Engaging architecture and design tomes to catch up on when you’re grounded

APR 28, 2020 | By Aneesha Bhadri
CLOCKWISE, FROM LEFT The Image of the City; The Poetics of Space; In Praise of Shadows; The Architecture of Image; Thermal Delight in Architecture.

Being stuck at home for (in)definite lengths of time takes a toll on our collective psyche— after all, man is a social animal. When you’re not free to roam about and feel the sun on your face, go to the cinema hall or your favourite restaurant, it’ time to divert your mind with an array of interesting books on architecture and design. Brush up on your reading skills, a worthy activity one often neglects when there are places to go and sights to see. Learn a bit about design and have fun along the way.

Denise Scott Brown, Robert Venturi and Steven Izenour study the Las Vegas strip to better understand architecture in Learning from Las Vegas; Eyal Weizman examines armed conflicts and environmental destruction by analysing the buildings of those times and places in Forensic Architecture: Violence at the Threshold of Detectability; and Italo Calvino talks about fantastical, magnificient cities in the most poetic and extravagant style in Invisible Cities.Here are a few more to captivate your mind and ensnare your senses…

The Architecture of Image

Existential Space in Cinema Finnish architect Juhani Pallasmaa brings together art, architecture and cinema in this gripping work, where he studies the movies of Alfred Hitchcock, Andrei Tarkovsky, Michelangelo Antonioni and Stanley Kubrick, and explores how they use architectural imagery to create emotional settings.

In Praise of Shadows

Celebrated Japanese author Junichiro Tanizaki talks about architecture from the oriental perspective, an alluring narrative that weaves through light and shadows, texture and colours—bringing out the beauty in subtleties, unnoticed contrasts, tactility and elemental attributes.

The Poetics of Space 

French philosopher Gaston Bachelard essays a lyrical narrative about the spaces within one’s home and how different kinds of domestic settings reflect and interact with our memories and dreams—a philosophy of space that makes you questions your preconceived notions.

Thermal Delight in Architecture

The centrally temperature-controlled spaces of today’s times have made us forget about the importance of thermal environments in cermonies and social activites. Take, for instance, steaming Roman baths or Islamic gardens with cool fountains as their focal point. American architect Lisa Heschong examines the impact of thermal experiences in different cultures in this book.

The Image of the City 

Written by the late urban theorist Kevin Lynch, this work explores what the cityscape means to the people who inhabit it. Propagating that for any given city, people have a corresponding set of mental images, he presents findings that are relevant