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The Built, the Unbuilt, and the Unbuildable: In Pursuit of Architectural Meaning

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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

The pristine, the ruined, the ephemeral, and even the notional are the subject of Robert Harbison's highly original and admittedly romantic contribution to the literature of architecture. His fresh perceptions open this practical art to new interpretations as he explores the means by which buildings, real or imagined, evade or surpass functional necessities while sometimes satisfying them.What fascinates Harbison in these discussions are the paradoxes and ironies of function that give rise to meaning, to a psychological impact that may or may not have been intended. He chooses examples from an architectural borderland - of gardens, monuments, ideal cities and fortification, ruins, paintings, and unbuildable buildings -where use and symbolism overlap; he examines the exceptions at the edges of a field that will illuminate its center.Harbison's pursuit of man's efforts to "fashion art from nonhuman life" begins with a consideration of gardens and the organic architecture of the English Arts and Crafts movement and of Gaudi, then turns to monuments (Claes Oldenburg, Christo, the Vietnam Memorial) that are "either the nearest or the furthest thing from gardens." Harbison's discussion of fortification and urban planning leads to metaphorical themes (fort-features in churches or prisons or Fascist municipal buildings) and mocked-up worlds (Williamsburg, Disneyland), and to the subject of fictional space as expressed in ruins, in painting, in the unbuildable, and finally in the inconceivable as revealed in Kafka's sketches.Robert Harbison has lectured widely on architecture at the Museum of Modern Art in New York, the University of Toronto, Stanford University, Cornell University, and the Architectural Association, London. His previous books include Eccentric Spaces, Deliberate Regression, and Pharaoh's Dream.

Synopsis:

Robert Harbison finds meaning in works of architecture that are unnecessary, having outlived their physical functions or never having been intended to have any.

Synopsis:

Robert Harbison reads architecture as one would read poetry for meaning. Meaning, he finds, resides especially in those works of architecture that are unnecessary, having outlived their physical functions or never having been intended to have any. Gardens, monuments, historic fortifications, and ruins are among the examples he uses to reveal the secret meanings of this architecture "freed from function."

Synopsis:

Robert Harbison reads architecture as one would read poetry for meaning. Meaning, he finds, resides especially in those works of architecture that are unnecessary, having outlived their physical functions or never having been intended to have any. Gardens, monuments, historic fortifications, and ruins are among the examples he uses to reveal the secret meanings of this architecture "freed from function."Robert Harbison has lectured widely on architecture at the Museum of Modem Art in New York, the University of Toronto, Stanford University, Cornell University, and the Architectural Association, London. His previous books include Eccentric Spaces, Deliberate Regression, and Pharaoh's Dream.

About the Author

Robert Harbison has lectured widely on architecture at the Museum of Modem Art in New York, the University of Toronto, Stanford University, Cornell University, and the Architectural Association, London. His previous books include Eccentric Spaces, Deliberate Regression, and Pharaoh's Dream.

Product Details

ISBN:
9780262581226
Subtitle:
In Pursuit of Architectural Meaning
Author:
Harbison, Robert
Author:
Knox Burger Assoc, Ltd.
Author:
Harold Ober Assoc Inc
Publisher:
The MIT Press
Location:
Cambridge
Subject:
History - General
Subject:
Planning
Subject:
Criticism
Subject:
Architecture
Subject:
Arts, fine
Subject:
History : General
Subject:
History
Subject:
Architecture-Urban Planning
Subject:
ARCHITECTURE / Reference
Edition Description:
Trade paper
Series:
The Built, the Unbuilt, and the Unbuildable
Publication Date:
19930504
Binding:
Paperback
Grade Level:
from 17
Language:
English
Illustrations:
130
Pages:
192
Dimensions:
9.1 x 6.2 x 0.5 in

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Related Subjects

» Arts and Entertainment » Architecture » General
» Arts and Entertainment » Architecture » History » General
» Arts and Entertainment » Architecture » Reference
» Arts and Entertainment » Architecture » Theory
» Arts and Entertainment » Architecture » Urban Planning

The Built, the Unbuilt, and the Unbuildable: In Pursuit of Architectural Meaning New Trade Paper
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$24.75 In Stock
Product details 192 pages MIT Press - English 9780262581226 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by , Robert Harbison finds meaning in works of architecture that are unnecessary, having outlived their physical functions or never having been intended to have any.
"Synopsis" by , Robert Harbison reads architecture as one would read poetry for meaning. Meaning, he finds, resides especially in those works of architecture that are unnecessary, having outlived their physical functions or never having been intended to have any. Gardens, monuments, historic fortifications, and ruins are among the examples he uses to reveal the secret meanings of this architecture "freed from function."
"Synopsis" by , Robert Harbison reads architecture as one would read poetry for meaning. Meaning, he finds, resides especially in those works of architecture that are unnecessary, having outlived their physical functions or never having been intended to have any. Gardens, monuments, historic fortifications, and ruins are among the examples he uses to reveal the secret meanings of this architecture "freed from function."Robert Harbison has lectured widely on architecture at the Museum of Modem Art in New York, the University of Toronto, Stanford University, Cornell University, and the Architectural Association, London. His previous books include Eccentric Spaces, Deliberate Regression, and Pharaoh's Dream.
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