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Atlas of Novel Tectonics Paperback – 28 Apr 2006


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Product details

  • Paperback: 255 pages
  • Publisher: Princeton Architectural Press (28 April 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1568985541
  • ISBN-13: 978-1568985541
  • Product Dimensions: 12.7 x 1.9 x 19.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 402,027 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

About the Author

Jesse Reiser and Nanako Umemoto are the founding partners of Reiser+Umemoto RUR, an internationally recognized architectural firm based in New York City. Their work encompasses a wide range of scales, from furniture design to landscape and infrastructure.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
First Sentence
It may seem a strange contradiction in a book devoted to concepts to put forward a call for the specific, but all the concepts, all the models presented here, are meaningless to the architect if the specific reality of the project is absent. Read the first page
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
thought provoking reading - good at breaking fixed preconceptions....no love of the architects' work is required to enjoy their challenging book!

love the textured cover....
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 15 reviews
36 of 45 people found the following review helpful
Difficult Writing vs Clear Expression 6 Jun 2007
By El Greco - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
This book gets lots of play right now in (big "A") Architecture schools. I'm a firm believer that if your thoughts are clear, your writing is clear. This book embarks on many dialectical examples that are explained with too much "difficult writing" for its own good. Grad students of the world, beware the three DDDs that inspire some of this writing: Deleuze, Derrida and Delanda. They plow enormous fields in complicated patterns and only yield a kernel or two. Ironically, I admire Reiser + Umemoto as architects and am looking forward to a book on their more recent work.
12 of 15 people found the following review helpful
provocative with some annoyances 9 May 2009
By Sub-Kontinental - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Once you sift through the esoteric jargon you'll find that the underlying "big idea" of Atlas is a bit...well, narrow-minded. It relegates the architect to the *singular* role of funny shape maker. Philosophically speaking, I'm not so down with it.

That doesn't mean Atlas isn't worthwhile however. If formalism is your bag, there's plenty of potential to tap. Certainly, it's not an easy read, nor are all of the concepts as profound as RUR would like to think, but there's definitely some provocative ideas contained therein:

"But we have other ambitions for this vitality, which now must enter and find expression in the fabric of matter itself. Let's be clear: it is not the vulgar misconception that architecture must be literally animate...but its substance, its scale, its transitions and measurement will be marked by the dilations and contractions of the energy field."

As is the case with most contemporary architectural theory, you have to do a lot of digging, re-reading and source-referencing to understand the ideas. The prose can be just as high-brow and sanctimonious as the decon philosophers that influenced it (Derrida, for instance). Complex as they may seem, the ideas embedded can be quite provocative not in a life-changing way, but more in a "novel" sort of way.

If you're into form or just want to stay up on theory, then I'd buy it.
17 of 22 people found the following review helpful
The Sinews of Design 7 May 2007
By Lohr E. Miller - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
An unxpectedly fine book on architectural theory that's rooted not in politics or aesthetics or lit-crit theory, but in the worlds of physics and engineering-- a look at architecture and architectural possibilities based on the sinews of buildings rather than the ideology of architects. I'm an historian by training, and an aficionado of architecture and design theory. Reiser + Umemoto have created a small book that offers a view of postmodern architecture seen through the lens of the physically possible. Anyone who wants to imagine new cities and new styles of building needs to consider the sheer physical constraints of design, and this book is a fine place to start.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Tour de Force 29 Dec 2010
By A. Thomas - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This volume renders a comprehensive exploration and analysis of the forces (both sentient and unwitting) that influence the construct of architecture and contemporary design. Thoughtfully organized, elegantly illustrated, - an excellent addition to any designer's library.
4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
good ideas, excellent graphics, unreadable text of dellusional pretense 27 Jun 2012
By R. Gavilanes - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
After sifting through the book, I bought it (nice illustrations, good ideas). Then I tried reading it to find it unreadable. The language is unnecessarily complex and convoluted. It makes references to all sorts of esoteric and difficult texts from science and philosophy. I am afraid what makes for a politically correct list of references in certain circles, is just a pretentious and shallow disguise to coat the text with an aura of science, philosophical depth of thought, and innovation (novelty). In the end it is just ovecomplicating what is not that radical. While I appreciate a careful/thoughtful approach at articulating the concepts and their significance, there is so much you can attach to a (simple) form. I am not kidding- you should see/read the way astrophysical or biomolecular terms and concepts are used and asserted without the healthy skepricism of true knowledge, I doubt a physicist would throw around such terms so easily. I would suggest to look at the pictures, and explore the terminology for naming the diagrammed ideas, but reading the text for me eroded the validity of the ideas because their origins and significance are exagerated to verge on the ridiculous and dellusional self importance. The ideas can be useful for students and design professionals. Paradoxically it bears a striking resemblance to it's theoretical antithesis- the Pattern Language by Christopher Alexander. Like the Pattern Language ignore the philosophical pretense, use the information for it's practical implementation.
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