Synopses & Reviews
With insight into the human side of architecture, this critical assessment displays the shortcomings of modern urban planning as an acclaimed architect issues a passionate charge against the celebrities of the current architectural world: the archistars.” He argues that architecture has lost its way and its true function, as the archistars mold cityscapes to build their brand with no regard for the public good. More than a diatribe against the trade, La Cecla makes a call to rethink urban space and take the cities back from casino capitalism” that has left a string of failed urban projects, such as the Sagrera of Barcelona and the expansion of Columbia University in New York City. Recounting his travels across the globe, La Cecla provides insights to aid in resisting the planners and to find the spirit of a place. These commentaries on the works of past and present masters of urban and landscape will take an important place in continued public discourse for years to come.
To tell the truth, Franco La Cecla is not wrong. There is too much building, sometimes only to put a signature, a stamp on a spot, without any worry about the people who are going to live there. In other situations it is easy to be used by the institutions that support speculation. It is the reason why I refused many projects, because, I am luckyand I can choose.” Renzo Piano, La Repubblica
La Cecla's book is a delight, in the way that he dismantles the glory of the 'archistar' in their proud myopic grandeur that totally ignores people and their rights to a better urban life.” Sebastian Courtois, La Reforme
"This book, with its moving and persuasive argument, is recommended especially for design libraries. Instead of occupying Wall Street, La Cecla occupies architecture with an eye for truth and humanity." —Library Journal (May 2012)
"Scathing, unpretentious enough for nonarchitects to enjoy, and irrefutably dead-on." —www.vice.com
About the Author
Franco La Cecla is a renowned anthropologist and architect. In 2005 he founded Architecture Social Impact Assessment (ASIA), an agency that evaluates the social impact of architectural and city planning projects. He is currently in production with Radiotelevisione Italiana on a series based on Against Architecture.