School of Architecture and Planning Centenary: 8. Essentiality and Sensibility

100 years/100 books: School of Architecture and Planning Centenary, 1917-2017
Library Exhibition Series No. 8. Essentiality and Sensibility

In the Architecture and Planning Library we currently have the final display in the 100 years/100 books series, curated by Michael Milojevic, School of Architecture and Planning Professional Teaching Fellow; and Sarah Cox, Architecture Archivist.

Unlike previous displays these books are not by or about architects. Rather they are books which architects and planners are recommended to read for a broad perspective. The writers encourage us to observe the world around us from the minute details to the very big picture. We are challenged to seize the opportunity to connect with the essential and sensible of our physical and imagined surroundings.

On the surface the books on this list may well appear to be about something else entirely, and we may question their relevance to the fields of Architecture and Urban Planning. Yet with everything interconnected; social constructs, physical geography, economics, and cultural histories, these texts provide us with context in our understanding of places and design of spaces. For students of Architecture and Planning these books provide a respite from the narrow focus of strictly architectural and planning texts.

Coming from different backgrounds, including anthropologists, geographers, philosophers, cultural historians, as well as architects and planners, these writers provide great insight through their incredible narratives and essays. They beautifully describe the places we have made, could have made, and may someday make.

In essence, to understand architecture one should read broadly about its sensibility and for its essentiality. And as the year comes to a close, these items may also provide inspiration for your summer reading list.

Essentiality and Sensibility will be on display until the end of January 2018.

Johanna Holzke, Library Assistant, Architecture and Planning Library

Architecture and Planning Library exhibition - Essentiality and Sensibility

The shortlist

The 10 items included in this display (indicated in bold) are drawn from this short list of 25 titles.

Alexander, Christopher, Hansjoachim Neis, and Maggie Moore Alexander. The Battle for Life and Beauty on Earth: A Struggle Between Two World-Systems. New York: Oxford University Press, 2012.

Bachelard, Gaston. The Poetics of Space. New York: Penguin Books. 2014.

Ballard, J. G. High-rise. London: J. Cape, 1975.

Barthes, Roland. The Eiffel Tower and Other Mythologies. New York: Hill and Wang, 1979.

Benjamin, Walter. The Arcades Project. Cambridge, Mass.: Belknap Press, 1999.

Berger, John. Ways of Seeing. London: British Broadcasting Corporation, 1974.

Calvino, Italo. Invisible Cities. London: Picador, 1979.

Collins, Peter. Changing Ideals in Modern Architecture, 1750-1950. Montreal: McGill-Queen’s University Press, 1998.

Colomina, Beatriz. Sexuality and Space. New York: Princeton Architectural Press, 1992.

de Cauter, Lieven. The Capsular Civilization: On the City in the Age of Fear. Rotterdam: NAi Publishers, 2004.

Eco, Umberto. On Beauty. London: Secker & Warburg, 2004.

Hall, Edward Twitchell. The Hidden Dimension. Garden City, N.Y.: Doubleday, 1966.

Heidegger, Martin. Poetry, Language, Thought. New York: Perennical Classics, 2001.

Hertzberger, Herman. Lessons for Students in Architecture. Rotterdam: 010 Publishers, 1998.

Jackson, John Brinckerhoff. A Sense of Place, A Sense of Time. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1994.

Lefebvre, Henri. Writings on Cities. Cambridge, Mass.: Blackwell Publishing, 1996.

Pallasmaa, Juhani. The Eyes of the Skin: Architecture and the Senses. Chichester, U.K.: Wiley, 2012.

Perec, Georges. Life, a User’s Manual. Boston: D. R. Godine, 1987.

Roy, Arundhati. The God of Small Things. London: Flamingo, 1997.

Schama, Simon. Landscape and Memory. New York: A.A. Knopf, 1995.

Sebald, W. G. Austerlitz. London: Penguin, 2002.

Sennett, Richard. The Craftsman. New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Press, 2008.

Stilgoe, John R. Outside Lies Magic: Regaining History and Awareness in Everyday Places. New York: Walker and Co., 1999.

Tanizaki, Jun’ichirō. In Praise of Shadows. London: Vintage Books, 2001.

Till, Jeremy. Architecture Depends. Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press, 2009.