What’s New On The Bookshelf? February 2017 Edition

by | 08. Feb 2017

Article | What's New on the Bookshelves

Two weeks ago, the Danish Architecture Centre opened an exhibition on the principles of circular economy, titled Wasteland and so this month, we’ve hand picked a couple of books examining the theme of sustainability and circular design. One proposing methods and principles on how we maintain the lifecycle of materials and secure a positive legacy, and eventually one portraying the theme of obsolescence and its historical consequence and contrast in relation to sustainability.

Furthermore, we’ll take a look on the post World War era and the need for re-humanizing in the wake of a painful period in European history. Regarding urban planning, there’s news! Both regarding the uprising of the Second Renaissance in Harlem and the comprehensive work and research resulting in the current parisian cityscape.

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David Cheshire:  Building Revolutions – Applying the Circular Economy to the Built Environment
Softcover: 144 pages
Publisher: RIBA Publishing

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In Building Revolutions, David Cheshire examines how the principles of a circular economy can be implemented within the construction industry. An industry highly defined by three characteristics: make, use and dispose and not compatible with neither the exploitation of fragile ecosystems worldwide nor the increasing demands from policy and decision makers. The book therefore proposes methods and principles for how materials can be reused or salvaged and thereby reduce capital and maintaining the lifecycle and in the ending make room for a positive legacy for future generations.


Daniel M. Abramson:  Obsolescence – An Architectural History
Paperback: 202 pages
Publisher: University Of Chicago Press

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In Obsolescence, architectural historian Daniel Abramson investigates the theme of architectural expendability and in this relation, the loss of value and utility. Accepting obsolescence as a reality, architects had envisaged expandable short-life buildings and proposed different architectural structures complying with a short term utilization up until the 1960s. The book argues how obsolescence was invented to facilitate capitalist expansion in the US. Simultaneously, the theme of sustainability within the built environment grew as a consequence of this waste culture. Eventually, the book culminates in a descriptive analysis on how the ideas of obsolescence and sustainability at last just help us manage the changes and challenges we face.


Akos Moravanszky, Torsten Lange, Judith Hopfengartner, Karl R. Kegler: Re-Humanizing Architecture: New Forms of Community 1950-1970
Paperback: 336 pages
Publisher: Birkhauser

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In the wake of the World War 2, debates on a humanization of the built environment were raised due to a period of great reconstruction that followed all over Europe. The book offers a perspective on how the questions of identity and community transcends political beliefs and social differences. With a reality made up by a socialist East and a capitalist West, and their different understanding of the connection between society and its cultural and architectural layer, the book unfolds how similar (architectural) strategies were developed on both sides and used as a tool for re-humanizing after a painful period in European history.


Brian D. Goldstein: The Roots of Urban Renaissance: Centrification and the Struggle over Harlem
Hardcover: 400 pages
Publisher: Harvard University Press

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In the 1960’s, Harlem underwent a larger transformation that grew from the grassroots of the city and young activists highly inspired by the civil rights movement. By proclaiming the right to plan their own city, the organizations became a crucial democratic voice in the larger national strategy of physical urban transformations and redevelopment that followed in the post World War 2 era in America.

The Roots of Urban Renaissance: Gentrification and the Struggle over Harlem portrays the story of a neighbourhood of the mid century urban crisis, the radical social movements and eventually what then resulted in the city’s “Second Renaissance”.


Benoît Jallon, Umberto Napolitano, Franck Boutté: Paris Haussmann. A Model’s Relevance
Hardback: 264 pages
Publisher: Park Books

French city planner Georges Eugène Haussmann (1809-1891) was the central figure of the great transformation the city of Paris underwent in the 19th century. A transformation and modernization that created a system to both identify public spaces, compare roadways and organize buildings according to the existing grid and their current geometry: the Haussmann model. A model which today, for the first time, serves as a tool to grapple with challenges cities around the world now face. The book analyzes the efforts of the comprehensive research that was conducted resulting in the parisian cityscape as we know today.