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Diagram Diaries (Universe Architecture) [Paperback]

Peter Eisenman

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 2.9 out of 5 stars  9 reviews
15 of 19 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Eisenman's office sketchbook? 2 Aug 2000
By Bluestream - Published on Amazon.com
This volume consist 80% of computer generated drawings. Most of the 'drawings' or 'diagrams' are 3-d drawings with lines everywhere (even back lines that should be hidden) which makes them incomprehensible. They look just um,... messy & black! Maybe just for the look of "Complexity"? Well, can't learn much from them! Maybe architects like to collect these for collection sake. A lot of the diagrams are not accompanied by any explainations, which make them even more incomprehensible. This book includes a few essays by Eisenman at the front.
6 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Small book, big words. 23 Jan 2001
By Chris - Published on Amazon.com
This book is a great resource for those who want to get at what Mr. Eisenman is all about. It is a surprisingly straightforward account of what he has been up to for the past thirty years or more(Straightforward for Eisenman, at any rate). The book does require careful scrutiny, just looking at the pictures will get you nowhere.
4 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Diagram Diaries by Peter Eisenman 10 Jan 2002
By Amazon Customer - Published on Amazon.com
This is a must have for any architecture book collection. This book not only contains a linear timeline of Peter's work but amazing illustrations as well. This is a great book for an architecture student or anyone interested in theory and discourse. I was happy to (uncover and) discover Peter's personal, yet not so personal, relationship with his architecture. His distance and intimacy with his work leads to a very poetic and original linguistic creation. He is truely one of the most amazing architects; coming from someone as critical as myself, this is a great compliment to a man and his work. Read this book and see how Eisenman's work has progressed, developed, evolved, eroded, and digressed in the last 30 years. When you are done reading this book read this book again.
5 of 11 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Thin & Superficial 26 April 2004
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
The title says it best. This is a series of diagrams which attempt to throw light on Eisenman's mostly superficial design ideas. Like much of his work, Eisenman fails to grasp intelligent spatial concepts, preferring instead the easy road of 2-dimensional graphic diagrams so lacking in any really meaningful or intuitive qualities that one onders whether these illustrations were intended for the design of a computer chipset or as spaces for human occupancy. Anyone who has seen (suffered?) the Wexner Center or the Columbus Convention Center will know that Eisenman is not capable of making good buildings. They have the thin, diagrammatic qualities of a full-size cardboard mock-up, not the substantive place-making associated with real architectural projects. Any casual walk around the city with your eyes open will be more instructive about the practice of architecture than reading a single page of this silly tome. Give this one a wide berth.
12 of 23 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Complete Rubbish 16 Aug 2003
By Calicrates - Published on Amazon.com
It doesn't seem to matter that Eisenman's buildings are hated by the public, fail as mature works of urbanism and are founded on an adolescent-grade ('Philosophy 101 for Juniors') theoretical basis. Eisenman's sucess is largely within the cliquey New York-European quasi-intellectual circle of professionals whose status is largely self-serving within their own limited circle. If you want to learn about architecture and urbanism, try Camillo Sitte, James Howard Kunstler, Jane Jacobs, Ada Louise Huxtable, William H. White, or any of the urban theorists who'se work is based on observation of actual human behavior, not speculations dreamed up to match a catchy diagram.
Eisenman is at best playing with himself (and we all know what a sign of maturity that is!). If you are young and impressionable, this sort of activity might grab your attention. But if you are seeking intelligent discourse, look elsewhere ... almost anywhere elswhere will do. Eisenman's books are not worth the toilet paper they are written on.
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