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This review is from: Citizens of No Place: A Collection of Short Stories by Jimenez Lai (Paperback)
I study post-graduate architecture (Pt. II) and work in retail design, and it's nice to step out of the technical side of architecture once in a while.
This book side-steps architecture to re-assess what it is.
Citizens of No Place (titled as such because 'utopia' comes from Greek meanings of 'good place' & 'no place') opens up new way of looking at architecture through a multitude of scenarios and different characters' perspectives. It sometimes has very little direct relevance to the practice of architecture, and this gives it a particularly high value as architecture is never just about arranging lines and making skyscrapers. It criticises some of modern society's powerful logic, and finds geometric patterns in places you wouldn't look for them.
It is exactly the way one should think about design and particularly architecture for the changing social climate, as it focuses on the grand and the tiny, gives them equal value and criticises both. It has some thoughts surrounding who architects are to society, what architecture is to architects, politics, social norms, and primitive cognition.
My only warning is this book will not 'tell' you anything, just make you think about what's already there.
The conclusions are your own.
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