A cadre of internationally recognized architects were invited to a dinner for the opening of a new exhibition space at the Architecture Museum of Munich's Technical University. But rather than their persons, the architects were asked to send the Museum a sketch on a dinner napkin, which would then be placed on a table as their "representative." This handsomely produced book presents their "colorful and whimsical" responses. Readers aren't told much more than this; both Nerdinger's introduction and Howard's foreword would fit on one of the Museum's napkins. Nerdinger, the Museum's current director, declines to say if the idea was his (or what year the dinner took place) but, in her afterword, Irene Meissner assures us that "a meal unlike any other was served, and the guests ate, drank, and were merry late into the night." Full-color reproductions of some 60 napkins-with sketches by Tadao Ando, Mario Botta, Steven Hall, Josef Paul Kleihues, Dominique Perrault and Robert Venturi, among others-are interspersed with bon mots on the subject of drawing by the likes of Josef Albers, Le Corbusier (who was never a fan of the architectural sketch) and Mies van der Rohe. The sketches themselves range from quick scribbles to more elaborate works of art; they are striking enough to carry the book on their own, with the wattage of the collective reputations behind them.
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A gift for the thoughtful (Raymond J. Steiner - Art Times)
Wonderful and often whimsical . . . (Sara Scott - Log Home Design Ideas)