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Read up: three key books on today's hot topics

Jan-Carlos Kucharek

Carbon, timber and social media: architecture in the age of climate change. Products in Practice editor Jan-Carlos Kucharek flicks through the latest tech titles

Carbon: A Field Manual for Building Designers
Matti Kuittinen, Alan Organschi & Andrew Ruff eds. Wiley. HB 272pp £47.50

If you sometimes find it hard to visualise carbon and its place in the ecosystem of the planet, look at the opening spread of this book with its sectional diagram of the earth’s crust while placing carbon-based matter on a graphic grid of carbon per tonne. Its explanatory tone runs like a seam through this book; copiously illustrated in black and white and on a thin, uncoated paper that intimates the authors’ awareness of its own carbon footprint. It’s worth it alone just for Chapter 3, ‘Case Studies in Decarbonisation’.

Carbon - A Field Manual for Building Designers | RIBA Books

Drawing Attention: Architecture in the Age of Social Media
Hamza Shaikh ed. RIBA Publishing. PB 230pp £30

Shaikh, a prominent architectural influencer with his Two Worlds Design podcast, clearly knows a thing or two about the subject and has written or commissioned experts for this book. Just as engagingly, he intersperses the essays with 18 Drawing Profiles, where architects go through tricks and tips of their drawing processes step by step, offering valuable insights for students and professionals alike. There’s barely a page without a drawing; understandable for a book about architects’ love affair with the art of representation. 

Drawing Attention: Architecture in the Age of Social Media | RIBA Books


Holz Bauten/Timber Buildings
Sandra Hofmeister ed. Edition Detail. HB 350pp £56

In standard Teutonic fashion, Detail’s latest book on the craft of building in timber is rigorous and thorough in its showcasing of projects, not only in photographs but with large details of key junctions, which are all meticulously annotated. It runs through 30 global projects, classified by size, and offers a wonderful overview of the modern potential of timber at all scales. It’s sobering that only two UK projects – Maggie’s Centre Oldham by dRMM and the Vitsoe factory in Leamington by Waugh Thistleton – make the list, but the overall takeaway is that the use of timber has never been more exciting or more necessary. 

Holzbauten S, M, L / Timber Buildings S, M, L: 30 x Architektur und Konstruktion / 30 x Architecture and Construction | RIBA Books


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