirable future will be the result of their mutually critical and mutually reinforcing interaction. A practical proposal that mediates between the elitist and populist poles is presented: an “advocacy” system in which professionals learn from one another, offer their advice to community groups, and return to advocate their interests in a larger public arena. In this way, the professionals, as disinterested students, and all directly interested and affected parties are fairly represented and heard. The considered confrontation of these varied viewpoints would tend to guarantees the survival and flourishing, the evolutionary development, of a desirable diversity within the complex ecology of our urbanizing society.

    Another group of contributors address themselves to related methodological issues: social statistics, model-building, and the positive role of proliferation in the growth of knowledge or of a society.

    This volume documents a conference held in October, 1966, under the sponsorship of The Graham Foundation for Advanced Studies in the Fine Arts, the American Institute of Architects-Princeton Educational Research Project, and the Department of Architecture, Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

    • Hardcover $15.00