"This is the Barack Obama of books. It tells a story about the change we need in the fields of architecture and urban design, professions that have lost their way, easily seduced by wealthy clients. And much like the presidential Democrat, this book of slightly radical ideas is attractively packaged in a way that can't be easily dismissed. Editors Bryan Bell and Katie Wakeford have compiled 30 essays by leading architects and designers across the U.S. - all accompanied by gorgeous photography. Each focuses on issues of social justice and design, and most succeed in making a compelling case for architects, urban planners and landscape designers to stop whatever they're doing and begin working for the greater public good...The authors' earnest and passionate voices come through in almost every paragraph, making this book a heartfelt journey as much as an educational one."
- Matthew Blackett, AZURE Magazine --AZURE Magazine November/December 2008
"...This visually rich book, (published by Metropolis Books) is an inspiring read for anyone, but its clear and instructive descriptions also make it a reference book of sorts for those interested in acting through architecture...
This book presents diverse examples of architectural projects directed towards the greater public good, in stories told from the perspectives of the architects. The stories aren't about the individuals themselves, but about their experiences. As they discuss projects that range from a public transit shelter in a disadvantaged neighborhood to new dwellings in a rural part of Taiwan, each designer describes the design process, challenges they faced and the proposed solutions...
Expanding Architecture is arranged into eight chapters of various topics that allow designers of all interests to relate. As a professional designer, I found it easy to be inspired by a project. What I found extremely helpful was that this book offered guidance on how to proceed with projects in a similar way to those described, showing me exactly how I could make a difference myself. The architects profiled discuss their processes step by step, telling what worked and the actions they took. It's wonderful to have a collection of stories that so strongly makes this point, by showing the broad array of projects that are already making a difference, and hopefully inspiring more like them in the future.