img(height="1" width="1" style="display:none" src="https://www.facebook.com/tr?id=2939831959404383&ev=PageView&noscript=1")

Books Sept/Oct

The latest architectural thinking in print…

The Nature of Design

M Scott Lockard, Oro Editions, PB 272p, £22

Author Scott Lockard loves drawing. He contends that ‘whoever draws, first designs’. But he doesn’t believe anyone understands design, not in any fundamental way. Where is the listening? How prepared are architects when they go into the process? Do they get that the client’s criteria are what it is all about? ‘A surprising number of designers just muddle through,’ says Lockard. If that’s you this book might help. It is the accumulated wisdom of many years in architecture and all the better for the questions it continues to raise about the design process. Sometimes it feels a little undirected and repetitive and the multitude of images alongside the text can seem like eye candy but they can also be illuminating; as when he points out the ‘lies’ in the context of a skyscraper’s CGI. EY

Buy it here

Better Buildings: Learning from buildings in use

Richard Partington and Simon Bradbury eds, RIBA Publishing, PB 192p, £35

Given ‘Soft Landings’, ahem, ‘vocational’ nature, most architects are too busy chasing the next commission to follow up what exactly is going on operationally with the buildings that they have completed. But hopefully new thinking around this is finally starting to sink in; and the editors here are helping the rest of us along the road by providing a book that actually revisits 10 built projects in detail to tell us what the design aspirations were and then following it up with monitoring results and post-occupancy feedback. The case studies are preceded by a first half of seven essays from architects and engineers, who are all positioning their practices definitively in Stage 7 of the Plan of Work. It’s clear and well-illustrated throughout. CK

Buy it here

Making Things Right

Ole Thorstensen, MacLehose Press, HB 256p £16.99

The builder/client relationship is often regarded as an antagonistic one.  This journal, in the Norwegian confessional tradition of Karl Ove Knusgaard, examines how a loft conversion affects a skilled craftsman and the family who have commissioned the work. Through the complexities of initially frosty discussions with the project’s architect and engineer to the minutiae of the building work itself, Thorstensen outlines both the universalities of the building process and its particularities in Norway. Despite the prevalence of drawings and technical descriptions this is much more a meditation on the place of a skilled craftsperson in an increasingly Ikea’d world than a manual. Critically he demonstrates how problem solving arises both out of client involvement and discussion and the tapping of deep personal experience. RK

Latest

A set of sleek Lifeline Speedlane Swing turnstiles guides workers and visitors into the Stiff + Trevillion office refurbishment above London Cannon Street Station

Lifeline Speedlane Swing turnstiles guide workers into the Stiff + Trevillion office reburbishment

Pooja Agrawal takes up the role of chief executive of Public Practice in June. She talks about the successes and ambitions of the organisation she co-founded and its impact on local authorities and the profession

The new CEO on why local authority placements work

Edmund Harris’ intriguing cataloguing of Less Eminent Victorians is an engaging, enlightening and diverting investigation, finds Hugh Pearman

Edmund Harris’ engaging, enlightening and diverting investigative online blog

The time for fine words on inclusion is over: a group in Bath is taking decisive practical action to recognise all the world’s architecture, storm the discipline’s privilege and face down imperialism’s legacy

Political context must make way for real inclusivity

K-Briqs contain 90% certified construction waste and are made without the use of a kiln, to challenge traditional bricks with just over one tenth of their embodied carbon

Kenoteq start-up says K-Briq has potential to meet entire UK demand