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This book has been selected as one of the P2P Foundation's "Top 10 Books of the Year" for 2011.
The ideal supplement to all Architecture Studio and Theory courses -- at any level. Clear and concise presentation of ideas and tools helpful for design, and in understanding the design process itself.
Twelve Lectures on Architecture is a profound philosophical work presented as a set of architectural lecture notes. It reads very easily, explaining why certain buildings and places speak to our hearts, thus illuminating many of our old assumptions about taste. Salingaros establishes, using biology, why traditional architecture is perceived intuitively by most people as more natural and life-affirming than modernist architecture. A deep malaise of contemporary society is tied to the shocking state of architecture and urbanism in our times, characterized by distorted buildings and unusable urban spaces. Salingaros is the archetypal deep thinker and punctures the pretenses of our most respected architecture critics. He is a charismatic teacher, and manages to explain seemingly inaccessible concepts such as fractals, scaling, the golden mean, cellular automata, genetic algorithms, and complexity in simple hand-drawn sketches. He has found a way to translate the complexities inherent in the design of our environment into imagery that even a general reader can understand. Twelve Lectures on Architecture includes an excellent introduction to Christopher Alexander's recent and remarkable work on how biology and architecture intersect in humankind's unconscious perceptions. This book has the importance to change the world because it goes into things that people should have thought about but haven't.
What They're Saying...
"While Salingaros' exposition isn't a design manual with explicit answers, it does let you think of the problem with the right frame of mind. 'Ornament becomes substance' -- this made my jaw drop. The analogy with the binding energy of subatomic particles is fantastic. This is really great material."
-- Federico Mena Quintero, Software Architect, Xalapa, Mexico
"This book is intended for students, yet I think it should be read by everyone who is interested in or works with the built environment. Those who teach urban planning do it for their own ego, not for people who are supposed to live there. The result is an architectural object for imaginary people."
-- Cristina Caramelo Gomes, Professor and Architect, Lisbon, Portugal
"Aims not just at reviewing a mathematics set for architects, but at presenting one useful design tool, a full computational methodology, and a fundamental reason for new structural rules. The most interesting part of this work is that these rules produce new forms belonging to the great set of natural shapes, instinctive architecture, and classic masterpieces of all times. This offers great insight about architecture itself, and about the relationship between nature and culture."
-- Stefano Serafini, Journal of Biourbanism