The Culture of Building

The Culture of Building

4.41 (17 ratings by Goodreads)
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The Culture of Building describes how the built world, including the vast number of buildings that are the settings for people's everyday lives, is the product of building cultures-complex systems of people, relationships, building types, techniques, and habits in which design and building are anchored. These cultures include builders, bankers, architects, developers, clients, contractors, craftspeople, building inspectors, planners, and many others. The product of these cultures, which operate building after building, is the built world of cities and settlements. In this book, Howard Davis uses historical, contemporary, and cross-cultural examples to describe the nature and influence of these cultures. He shows how building cultures reflect the general cultures in which they exist, how they have changed over history, how they affect the form of buildings and cities, and how present building cultures, which are responsible for the contemporary everyday environments, may be improved. Following the development of the idea of building cultures using several historical examples, the book lays out a framework that puts such topics as craft and professionalism, the vernacular and nonvernacular, and design and construction in common frameworks. Although the book ranges widely over different cultures and historical periods, it emphasizes the transformations that took place in architecture and building practice from the late eighteenth century to the present. Finally, the book uses a series of contemporary examples that demonstrate the building culture as a living concept. These examples, which include built work as well as innovative processes that go beyond the work of architects alone, are described as the seeds that can help the emergence of a better build world. This beautiful book features over 260 color and black-and-white illustrations, most from the author's extensive collection of slides, and includes photographs, prints, and drawings from historical archives and contemporary architectural more

Product details

  • Paperback | 400 pages
  • 175.3 x 251.5 x 27.9mm | 1,179.35g
  • Oxford University Press Inc
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • 45 halftones, 56 line drawings, 173 color photographs
  • 0195305930
  • 9780195305937
  • 1,229,240

Review quote

"A most welcome contribution to the field."-Journal of Architectural Education "Well documented with extensive information."-Choice "In this innovatory and challeging work, Howard Davis explores the relationships between the institutions and operations of building design and construction in practical and human terms. Drawing upon a remarkably broad frame of reference, Davis cites examples from his own studies in Japan, India, North Africa, and elsewhere, in addition to focused examination of the building culture of the past and present in Europe and the United States. This unprecedented book should be essential reading, not merely for architects and students of architecture, but for all who are seriously engaged in the production of buildings now, and in the future."-Paul Oliver, Director, Centre for Vernacular Architecture, Oxford Brookes University "With this insightful work, Howard Davis brings a refreshing breeze to ventilate our stuffy attics of architectural thought. He draws our attention away from the tired, singular icons of architectural history and directs it toward the omnipresent urban fabric that shapes our everyday experience. Through his words and photographs, we learn to recognize (and hopefully to replicate) the qualities of a built environment that is healthy for our minds and souls as well as our bodies."-Edward Allen, author of How Buildings Work: The Natural Order of Architecture "I find this book to be wonderful and refreshing. It describes, for the first time, a new point of view in which the overall system and process of construction of the buildings in the world-all of them together-is viewed as a single system: and that system is analyzed for its capacity to create a living world, or not, in different traditional and modern societies. The depth of the examples, the beautiful detail that describes individual instances of building process from culture after culture, and the analytical insight in the hundreds of examples, make this book a landmark. The Culture of Building, if taken as I think it must be taken, heralds a new era in our thinking about architecture."-Christopher Alexander "Davis, an architect-educator who has traveled, read, and thought broadly, offers a framework for thinking about why we build buildings and cities so poorly these days and what we might do to improve the results....Upper-division undergraduates through professionals."-Choice "It's not often that a book appears with the potential to fundamentally change the way we think about the built world. The Culture of Building by Howard Davis is such a book....[It] is filled with both beautiful and gritty photos of people building and the places they produce....Davis' ideas are clear, intelligent, and substantial, and he writes about them in a refreshing, penetrating, and enlightening way.... Davis's goal is nothing less than a "unified theory" of architecture and construction, a book that finally explains it all design, codes, contracts, style, technology, finance, place-making, education and how they interrelate."-Architecture Weekshow more

About Howard Davis

Howard Davis is Professor of Architecture at the University of more

Rating details

17 ratings
4.41 out of 5 stars
5 53% (9)
4 35% (6)
3 12% (2)
2 0% (0)
1 0% (0)
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