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Bartlett Designs: Speculating with Architecture
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 28 December 2010
It is very difficult to review, or even describe this book. It is very much like an architectural degree show, in book form, with all that that implies. There is a plethora of ideas tumbling over each other, a complete lack of anything approaching practicality and a frustrating lack of depth to the projects. This is not a criticism of the students whose work is included, but reducing projects to a short paragraph with some illustrations requires the deployment of considerable imagination on the part of the reader. The stalwarts of lumpen collages and over-elaborate CGI fill the pages, while more conventional plans are generally so shrunken as to be illegible.

I suspect that practical architects would find this a frustrating read. Those with a more literary bent, will find much here that is evocative of JG Ballard, Jorge Luis Borges, China Mieville, etc etc. Many of the projects seem to sketch out a setting for some as yet unwritten science fiction.

I do wonder about students putting so much work into such fantastical projects, projects even more speculative than unbuilt Zaha Hadid projects. Creating some parallel universe of unbuildable constructions. Is it a better or worse universe than ours?

Overall I think that if you approach this book in the right frame of mind, then you will find it stimulating and annoying in equal measure. I think that that is a recommendation of sorts. Though I would recommend Bldgblog Book: Architectural Conjecture, Urban Speculation, Landscape Futures over this.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 6 June 2011
I bought this book on a whim thinking the cover was nice, and I have not regretted it! If you do anything resembling architecture or spatial design this book is a must have. It has given me invaluable inspiration as to how to do beautiful architectural drawings, so far it has been my most read and reread book, I can spend hours flicking through it and just look at the stunning images. This is a book definitely worth the money, and as for delivery I had no problems and the book was in good condition when it arrived. I hope you will have as much use of this book as I have.
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on 12 March 2014
A selection of incredibly inspiring images from Bartlett projects although more useful as a visual resource then an academic one as the projects are not fully described and a paragraph does not do the complexity of the projects justice. Although as previously mentioned the models, drawings and photography is of a high standard.
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on 11 October 2013
Arrived on time, and also came in a handy box - which I used to make a model :')! Always a plus! The Bartlett School is an amazing School of Architecture. When it arrived my heart sank a little because it was so good.
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on 22 July 2015
Great.
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