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Architecture as Signs and Systems: For a Mannerist Time (The William E. Massey Sr. Lectures in the History of American Civilization) Hardcover – January 16, 2005

ISBN-13: 978-0674015715 ISBN-10: 0674015711

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Architecture as Signs and Systems: For a Mannerist Time (The William E. Massey Sr. Lectures in the History of American Civilization) + Learning from Las Vegas - Revised Edition: The Forgotten Symbolism of Architectural Form
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Product Details

  • Series: The William E. Massey Sr. Lectures in the History of American Civilization (Book 2004)
  • Hardcover: 264 pages
  • Publisher: Belknap Press (January 16, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0674015711
  • ISBN-13: 978-0674015715
  • Product Dimensions: 8.8 x 8.8 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,791,293 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

Architecture as Signs and Systems is based on lectures at Harvard which provided [Venturi and Scott Brown] with the opportunity to reflect on their careers...Their key achievement was to overthrow an arid modernist orthodoxy and to prepare the ground for today's pluralism. They nonetheless profess to remain wedded to a central tenet of modernism, that architecture should be appropriate to its age... But whatever qualifications or disagreements one may have, the Venturis remain among the most refreshing, inspiring, least pompous presences on an architectural scene peopled with prickly egos, whingeing prima donnas and ideologues. Their greatest virtue...is that they genuinely invite open debate on the big issues of architecture and urban design. (Jules Lubbock Times Literary Supplement 2005-02-25)

[Venturi and Scott Brown's] new book, Architecture as Signs and Systems, is a direct challenge to architecture's increasingly tortuous quest for shapes and spaces that might give new physical meaning to that increasingly diffuse term, modernity...[Their] new polemic is a wonderfully intelligent provocation. (Jay Merrick The Independent 2005-01-05)

About the Author

Robert Venturi is principal in charge of design in the architectural firm Venturi, Scott Brown and Associates in Philadelphia. He is the recipient of numerous awards and honors, including the Pritzker Prize and the Centennial Medal of the American Academy in Rome and, with Denise Scott Brown, the National Medal of Art and the Vincent J. Scully Prize of the National Building Museum. He has taught at Yale and the University of Pennsylvania.

Denise Scott Brown is principal in charge of urban and campus planning and design in the architectural firm Venturi, Scott Brown and Associates. She is the recipient of numerous awards and honors, including the ACSA-AIA Topaz Medallion for Architecture Education and the Chicago Architecture Award. She has taught at Harvard, Yale, UCLA, UC-Berkeley, and the University of Pennsylvania.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Manuel Orazi on August 21, 2006
Format: Hardcover
It is difficult to imagine an architect more genuinely American than Robert Venturi. His Americaness consists in a horizontal vision of history, in a method that embraces case data as its system, and in an obstinate realism with regards to the punctilious registration of the material furnished by daily life . This is well summarised in one of the two slogans on the back cover: "Evolutionary Pragmatism rather than Revolutionary Ideology." Architecture as Signs and Systems can be considered as a kind of "scientific autobiography" by Venturi and Scott Brown.

The couple from Philadelphia develops the theories contained in their preceding books in the light of their own projects, which are presented here as being demonstrative. It is not easy to distinguish the personal contributions coming from an association that has lasted longer than that of Burnham & Root. Thanks to the book's autobiographical confessions, the decisive influence that Denise Scott Brown had on her husband now emerges completely.

A South African architect and urban planner, Scott Brown was trained in Europe. The interests they have in common for functionalism, industrial architecture from Modernism's beginnings, and the social and urban context of design are the fruits of her apprenticeship at Architectural Association in London. London was the new pulsating centre for post-war architectural culture. It was also the capital of the Modernist Architectural Movement's internal criticism, spawning the Brutalism of which Alison and Peter Smithson (and Team X in general) were primary exponents.
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2 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Book Junky on November 9, 2004
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book is a pleasure to read. The words taste almost of chocolate. It is the best book by Venturi, Scott Brown since Learning from Las Vegas. Whether you are an architect, interested in architecture, or just their ideas, you won't be disappointed.
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