Against Architecture

Overview

With insight into the human side of architecture, this critical assessment displays the shortcomings of modern urban planning as an acclaimed architect issues a passionate charge against the celebrities of the current architectural world: the “archistars.” He argues that architecture has lost its way and its true function, as the archistars mold cityscapes to build their brand with no regard for the public good. More than a diatribe against the trade, La Cecla makes a call to rethink urban space and take the ...

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Against Architecture

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Overview

With insight into the human side of architecture, this critical assessment displays the shortcomings of modern urban planning as an acclaimed architect issues a passionate charge against the celebrities of the current architectural world: the “archistars.” He argues that architecture has lost its way and its true function, as the archistars mold cityscapes to build their brand with no regard for the public good. More than a diatribe against the trade, La Cecla makes a call to rethink urban space and take the cities back from “casino capitalism” that has left a string of failed urban projects, such as the Sagrera of Barcelona and the expansion of Columbia University in New York City. Recounting his travels across the globe, La Cecla provides insights to aid in resisting the planners and to find the spirit of a place. These commentaries on the works of past and present masters of urban and landscape will take an important place in continued public discourse for years to come.

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
This book about capitalism and architecture by Italian anthropologist and architect La Cecla (Pasta and Pizza) was first published in 2008 as Contro l'architettura. A founder of the Architecture Social Impact Assessment, which evaluates architectural and planning projects around the world, La Cecla here critiques modern urban planning and the culture of "casino capitalism" that produces large-scale, unsuccessful urban projects, e.g., the expansion of Columbia University in New York City. Instead, he argues, it is the job of architectural designers to plan on a human scale and help foster the possibilities of local life. Too often, he observes, star architects engage in global branding initiatives, forcing the individuals who use their buildings and spaces into the constraints of their vision, rather than shaping designs according to the needs of those individuals. VERDICT This book, with its moving and persuasive argument, is recommended especially for design libraries. Instead of occupying Wall Street, La Cecla occupies architecture with an eye for truth and humanity.—Peter S. Kaufman, formerly with Boston Architectural Coll.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781604864069
  • Publisher: PM Press
  • Publication date: 1/11/2012
  • Series: Green Arcade
  • Edition description: Original
  • Pages: 144
  • Sales rank: 1,383,796
  • Product dimensions: 4.90 (w) x 7.40 (h) x 0.40 (d)

Meet the Author

Franco La Cecla is a renowned anthropologist and architect. In 2005 he founded Architecture Social Impact Assessment (ASIA), an agency that evaluates the social impact of architectural and city planning projects. He is currently in production with Radiotelevisione Italiana on a series based on Against Architecture.

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments v

Introduction vii

Chapter 1 Why I Did Not Become an Architectp1

Chapter 2 Trina 45

Chapter 3 Banlieue Bleu vs. The Decline of the Arrabal 53

Across Europe 55

The Effects of Ugliness 56

The Suburbs Threaten the Center 58

The Crisis of the Paris Banlieues 60

From France through Europe 62

European Contagion? 64

The Architects' Dream 66

The Grands Ensembles 67

Subtopia West to East, an Ecumenical Embrace 68

Demolition, Future or Present? 69

Immigrants Instead ofWorkers? 71

A Question of Esthetics 73

Chapter 4 Crema Catalana 76

Barcelona and La Sagrera 80

Barcelona and Its Residents 82

Our District 84

Chapter 5 Architecture Washes Whiter 95

Chapter 6 Italian Cities, C & G (Cool & Garbage) 106

Milan-Bangalore Still Cool 110

Chapter 7 The New Banks of Happiness 115

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