May books: The House at Capo d’Orso, The New Designer, Pragmatism, and more

Explore some of our most anticipated new releases for May

This month: an intimate study of architecture and family life; a guide to developing ethical design practice; a primer on pragmatism; and more. Explore these books and a selection of our other new and soon-to-be-released titles below.

The House at Capo d’Orso by Sebastiano Brandolini

Recalling the essays of Walter Benjamin, Bill Bryson, Rebecca Solnit, and Lawrence Weschler, Brandolini’s writing weaves literature, art history, and the transformation of Sardinia since the 1960s into a single fabric. How does a house shape experience? How does architecture establish a practice of living? Architect Sebastiano Brandolini invites readers on a meditative tour of his family’s house on the Sardinian coast, describing everything from the geology of the rocks beneath, to the history of the surrounding villages, to the way the shifting light measures the day. More than the story of a single summer home written by an accomplished architect, this is a study of how place, the built environment, and daily practice make up our lives, at the most minute level of detail.

The House at Capo d’Orso is a still life, a recalibration of luxury, and reads like the retelling of a dream over breakfast.” —Leanne Shapton, author of Swimming Studies

You might also like Some Reasons for Traveling to Italy by Peter Wilson

The New Designer: Rejecting Myths, Embracing Change by Manuel Lima

The choices made by designers have a significant effect on the world. Yet so much of the discourse on design focuses on aesthetics rather than ethics. In The New Designer, acclaimed author Manuel Lima aims to change this by challenging common myths and preconceptions about what comprises good design. He argues that designers must take responsibility for the personal, societal, cultural, and environmental impact of their work, rather than simply following a standard template.

“Truly understanding design requires both an expansive mind and a compassionate heart, qualities Manuel Lima generously brings to this important book and to our imperiled world.” —Jessica Helfand, Founding Editor, Design Observer

You might also like Design for a Better World: Meaningful, Sustainable, Humanity Centered by Don Norman

Pragmatism by John R. Shook

Pragmatism, America’s homegrown philosophy, has been a major intellectual movement for over a century. Unlike its rivals, it reaches well beyond the confines of philosophy into concerns and disciplines as diverse as religion, politics, science, and culture. In this concise, engagingly written overview, John R. Shook describes pragmatism’s origins, concepts, and continuing global relevance and appeal. And because of pragmatism’s far-reaching impact, Shook shows how its views on reality, truth, knowledge, and cognition coordinate with its approaches to agency, sociality, human nature, and personhood.

You might also like Happiness by Tim Lomas

Cheyney Thompson: Passages by Christian Schaernack

Cheyney Thompson’s (b. 1975) work responds to a long history of debates about how art depicts the world, and about how we come to know the world visually. In these meditations on the artist’s work, Christian Schaernack shows that for Thompson, reality is something that we can know only in terms of probabilities, not absolutes. Thompson often produces work that explores contingency at the formal level, sometimes in his artistic process itself (as Jackson Pollock once did), and sometimes through the use of external constraints such as computer algorithms, which he subverts as often as he follows.

You might also like Hugh Hayden: American Vernacular edited by Sarah J. Montross

Green Card Soldier: Between Model Immigrant and Security Threat by Sofya Aptekar

While the popular image of the US military is one of citizen soldiers protecting their country, the reality is that nearly 5 percent of all first-time military recruits are noncitizens. Their reasons for enlisting are myriad, but many are motivated by the hope of gaining citizenship in return for their service. In Green Card Soldier, Sofya Aptekar talks to more than seventy noncitizen soldiers from twenty-three countries, including some who were displaced by conflict after the US military entered their homeland. She identifies a disturbing pattern: the US military’s intervention in foreign countries drives migration, which in turn supplies the military with a cheap and desperate labor pool—thereby perpetuating the cycle.

“A complex, compelling, and sometimes tragic account of how America’s security rests on the bodies of individuals enlisted to defend a nation that does not recognize them as equal citizens.” —Julian Go, University of Chicago

You might also like Citizenship by Dimitry Kochenov

Yasmeen Lari: Architecture for the Future edited by Angelika Fitz, Elke Krasny, Marvi Mazhar and Architekturzentrum Wien

After more than three decades as a renowned global architect, Yasmeen Lari, the first woman to open her own architecture firm in Pakistan in 1964, developed Zero Carbon Architecture, which unites ecological and social justice. This volume, edited by Angelika Fitz, Elke Krasny, and Marvi Mazhar, presents Lari’s trajectory from exemplary modernist to zero carbon revolutionary, with a focus on her remarkable contributions to the global architectural movement to decarbonize and decolonize. The book includes extensive photographs, drawings, and plans from Lari’s archive, most of which have not previously been shown or published.

“The world of Yasmeen Lari invites us to shift the axes of our worlds to other bodies of knowledge, literacies and imaginations. A much-desired discourse for our time.” —Sumayya Vally, Principal of Counterspace

You might also like Architectures of Spatial Justice by Dana Cuff

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