Citizens of No Place: A Collection of Short Stories by Jimenez Lai Paperback – 1 Jan 1900
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"Follows in the tradition of Rem Koolhaas's Content, but makes the page come alive for a generation raised on This American Life and manga.... Intensely beautiful, whimsical, and profound.... It's as if the Little Prince grew up to become an architect." -- Metropolis
"By distilling architectural discourse through cartooning in Citizens, Lai has developed an accessible and lively platform from which he can entertain weighty architectural, planning, and policy concepts about utopias; subjective perception; alternative spatial dimensions; and human interaction with design. His deft illustration--whose palette includes manga, DC comics, and OMA-infused photographic collage--weaves a magical experience. Filled with humor and polemic, the vignettes combine the energy of Hayao Miyazaki's 2001 film Spirited Away with the knitted lines of Daniel Libeskind's The Space of Encounter from the same year" -- Blueprint
"Blends the ethos of urbanism with the sensibility of manga to deliver a stunning black-and-white manifesto for place, public space, and the function of the imaginary and the implausible in architectural theory and criticism." -- Brain Pickings
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Top customer reviews
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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