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Paperback | $36.00 Short | £24.95 | ISBN: 9780262531122 | 320 pp. | 6.875 x 9.75 in | July 1992

Instructor Resources


The Story of Practice


Although architecture is the fastest-growing profession in America, its private context remains shrouded in myth. In this book, Dana Cuff delves into the architect's everyday work world to uncover an intricate social art of design. The result is a new portrait of the profession that sheds light on what it means to become an architect, how design problems are construed and resolved, how clients and architects negotiate, and how design excellence is achieved.

Dana Cuff has taught as a social scientist among architects and as an architect among social scientists. Her participant/observer studies for this book, carried out over the past decade, involved more than 200 individuals representing 80 different firms. She is Associate Professor of Architecture and Planning at the University of Southern California.

About the Author

Dana Cuff is Professor of Architecture and Urban Design at the University of California, Los Angeles, and a principal of the consulting firm Community Design Associates.


"Cuff has produced a remarkable piece of work: thorough in its coverage of the existing literature; attentive to several very important issues of contemporary practice; rich in its description of what it feels like to work in the field. There is no other book like it."
Roger Gutman, Department of Sociology, Rutgers University, and School of Architecture, Princeton University