The Language of Houses: How Buildings Speak to Us - Alison Lurie, Karen Sung

How perniciously do we judge people on the style of their home and landscaping? What beliefs about society can children pick up from public school design? And how might a desire for increased market share affect hospital design? Architecture is a forthcoming language, and just as she did in her now-canonical The Language of Clothes, Alison Lurie has written a probing primer to the vivid, infinitely subtle semiotics of the material world. Rather than a phrasebook to the jargon of architecture, The Language of Houses (Delphinium, $25.95) is a thorough but accessible exploration of all that buildings communicate, intentionally or unintentionally. Despite the title, the discussion is hardly confined to residences; hospitals and “Houses of God,” big box stores and mental institutions, restaurants and government monuments are all considered, revealing fascinating connections between the discipline of architecture and economics, religious belief, social dynamics, health, and civics. A Pulitzer-laureled novelist and critic, Lurie wears her learning lightly, and peppers the book with personal anecdotes and apt references to literature and its fictional buildings. Using this extended metaphor of language, she illustrates the variations of tone and diction, dialect and volume, depth of vocabulary and syntactical complexity, to which each and every structure is subject. Whether you’re ashamed that you don’t know more about architecture, or are perfectly fluent in its grammar, you’ll delight in this extended appreciation of its capacities.

The Language of Houses By Alison Lurie Cover Image
ISBN: 9781883285609
Availability: Special Order—Subject to Availability
Published: Delphinium - August 19th, 2014

The Language of Houses: How Buildings Speak to Us By Alison Lurie Cover Image
ISBN: 9781883285661
Availability: Special Order—Subject to Availability
Published: Delphinium - September 8th, 2015

At Home: Special Illustrated Edition: A Short History of Private Life - Bill Bryson

Using his own home—an 18th-century English parsonage—as a guide, Bill Bryson brought us a room-by-room examination of the most quotidian of objects in his 2010 At Home, transforming them into an astonishingly illuminating history of domesticity, a modern spin on Mrs. Beeton’s Book of Household Management. Now that runaway bestseller is back with a strong visual component. At Home: A Short History of Private Life, Illustrated Edition (Doubleday, $40) presents some 200 lovingly chosen full-color images that will make a first (or even a second or third) reading of Bryson’s classic a deeply engaging experience.

20th-Century World Architecture

How did human vision and engineering change the world between 1900 and 1999? Let this unique atlas of 20th-Century World Architecture (Phaidon, $200) show you some of the ways. Organized by geographic region, this masterpiece of design and information highlights some 750 structures, ranging from cultural centers to banks, wineries and farms to embassies and estates. Beloved icons like Wright’s Fallingwater are examined as well as less familiar projects, such as art nouveau buildings in China. You can also observe a planetarium in Moscow and compare the Glass House of New Canaan, Connecticut, with the Glass House in Sao Paulo, Brazil. Phaidon has drawn on the resources of an extensive list of experts to present the work of nearly 700 different architects. Weighing in at over eighteen pounds, and with dimensions (27” x 13.7” x 3.3”) that are just short of life-size, this dazzling volume is truly a world-class production.
20th-Century World Architecture: The Phaidon Atlas By Diana Ibanez Lopez, Zofia Trafas, Richard Anderson, TERRAinteralia Cover Image
ISBN: 9780714857060
Availability: Special Order—Subject to Availability
Published: Phaidon Press - October 8th, 2012