How Buildings Learn: What Happens After They're Built

How Buildings Learn: What Happens After They're Built

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by Stewart Brand
     
 

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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.

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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.

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)
From the Publisher
"It's about time somebody wrote this book. This quirky, thoughtful volume, bursting with curiosity and intelligence, may make our everyday world more visible to more Americans. Architecture is too important to be left to architects alone."
Mixed Media

"A stunning exploration of the design of design … How Buildings Learn will irrevocably alter yor sense of place, space, and the artifacts that shape them."
—Michael Shrage, Wired

"Penetratingly original."
—Philip Morrison, Scientific American

"An extremely attractive volume that will forever alter the way we respond to the buildings around us. We may also hope it will alter the way architects design buildings."
—Harold Gilliam, San Francisco Chronicle

"A fascinating and indefinable book … How Buildings Learn is a hymn to entropy, a witty, heterodox book dedicated to kicking the stuffing out of the proposition that architecture is permanent and that buildings cannot adapt."
Stephen Bayley, The Times (London)

"The book's diagnosis is clear and to the poiny, and its illustrations of how buildings change are both fascinating and instructive. This is, in short, one of the rare books that every architect should read."
—Thomas Fisher, editor, Progressive Architecture

"A book of good sound-bites and laser-sharp insight … No architecture students should complete their preliminary studies without reading it from cover to cover."
—Patric Hannay, The Architects' Journal

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781101562642
Publisher:
Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date:
10/01/1995
Sold by:
Penguin Group
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
252
File size:
33 MB
Note:
This product may take a few minutes to download.
Age Range:
18 Years

What People are saying about this

From the Publisher

"It's about time somebody wrote this book. This quirky, thoughtful volume, bursting with curiosity and intelligence, may make our everyday world more visible to more Americans. Architecture is too important to be left to architects alone."
Mixed Media

"A stunning exploration of the design of design … How Buildings Learn will irrevocably alter yor sense of place, space, and the artifacts that shape them."
—Michael Shrage, Wired

"Penetratingly original."
—Philip Morrison, Scientific American

"An extremely attractive volume that will forever alter the way we respond to the buildings around us. We may also hope it will alter the way architects design buildings."
—Harold Gilliam, San Francisco Chronicle

"A fascinating and indefinable book … How Buildings Learn is a hymn to entropy, a witty, heterodox book dedicated to kicking the stuffing out of the proposition that architecture is permanent and that buildings cannot adapt."
—Stephen Bayley, The Times (London)

"The book's diagnosis is clear and to the poiny, and its illustrations of how buildings change are both fascinating and instructive. This is, in short, one of the rare books that every architect should read."
—Thomas Fisher, editor, Progressive Architecture

"A book of good sound-bites and laser-sharp insight … No architecture students should complete their preliminary studies without reading it from cover to cover."
—Patric Hannay, The Architects' Journal

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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How Buildings Learn: What Happens After They're Built 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
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.