What’s New On The Bookshelf? April 2017

by | 12. Apr 2017

Article | What's New on the Bookshelves

In need for some reading during this year’s Easter holiday? Our top five this months covers topics such as the Mexican-American Border, governmental security in the wake of terror attacks in Norway, and domestic Japanese architecture. Furthermore, we’ll provide an insight into Urban Squatting as practiced in Europe as well as the teaching philosophy at ALICE in Lausanne.

Happy Easter!

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Borderwall as Architecture: A Manifesto for the U.S-Mexico Boundary
By Ronald Ræl
Hardcover: 200 pages
Publisher: UCPress

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Both a protest, and both a projection about its future, Borderwall as Architecture is an examination of the seven hundred miles physical border between Mexico and the U.S. The book juxtaposes counter proposals that reimagine and question the concept of the wall, its meaning, its cost and its performance thus it simultaneously takes the reader on a voyage alongside it, unfolding the lives and the built as well as man made landscapes one comes to encounter throughout the journey. Written by Ronald Rael, who, despite the intended use of the wall, states that the wall has become an attractor engaging both sides in a common dialogue instead of serving its primary function – to keep people out and away.

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The City Between Freedom and Security: Contested Public Spaces in the 21st Century
By Deane Simpson, Vibeke Jensen, Anders Rubing
Hardcover: 335 pages
Publisher: Birkhäuser 

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The City Between Freedom and Security explores the territory between the state and corporate drive to ‘securitise urban space’. Featuring interviews, site analysis, and essays, the book suggests a discursive platform presenting dialogues and opposing positions arising from the terror attack on the Norwegian Government Quarter and the island of Utøya in 2011, and the subsequent redevelopment that followed in the wake of the attack. The book furthermore discusses the demands for heightened governmental security and the consequences for nations as well as urban spaces caused by the increased focus on security.

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Encounters and Position: Architecture in Japan
By Susanne Kohte, Hubertus Adam, Daniel Hubert
Paperback: 272 pages
Publisher: Birkhäuser

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Encounters and Positions: Architecture in Japan presents six essays by European specialists on domestic Japanese architecture. The book furthermore provides an overview of aesthetics, vocabulary and main spatial concepts that characterize contemporary Japanese design. Featuring young architects ranging from international recognized personalities, such as Pritzker Prize winner Toyo Ito, to figures little known outside of the country, the book thematizes the diversity in Japanese architecture by making cross-references to the country’s architectural history.  


The Autonomous City: A History of Urban Squatting
By Alexander Vasudevan
Paperback: 304 pages
Publisher: Verso 

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As the first popular history of squatting as practised in Europe and the U.S., the book examines the struggle for the right to remake a city. Associate professor at Oxford University, Alexander Vasudevan, retraces the housing struggles in various cities counting Berlin, Copenhagen, London, Milan, and New York, and analyses alternative forms of housing and their organisation. With examples as Freetown Christiania and the Lower East Side, Vasudevan eventually investigates whether squatting can be seen as a way to reclaim as well as reimagine the city.

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All About Space
By Dieter Dietz, Matthias Michel, Daniel Zamarbide
Paperback 456 pages
Publisher: Park Books 

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All About Space is the second edition of an educational framework in a series of four by ALICE, The Atelier de la Conception de l’Espace at École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne, that focus on the ability to create or shape spaces through a prototype that has been constructed and developed this year. The prototype presents a mobile structure embedding ALICE’s core values of communication and collaboration within the building processes.

The book includes five hundred illustrations which will be part of a travelling exhibition to various cities and will provide a unique opportunity to investigate the philosophy and teaching practice offered at ALICE.