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The Language of Towns & Cities: A Visual Dictionary Hardcover – November 16, 2010


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 781 pages
  • Publisher: Rizzoli; 1st edition (November 16, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0847834867
  • ISBN-13: 978-0847834860
  • Product Dimensions: 10.6 x 10.6 x 2.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #397,192 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

The Language of Towns & Cities: A Visual Dictionary" by Rob Krier As a boy, I used to passionately peruse the pages of Larousse , Brockhaus or Herder s Volkslexikon from my grandfather s bookcase and felt as though I was holding all the knowledge in the world right there in my hands. Topics followed one another in a colorful mix of rich illustrations. The alphabet skipped across the subject fields, not rounding off chapters as textbooks do, but instead stringing together with cheery exuberance everything worth knowing. One experiences the same joy of surprise the first time one leafs through Dhiru Thadani s book. At first one thinks, Oh, an encyclopedia! before one realizes that this would require an edition of several volumes. It remains succinct and tightly gathered, delivering food for thought for young and old, for scholars, students and specialized professionals; it s simultaneously informative and critical and is sometimes almost morally didactic, as Dhiru treats his subject from the standpoint of a responsible teacher and enlightener. His subject is not a manual for the care and repair of a machine, but instead deals with the technique of housing man in cities: an eminently caring mission. Apart from historical information about cities, such as Rome, Paris, Pienza, Chandigarh, New Delhi or Hong Kong, there are typological and morphological chronicles of town squares and streets, right up to details of street crossings, traffic circles and paving patterns, terraced houses, passages and arcades everything that s beautiful, arranged in alphabetical order. There is no lack of biographies for distinguished urban planners, such as Daniel Burnham, landscape architect Olmsted, or the metropolitan planner and statesman, Jefferson and, equally, for urban critics and writers, such as Jane Jacobs and Lewis Mumford. He provides explanations and design guidance for entire urban figures, such as Poundbury, Arcosanti, Auroville, Brandevoort or Seaside and exemplifies the hierarchical order of centers, suburbs and districts, naming the built contemporary models. He is not shy of interlacing values and ponders both the fashionable and serious trends of present-day urban architecture. In doing so, this book does not become bogged down in its lexical function, but instead also has a constructive and critically instructive appeal. It s more than just a handbook, it is a guide. Rob Krier Berlin, April 2010 (Translation from German: Cathal Whelehan) --Rob Krier

About the Author

Dhiru A. Thadani is a practicing architect and teacher who has worked in North and South America, Europe, and Asia, in urban design, town planning, architectural design, landscape design, and construction management.

Léon Krier is a renowned architect who has taught architecture and town planning at the Royal College of Art, London; Princeton University; Yale University; and the University of Virginia.

Andrés Duany is one of America’s most influential architects and town planners.

More About the Author

DHIRU A. THADANI, AIA is an architect and urbanist who has taught, practiced, and worked to place architecture and urbanism in the public eye.

Dhiru was born in Bombay, India and moved to Washington, D.C., to attend the Catholic University of America (CUA) from 1972-1978, where he received his undergraduate and graduate education in architecture. He has taught at several universities and actively lectures on urban issues the world over.

Since 1980, Dhiru has been the lead designer for many new development, urban retrofit, neighborhood revitalization, and infill densification projects. The projects range in scale from new towns for 500,000 inhabitants to smaller resort communities, as well as small-scale residential infill interventions in revitalizing neighborhoods.

He has created neighborhoods that are walkable, and contain a balance and diverse range of workplaces and housing. In addition, these new developments reinforce regional planning for open space, and feature architecture that is responsive to the culture, climate, and context.

Dhiru has undertaken several self-directed research initiatives to produce measured drawings and collect data on public open spaces, city plans, college towns, academic campuses, university related research parks, and the development of Washington, D.C. The methodical research has developed into an expertise in these fields, which has been incorporated into several award-wining projects. Between 2004 and 2008, Dhiru received four CNU Charter Awards for projects that he was instrumental in designing. These include: the master plan for Vedanta University, Orissa, India, a new university to serve 100,000 students; a vision plan for the City of Long Beach, Mississippi, one of many cities along the gulf coast which was destroyed by Hurricane Katrina; master plan for the college town in Lexington, Kentucky; and for the revitalization plan for Macon, Georgia.

Since its formation in 1993, Dhiru has been a charter member of the Congress for the New Urbanism (CNU), and was appointed to the board in 2005. He is a 2001 Fellow of the Knight Program in Community Building.

He conceived and co-edited the following publications:

1. Leon Krier: The Architecture of Community. Island Press, 2009.
2. Windsor Forum on Design Education: Toward an Ideal Curriculum to Reform Architectural Education. New Urban Press, 2004.
3. Making Towns: Principles and Techniques. University of Maryland, 1993.
4. Five Architects: Twenty Years Later. University of Maryland, 1992.
5. Building the City: Where Nature and the City Meet. Smithsonian Institution, 1991.

Dhiru resides in Washington, D.C., with his wife, Terry Schum, and children, Adrienne and Dylan.

Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Diana Twining on December 1, 2010
Format: Hardcover
Dhiru Thadani's book is truly a masterpiece. He has taken a visual "language' we are all familiar with and articulated
it in a way which provides the platform for us to have meaningful conversations about urban design and the built environment
and the critical issues facing us all today.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By joe defazio on December 30, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I began with the A Streets and in 3 days I found myself at Zeitgeist. I couldn't put it down. The graphics and photographs are precise demonstrations of the text. I could feel the love you have for the built environment emanate from the informative descriptions, innovative suggestions and warm reflections of your experiences in these places. Congratulations again on your salient work of form, composition and enlightenment on the built environment.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Kip on October 21, 2011
Format: Hardcover
A huge book which is highly detailed with thousands of images. Being well organised, it is easy to pick up and read for 5 minutes or a couple of hours
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By MAk on October 16, 2013
Format: Hardcover
Great book. a lot of planning and urban design information. It would have been better if electronic version available, because it is heavy to carry it..
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Lrjohn3 on June 29, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I am trained as a Landscape Architect and Urban Designer, this book (though I have just barley gotten into it, it is HUGE) is a wealth of info that is applicable at many scales and across many disciplines and all students of design (both literally students and professionals who like to gain knowledge) would be well served from this book. Great images wide variety of topics great for LA's, Arch's, UD's, Planner's... everyone should own this.
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