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The Good House: Contrast as a Design Tool Hardcover – October 1, 1990


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 160 pages
  • Publisher: Taunton Press (October 1, 1990)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0942391055
  • ISBN-13: 978-0942391053
  • Product Dimensions: 9.4 x 0.6 x 9.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #726,398 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Max Jacobson writes about food for Seven Magazine.

Silverstein is an internationally respected architect.

Winslow is an internationally respected architect.

Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

16 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Lars Jensen on August 26, 2000
Format: Hardcover
Tells you how to create the details that make a place special, using a simple but powerful theory of linked contrasts. Highly readable, can be put to use by anyone. Few books offer such design insight, none in so few pages. I rank "The Good House" alongside Alexander's classic "A Pattern Language".
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 9, 2000
Format: Hardcover
As an architectural student, I found this book to be excellent. Unlike other architecture books which may highlight an architect or certain buildings, this book highlights the idea of "contrast" to stimulate how one can critically think about a design whether the project happens to be residential, public or institutional. The book also shows a myriad of different types of buildings of different styles to highlight the "contrast" concept clearly. I belive, this is an excellent refence book for students and architects alike!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on April 24, 2004
Format: Hardcover
First, to give the author credit, he reviewed other architect's works first and described the aspects of what he believed showed good design. Then he showed his own designs, very interesting. The man is talented. His commentary on contrasts is just too basic to good design to deserve an entire book on the subject. His analysis was clever and facile, but any student of design (or anyone with taste) understands the contrasts of large and small, bright and dark. His use of patterns is mildly interesting, hardly captivating. When I was finished I hadn't book-marked a single page (unusual for me) and I threw it on a pile of design books to be consigned to the library. Good for first-year design students, perhaps.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Scott Knudsen on July 19, 2004
Format: Hardcover
This is a nice, short little book with sketches and photos showing you how to properly design transitions that provide the proper contrast from inside to outside, up and down, light and dark, order and mystery, etc.
It is a very basic book, which is probably more for a first year architect student, but it may also help to remind practicing architects what makes a house a home.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book, although simplistic, is at the level I need to conceive of a new residential construction. An easy read.
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More About the Author

Max Jacobson (1941 - currently alive and well) was born in Houston, raised in Denver, and received his first degrees in engineering from Boulder and Berkeley. After a couple of years working as an engineer, he returned to Berkeley to study architecture, receiving a PhD in architecture in 1975. During this period he contributed as a co-author to the book "A Pattern Language", 1977.

A licensed architect in California, he co-founded the Berkeley architectural firm JSWD in 1975 (jswdarch.com), and with his partners wrote "The Good House" (1990), and "Patterns of Home" (2005). His most recent book is "Invitation to Architecture", available in April, 2014, co-written with Shelley Brock.

Married to Helen Degenhardt, practicing architecture for 35 years with his partners, co-authoring all his publications, learning from his architecture students in community college, he really does nothing on his own!

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