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The Uses of Decoration: Essays in the Architectural Everyday [Paperback]

Malcolm Miles
1.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

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Book Description

21 Mar 2000
The Uses of Decoration essays in the architectural everyday The book draws together material from several countries and areas of practice – from the affluent as well as the non–affluent worlds, and from art as well as architecture – which it links by a common framework of critical reflection and theory. Some of the cases considered, such as hajj painting in Egypt, have received little attention, while others, such as the mud–brick architecture of Hassan Fathy, are better known although still subject to little critical debate. Others still, such as the Nine Mile Run Greenway project in Pittsburgh, are set in post–industrial cities, the conditions and dynamics of which require new emphases and directions in critical discussion. Running through the book is a concern for the everyday, for the seemingly small and insignificant ways in which people occupy the built environment, which constitute what Henri Lefebvre calls representational spaces; from awareness of this dimension of urban space (and the failures consequent on ignorance of it in some kinds of modern architecture and planning), the book moves to the question of sustainability. As is demonstrated through their efforts to construct informal settlements, people possess an ability to organise their lives through the production of space; therefore, the book argues, the expertise of dwellers on dwelling is of as much importance in shaping the futures of cities as that of designers on design.

Product details

  • Paperback: 264 pages
  • Publisher: John Wiley & Sons (21 Mar 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0471489638
  • ISBN-13: 978-0471489634
  • Product Dimensions: 24.1 x 16.8 x 1.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 1.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,008,667 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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Review

"Malcolm Miles has succeeded in writing interesting an informative text on alternative ways of viewing both cities and the people who live in them. This is the kind of book that positively broadens the mind."
––Planning, 4th August 2000

From the Back Cover

The Uses of Decoration essays in the architectural everyday The book draws together material from several countries and areas of practice – from the affluent as well as the non–affluent worlds, and from art as well as architecture – which it links by a common framework of critical reflection and theory. Some of the cases considered, such as hajj painting in Egypt, have received little attention, while others, such as the mud–brick architecture of Hassan Fathy, are better known although still subject to little critical debate. Others still, such as the Nine Mile Run Greenway project in Pittsburgh, are set in post–industrial cities, the conditions and dynamics of which require new emphases and directions in critical discussion. Running through the book is a concern for the everyday, for the seemingly small and insignificant ways in which people occupy the built environment, which constitute what Henri Lefebvre calls representational spaces; from awareness of this dimension of urban space (and the failures consequent on ignorance of it in some kinds of modern architecture and planning), the book moves to the question of sustainability. As is demonstrated through their efforts to construct informal settlements, people possess an ability to organise their lives through the production of space; therefore, the book argues, the expertise of dwellers on dwelling is of as much importance in shaping the futures of cities as that of designers on design.

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This book contributes to an emerging literature of the architectural everyday. Read the first page
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1.0 out of 5 stars ornamentation is a crime 3 Jan 2012
Format:Paperback
This book is not very good. It doesn't really deal with the main issue of the title, i.e. how decoration is used as a component of architecture! I would skip this book, save your money and invest in Ruskin and Pugin, or perhaps even Pevsner or Betjeman.
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