Automatic Architecture: Motivating Form after Modernism

University of Chicago Press
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In the 1960s and ’70s, architects, influenced by recent developments in computing and the rise of structuralist and poststructuralist thinking, began to radically rethink how architecture could be created. Though various new approaches gained favor, they had one thing in common: they advocated moving away from the traditional reliance on an individual architect’s knowledge and instincts and toward the use of external tools and processes that were considered objective, logical, or natural. Automatic architecture was born.

The quixotic attempts to formulate such design processes extended modernist principles and tried to draw architecture closer to mathematics and the sciences. By focusing on design methods, and by examining evidence at a range of scales—from institutions to individual buildings—Automatic Architecture offers an alternative to narratives of this period that have presented postmodernism as a question of style, as the methods and techniques traced here have been more deeply consequential than the many stylistic shifts of the past half century. Sean Keller closes the book with an analysis of the contemporary condition, suggesting future paths for architectural practice that work through, but also beyond, the merely automatic.
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About the author

Sean Keller is associate professor and director of history and theory at the IIT College of Architecture. He is a trustee of the Graham Foundation and a fellow at the Neubauer Collegium at the University of Chicago.
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Additional Information

Publisher
University of Chicago Press
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Published on
Feb 12, 2018
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Pages
208
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ISBN
9780226496528
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Language
English
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Genres
Architecture / General
Architecture / History / Contemporary (1945-)
Architecture / Methods & Materials
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Eligible for Family Library

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 TABLE OF CONTENTS 
CHAPTER ONE 
INTRODUCTION TO SHIPPING CONTAINER HOMES: 
ADVANTAGES OF SHIPPING CONTAINER HOMES: 
DISADVANTAGES OF SHIPPING CONTAINER HOMES: 
CONTAINER SIZES AND SPECIFICATIONS: 
NEW OR USED CONTAINER: 
PERMITS AND REGULATIONS: 
CHAPTER TWO 
FOUNDATION FOR SHIPPING CONTAINER HOMES: 
SITE CONDITIONS: 
CLIMATE: 
MARKET FACTORS: 
BUILDING DESIGN: 
EXCAVATION AND FOOTINGS: 
TYPES OF MATERIALS USED FOR FOUNDATION CONSTRUCTION: 
CHAPTER THREE 
PLACING THE CONTAINERS: 
JOINING THE CONTAINERS: 
WELDING BASICS: 
ADVANTAGES: 
DISADVANTAGES: 
PARTS OF THE WELDER KIT: 
WELDING SAFETY GEAR: 
PREPPING & GRINDING THE WELD: 
COMMON WELDING PROBLEMS: 
CONTAINER REINFORCEMENT: 
CHAPTER FOUR 
ROOFS: 
TYPES OF ROOFS: 
1. SHED: 
2. GABLE ROOF: 
HOW TO CUT SHIPPING CONTAINERS 
CHAPTER FIVE 
ADVANCED FRAMING: 
ROUGH ELECTRICAL & PLUMBING WORK: 
SOLAR PANELS: 
PLUMBING: 
CHAPTER SIX 
CONTAINER HOME INSULATION: 
THERMAL BRIDGING: 
FLOORING: 
SAFETY LOCKS FOR YOUR CONTAINER HOME: 
CHAPTER SEVEN: RESOURCE DIRECTORY 
CHAPTER EIGHT: PLANS 
PUBLISHER 

Introduction to Shipping Container Homes: 

Shipping container homes are houses that are built using shipping containers. The strength, durability, availability, and the cost effectiveness of containers as building material has made these types of homes popular in recent years. When you buy a container, it might appear as hollow boxes with no windows or openings. However, these boxes are highly customizable; they can be stacked and welded together to create beautiful yet economical homes. The next section is about the pros and cons of living in a shipping container home.
An essential toolkit for understanding architecture as both art form and the setting for our everyday lives

We spend most of our days and nights in buildings, living and working and sometimes playing. Buildings often overawe us with their beauty. Architecture is both setting for our everyday lives and public art form—but it remains mysterious to most of us.
In How Architecture Works, Witold Rybczynski, one of our best, most stylish critics and winner of the Vincent Scully Prize for his architectural writing, answers our most fundamental questions about how good—and not-so-good—buildings are designed and constructed. Introducing the reader to the rich and varied world of modern architecture, he takes us behind the scenes, revealing how architects as different as Frank Gehry, Renzo Piano, and Robert A. M. Stern envision and create their designs. He teaches us how to "read" plans, how buildings respond to their settings, and how the smallest detail—of a stair balustrade, for instance—can convey an architect's vision. Ranging widely from a war memorial in London to an opera house in St. Petersburg, from the National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington, D.C., to a famous architect's private retreat in downtown Princeton, How Architecture Works, explains the central elements that make up good building design. It is an enlightening humanist's toolkit for thinking about the built environment and seeing it afresh.
"Architecture, if it is any good, speaks to all of us," Rybczynski writes. This revelatory book is his grand tour of architecture today.

From the authors of Cradle to Cradle, we learn what's next: The Upcycle
The Upcycle is the eagerly awaited follow-up to Cradle to Cradle, one of the most consequential ecological manifestoes of our time. Now, drawing on the green living lessons gained from 10 years of putting the Cradle to Cradle concept into practice with businesses, governments, and ordinary people, William McDonough and Michael Braungart envision the next step in the solution to our ecological crisis: We don't just use or reuse and recycle resources with greater effectiveness, we actually improve the natural world as we live, create, and build.
For McDonough and Braungart, the questions of resource scarcity and sustainability are questions of design. They are practical-minded visionaries: They envision beneficial designs of products, buildings, and business practices—and they show us these ideas being put to use around the world as everyday objects like chairs, cars, and factories are being reimagined not just to sustain life on the planet but to grow it. It is an eye-opening, inspiring tour of our green future as it unfolds in front of us.
The Upcycle is as ambitious as such classics as Rachel Carson's Silent Spring—but its mission is very different. McDonough and Braungart want to turn on its head our very understanding of the human role on earth: Instead of protecting the planet from human impact, why not redesign our activity to improve the environment? We can have a beneficial, sustainable footprint. Abundance for all. The goal is within our reach.
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