Top critical review
3 of 3 people found this helpful
I disliked this enough to write this review.
on June 4, 2015
As a lover of both architecture and comics, I was disappointed by this book. The quality of the art/architectural drawings is not very good, in my opinion. In places images have been scaled down and blurred. Simple graphics are mashed and layered in close proximity to give the appearance of busy-ness and depth of content, but lingering to study these images in detail does not provide any increase in appreciation. Text is also inconsistently scaled in poorly chosen font. Much of the artwork is composed of simple line drawings that seem rushed, but there are a few select sections that show more potential and effort. I particularly thought that the chapter entitled "primitives" stood out as a compelling art style. Overall though, I found the artwork and general graphic clarity poor.
The subject content I found to be equally poor. Composed of 10 chapters that are barely linked by theme and narrative, topics range from a young designer debating with a cigar-smoking developer over lawns, an ark in space with zero-gravity living quarters, a super-skyscraper built outside of Earth's atmosphere, and floating island cities built by Scandinavians who wish to keep their culture pure and isolated. I found these topics to all be old-hat, well-worn topics that have been done better elsewhere, but if these subjects sound compelling to you, you will likely be disappointed in the artistic execution of these themes (example: The super-skyscraper is a large rectangular slab standing on end, and the space ark is a large rectangular slab lying flat). Several chapters end in groan-inducing flat "punchlines" evoking the comic medium. I can see myself as a freshman undergraduate architecture student finding some amount of the profound in these themes, but not today.
If this book was submitted as a college architecture project, I would be impressed and give the author a good grade. It shows the beginnings of thoughtful investigation into the potential of architectural design. Despite the lackluster artwork, I can certainly see that this took a great deal of time for the author to create, and there was some attention to composition and communication. However, as a product being sold on amazon.com for public consumption, I cannot recommend this to anyone except perhaps young architecture students just dipping their toes into the field who might find some novelty in it. The entire book can be read in roughly an hour. Lovers of architectural design, architectural theory, and the medium of comics will find their money better spent elsewhere.