How Buildings Learn: What Happens After They're Built

Overview


Buildings have often been studies whole in space, but never before have they been studied whole in time. How Buildings Learn is a masterful new synthesis that proposes that buildings adapt best when constantly refined and reshaped by their occupants, and that architects can mature from being artists of space to becoming artists of time.

From the connected farmhouses of New England to I.M. Pei's Media Lab, from "satisficing" to "form follows funding," from the evolution of ...

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How Buildings Learn: What Happens After They're Built

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Overview


Buildings have often been studies whole in space, but never before have they been studied whole in time. How Buildings Learn is a masterful new synthesis that proposes that buildings adapt best when constantly refined and reshaped by their occupants, and that architects can mature from being artists of space to becoming artists of time.

From the connected farmhouses of New England to I.M. Pei's Media Lab, from "satisficing" to "form follows funding," from the evolution of bungalows to the invention of Santa Fe Style, from Low Road military surplus buildings to a High Road English classic like Chatsworth—this is a far-ranging survey of unexplored essential territory.

More than any other human artifacts, buildings improve with time—if they're allowed to. How Buildings Learn shows how to work with time rather than against it.

Like people, buildings change with age, forced to adapt to the needs of current occupations. This provocative examination of buildings that have adapted well, and some that haven't, calls for a dramatic rethinking in the way new buildings are designed, one that allows structures to grow and change easily with the environment. Photos.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
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. June
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780140139969
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
  • Publication date: 10/28/1995
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 243
  • Sales rank: 534,812
  • Product dimensions: 8.47 (w) x 10.75 (h) x 0.75 (d)

Meet the Author


Though honored as a writer—with the National Book Award for the Whole Earth Catalog, Eliot Montroll Award for The Media Lab, Golden Gadfly Award for his years as editor of CoEvolution QuarterlySteward Brand is primarily an inventor/designer. Trained as a biologist and army officer, he was an early multimedia artist. He has created a number of lasting institutions, including New Games Tournaments, the Hackers Conference, and The WELL, a bellwether computer conference system. He is co-founder of Global Business Network, a futurist research organization fostering "the art of the long view."
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Table of Contents


Acknowledgments
Cover Story

1. Flow
2. Shearing Layers
3. "Nobody Cares What You Do In There": The Low Road
4. Houseproud: The High Road
5. Magazine Architecture: No Road
6. Unreal Estate
7. Preservation: A Quiet, Populist, Conservative, Victorious Revolution
8. The Romance of Maintenance
9. Vernacular: How Buildings Learn from Each Other
10. Function Melts Form: Satisficing Home and Office
11. The Scenario-buffered Building
12. Built for Change

APPENDIX: The Study of Buildings in Time
Recommended Bibliography: Books for Time-kindly Buildings
Index

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 23, 2001

    Hey, Architecture Buffs!

    For those of you who enjoy and appreciate architecture and the people who live within it, this book will provide you with hours of enjoyable reading. It's packed with skillfull photos and multple case studies.

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