Duck Duck Book


6 – how buildings learn
12.12.2004, 12:02 am
Filed under: art & entertainment

How buildings learn : what happens after they're built / Steward Brand.
New York, NY : Viking, c1994.
[MCL call number: 720.1 B817h; one copy, one hold]

This classic work discusses the changes that take place in buildings as they age, especially as they are modified by their human inhabitants. The book is richly illustrated, and includes many photographs of the same scene over time (say a building's facade in 1910, 1934, and 1956), as well as useful drawings and plans. Brand's writing is eloquent, and he argues with a kind of common-sense perspective that is completely absent from most discussions of architecture and space planning.

I read the whole thing straight through as quickly as I could, and then went back and read some of it over, so I'd recommend How Buildings Learn for leisure reading as well as for serious learning. The book is appended with a selective bibliography (annotated), and an index.

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