Most helpful positive review
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A must-have book for architecture students and young professionals
on January 12, 2013
Put simply, this book is a must-have for architecture students and young professionals who not only want to see their designs realized, but who also wish to retain more control over the design process and final built object.
SHoP has crafted a successful architectural practice around the not-so-ancient idea of positioning the architect towards the operational center of each project. While this carries more risk, it is a strategic and arguably necessary move that counters the unproductive, and increasingly obsolete, traditional model that isolates architects from the economics and construction of buildings.
This book - SHoP's first monograph - is well illustrated with drawings, models, renderings and photos of completed works, complimented by snippets of text that help explain the objectives, hurdles, and design moves deployed to assist the realization of each project. What the contents page (`click to LOOK INSIDE') doesn't reveal is that the green highlighted headings (practice, politics, finance, technology, and sustainability) are insightful 3-page summaries of SHoP's observations on these aspects of architectural culture. And their observations are astute. For example, in the Finance section they stress, "isolating architecture from the `dirty' world of money has done a disservice both to the education of young designers and to the practice of mature architects. (...) A refusal to engage with the financial structure of a project weakens not only the individual architect but the profession as a whole."
Whether of not you like the `look' of their projects, this book will be a welcome and more importantly useful collection to your bookshelf.