Visionary Architecture: Blueprints of the Modern Imagination Hardcover – 1 Nov 2006
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'Any red-blooded architect or fan of architecture must get this one ... passionate ... a document of our times' --Peter Cook, The Architectural Review
'A pleasing object ... beautifully illustrated and well designed ... a poke in the eye to banal architecture' --The Architects' Journal
'A seriously cool book ... a very useful resource ... anyone who loves modern buildings will appreciate all this building has to offer'
--The Glasgow Herald --This text refers to the Paperback edition.
About the Author
Neil Spiller is Professor of Architecture and Digital Theory and Vice Dean of the Bartlett School of Architecture in London and Director of the Advanced Virtual and Technological Architecture Research Group (AVATAR). He is the author of Digital Dreams: Architecture and the New Alchemic Technologies and Cyberreader: Critical Writings for the Digital Era.
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Top Customer Reviews
On the plus side it is a robust survey of 'visionary architecture', I am not an expert but it does seem to be impressively broad in scope, stretching back to such people as Piranesi, through Cedric Price and Archigram and onto an awful lot of people from Bartlett School of Architecture. I suspect that 'visionary architecture' means pretty much whatever you want it to mean, so inclusion or exclusion in a book of this nature is ultimately rather arbitrary. It does seem to have a distinctly Anglo Saxon bias, and a seeming preference for people who did not build much.
The writing is fairly impenetrable, though where he writes about people I like and am interested in, it seemed to make sense, where I just do not get the architect, it just seemed incredibly pretentious. Personally I would have preferred more on people like Buckminster Fuller, but in fairness I don't think there any obvious omissions. Most readers will probably come away wanting to know more about an architect that they did not formerly know about.
If you are studying architecture then this is a useful resource. For the lay reader it is by turns fascinating and wilfully obscure.
Although the subject matter would lend itself to a truly stunning book, visually it is somewhat underwhelming. Images seem to be rather randomly plonked down, it is generally unclear what they are, and why they are significant. It would be easy to be hugely irritated by the author, he is potentially hugely pretentious and self important, for example including himself in the glossary of significant contributors to visionary architecture, but on balance his enthusiasm and thoroughness won me over. That said, I don't think I'll be buying another book by him.
The book is consistently rewarding becasue at first the text is a little esoteric, but in such a way as to provoke further thought in place of discouraging it. Well recommended.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
An incredibly inspiring book, beautiful drawings and illustrations with a deep and thorough commentary. This book is fantastic!!! Read morePublished on 17 July 2011 by Emma Jensen
A tour-de-force of architectural research and design. Spiller reveals the roots and futures of architectural genius. This is a visual and literary masterpiece. Read morePublished on 2 Feb. 2010 by Book Buff