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Twelve Lectures on Architecture: Algorithmic Sustainable Design Paperback – December 10, 2010

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Editorial Reviews


"The new book is like a Swiss Army Knife of tools for creating ultimate human habitats. It is in many ways a compression of this work by Alexander. A better introduction you can't get!
Øyvind Holmstad, Energy Bulletin

"A fantastic manual of architectural algorithms explaining exactly why some designs make us feel at home on this planet and why others offend our neurology." 
~ James Howard Kunstler, Orion Magazine

"From architectural megalomania to media culture to the habit of cutting design and construction costs by ignoring the obvious ... modernism acts like a computer virus that erases data banks and substitutes something much simpler and less functional, with collective social memory as the 'data bank' in question."
~ James Kalb, Turnabout

"Biology and architecture intersect in mankind's unconscious perceptions ... in ways that cause traditional architecture to be perceived intuitively by most people as more natural and life-affirming than modern architecture ... the importance to change the world might be an additional incitement.
~ David Brussat, Providence Journal

"The author presents mathematical concepts and computer technologies: fractals, cellular automata, genetic algorithms. He shows us the beauty of mathematics through its usage. Formulating his message through a broad spectrum of topics, Salingaros appears to be a true Renaissance figure."
Jadwiga Zarnowiecka, Architektura & Bisnes

From the Author

LECTURE NOTES TO ACCOMPANY THE FREE VIDEO COURSE ONLINE.  --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 252 pages
  • Publisher: ISI Distributed Titles; 1 edition (December 10, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 3937954031
  • ISBN-13: 978-3937954035
  • Product Dimensions: 7.5 x 0.5 x 10 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #464,533 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Nikos A. Salingaros MA PhD is one of the pioneers who are defining the new architecture. This is an innovative and interactive way of conceiving, constructing, and repairing the city. The author of six monographs on architectural and urban design translated into six languages, he is on the forefront of deriving evidence-based rules for the built environment using scientific methods and logic. These rules replace outdated working assumptions that have created dysfunctional urban regions following World-War II. His work links human-scale urbanism to developing architectural movements such as P2P Urbanism, the Network City, Biophilic Design, Self-built Housing, Generative Codes, and Sustainable Architecture. A collaborative scientific approach supersedes the century-long practice where an "expert" urbanist determines the form of the build environment based upon improvable and "secret" rules, which are often nothing more than images and ideologies.

Dr. Salingaros collaborated with the visionary architect and software pioneer Christopher Alexander, helping to edit the four-volume "The Nature of Order" during its twenty-five-year gestation. In recognition of his efforts to understand architecture using scientific thinking, Salingaros was awarded the first grant ever for research on architecture by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation in 1997. He is a member of the INTBAU College of Traditional Practitioners and is on the INTBAU Committee of Honor. He was one of the "50 Visionaries who are Changing Your World" selected by the UTNE Reader in 2008. In Planetizen's 2009 survey, he was ranked 11th among "The Top Urban Thinkers of All Time". Salingaros is the author of over 120 scientific papers. Both an artist and scientist, he is Professor of Mathematics at the University of Texas at San Antonio, and is also on the architecture faculty of Università di Roma Tre, Italy and the Tecnologico de Monterrey, Campus Queretaro, Mexico.

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Format: Paperback
These days architectural Modernism, it seems, is like the weather: everybody complains about it, but nobody does anything about it. From Rem Koolhaas to Peter Eisenman, Patrik Schumacher to James Corner, all the leading starchitects seem to be attacking the old dumb linear methods, the boxy forms -- the clearly unsustainable industrial paradigm.

Except that, funny thing, so many of them are still really doing the same old kinds of things, and merely draping them in ever more extravagant costumes -- as my friend Nikos Salingaros likes to point out. They haven't created a new paradigm, so much as fashioned some colorful new clothes for the old destructive emperor to wear.

Salingaros, a mathematician and urbanist, comes at the problem of cities with a modern mathematician's understanding of complexity. If you want elaborate semiotic games or bizarre, attention-getting new forms, this is not the book for you. But if you want insightful analysis of the actual occurrence in cities of fractals, algorithms, the Fibonacci Series, and much more -- and how we can actually use these insights to make better cities -- then you will find this a fascinating book. If you're like me, you'll find it an important and very hopeful book too.

It would be normal for me to say here that this is one of the great standout books in the science of environmental design -- except that, tellingly, it is the only book of its kind of which I am aware. Other authors employ algorithms, scripts, computational design and the like. (The aforementioned Patrik Schumacher, of Zaha Hadid's office, comes to mind.) But for what? For consumer eye candy; for cities as artistic "fashion statements"; for fabulous nonsensical structures that show no literacy in the real human problems of a city.
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Twelve Lectures on Architecture: Algorithmic Sustainable Design
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