All buildings are forced to adapt over time because of physical deterioration, changing surroundings and the life within--yet very few buildings adapt gracefully, according to Brand. Houses, he notes, respond to families' tastes, ideas, annoyance and growth; and institutional buildings change with expensive reluctance and delay; while commercial structures have to adapt quickly because of intense competitive pressures. Creator of The Whole Earth Catalog and founder of CoEvolution Quarterly (now Whole Earth Review ), Brand splices a conversational text with hundreds of extensively captioned photographs and drawings juxtaposing buildings that age well with those that age poorly. He buttresses his critique with insights gleaned from facilities managers, planners, preservationists, building historians and futurists. This informative, innovative handbook sets forth a strategy for constructing adaptive buildings that incorporates a conservationist approach to design, use of traditional materials, attention to local vernacular styles and budgeting to allow for continuous adjustment and maintenance.
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
Brand founder of The Whole Earth Catalog and CoEvolution Quarterly, launches a populist attack on rarefied architectural conventions. A hippy elder statesman (once one of Ken Kesey's Merry Pranksters), Brand argues that a building can ``grow'' and should be treated as a ``Darwinian mechanism,'' something that adapts over time to meet certain changing needs. His humanistic insights grew out of a university seminar he taught in 1988. Catchy anti- establishment phrases abound: ``Function reforms form, perpetually,'' or ``Form follows funding.'' Thomas Jefferson, a ``high road'' builder, is shown to have tinkered his Monticello into a masterpiece over a lifetime. Commercial structures, Brand says, are ``forever metamorphic,'' as a garage-turned-boutique demonstrates. Photo spreads with smart and chatty captions trace the evolutions of buildings as they adopt new ``skins.'' Pointedly, architects Sir Richard Rogers (designer of the Pompidou Centre in Paris) and I.M. Pei (the Wiesner Building, aka the Media Lab at MIT) are taken to task for designing monumental flops that deny occupants' needs. Later sections track the social meanings of preservationism and celebrate vernacular traditions worldwide (e.g., the Malay house of Malaysia; pueblo architecture; the 18th- century Cape Cod House). Brand also documents his own unique habitats. He lives with his wife in a converted tugboat and houses his library in a metal self-storage container. Here, as throughout, Brand's self-reliant voice rings true--that of an engaging, intellectual crank. Brand makes a case for letting people shape their own environments. His crunchy-granola insights bristle with an undeniable pragmatism. -- Copyright ©1994, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.See all Product Description
This book was actually recommended to me by a computer science teacher. Read it as the architecture of a computer system (the site), the hardware (the structure), the software and... Read morePublished 5 months ago by Robyn S Kendall
After reading this book in its entirety I have frequently returned to revisit chapters. A well researched book. Read morePublished 22 months ago by M. Yeo
Recommended by John Brown of Housebrand. Generally liked it, great perspective on function in design. Read morePublished on Aug. 25 2013 by Robert Kelly
The best part of this book is its historical photos, a history of our society told by its buildings. Read morePublished on Oct. 5 2003 by misterbeets
When I started reading the book I felt myself in agreement with much of what Brand has to say. Eventually I began to have nagging doubts which eventually crystallized. Read morePublished on June 11 2002 by Justus Pendleton
the point made by the author is a very good one: we all have to look at the way buildings were once built and integrate the intrinsic knowledge into what we architects are doing... Read morePublished on Dec 9 2001 by J. A. Hoedemaker
Very entertaining and informative, without being worthy. It's true, replace the word "building" with "web site" or "software" or any other systemic... Read morePublished on June 27 2001 by Mr. R. Horberry
I'm always fascinated with how seemingly impersonal forces effect changes over time. This book is about exactly that: Although people are responsible for changes to a building,... Read morePublished on Aug. 13 2000 by Michael Rawdon