Duck Duck Book

9 – a home in the world
01.26.2005, 12:06 am
Filed under: social sciences

A home in the world : houses and cultures / Martine and Caroline Laffon ; translated from the French by Lenora Ammon. (English-language edition; original title: Habitat du monde.)
New York : H.N. Abrams, 2004.
[MCL call number: 392.36 L163h 2004; two copies, no holds]

A picture book of houses, focusing on the vernacular house ways and styles of traditional cultures from around the world. The text isn’t worth much; the tone is somewhat patronizing, the explanations of how cultures and houses interact didn’t answer most of my questions, and much of the information that’s provided seems superfluous. The photographs focus on houses that are very different from house forms in the industrialized west, and the representation of people and their dwellings is somewhat exoticized. But, the pictures are lovely and fascinating, there is no doubt. And perhaps the text is only suffering from a poor translation. For a better book on a similar subject, keep reading until you get to Built by Hand.


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