Book Reviews; January 1995; Scientific American Magazine; by Morrison; 4 Page(s)
By our wastes shall we be known. The most voluminous portion of landfill waste deposits is paper; construction debris is second. Paper dominates since in use it is so ubiquitous yet short-lived. Debris is copious because we build in great bulk and redo what we build. Nationally, the annual cost of all rehab often exceeds that of all new construction (although it earns a smaller share of architects' fees).
This lively, well-prepared critic is penetratingly original, if sometimes carried away by inferential zeal (unlike most others, he admits it). He shows plainly how buildings flow in time. He offers something prospective, too--how and why to build for change sure to come. The hundreds of photographs that crowd this book document it firmly: architecture's frozen music thaws, be it pop, jazz, stately minuet or sacred score. The book presents a reasoned, candid and severe critique of today's architecture and its context in finance and development. At heart this is a refutation of visionary solutions; evolutionary design endures by adapting.