Tech reads

Words:
Jan-Carlos Kucharek

PIP's Editor Jan Carlos Kucharek casts an eye over the latest publications

Radical Pedagogies
Daisy Froud and Harriet Harriss eds.

RIBA Publishing 202p £35

With the RIBA ringing in the changes for architectural education in the UK – whether you agree with them or not – Radical Pedagogies is a timely counterpoint to the hard realities of ensuring that imagination is not sacrificed at the altar of professional aptitude – or vice versa. Perhaps it should be seen as an encouragement that the book is very image lite, concentrating more on message than medium. Split into five sections, it takes the reader on a journey through the history of education, the current system, ways of rethinking it and adopted approaches in action. The editors bring together pedagogical thinking from a robust and respected group of architects and teachers to give us a lively and informed riposte to the status quo.

Open Source Architecture
Carlos Ratti with Matthew Claudel

Thames & Hudson 144p £14.95

You know you’ve hit a book that’s achingly on-trend when you turn to the back of it to find that the term ‘3D printers’ precedes ‘A’ in the index. If the phrase ‘Open Source’ isn’t clue enough, the back cover blurb coins the term ‘paradigm shift’, so you know you’re in for a challenging read. MIT studio director Ratti calls on a number of architect writers to offer us an alternative manifesto for architecture – one informed by ‘open access and mass customisation’. He’s in good company: UK thinkers Ricky Burdett, Alex Haw and Architecture 00’s Alastair Parvin feature among 13 others to crowd source the issues in essay format and chew the unsaturated archi-fat.

The Future of Architecture in 100 Buildings
Marc Kushner. Jennifer Krichels ed.

Simon and Schuster TED Books £7.99

Okay already! For his TED Talk American architect supremo Marc Kushner might have culled most of the buildings he chose for his whistlestop tour of the future from his website Architizer’s awards, but there’s no doubting the mild diversion gained from the follow-up book on what new architecture is actually supposed to do. To be honest, the questions are rather subjective and about-face (find the building, then ask the question) and come up with odd conclusions – eg BIG’s West 57th St project in New York is one you should aspire towards – but there are enough unseen projects here to pique  your imagination and maintain some residual hope that, in future, architecture might be more about sustainable utility than style

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