The book covers, among others, the theories of Carlo Lodoli, Gottfried Semper, Eugène-Emmanuel Viollet-le-Duc, Louis Sullivan, Frank Lloyd Wright, Hannes Meyer, Adolf Behne, CIAM, Jane Jacobs, Robert Venturi and Denise Scott Brown, Charles Jencks, William Mitchell, and Manuel Castells.
Architecture matters. It matters to cities, the planet, and human lives. How architects design and what they build has an impact that usually lasts for generations. The more we understand architecture—the deeper we probe the decisions and designs that go into making a building—the better our world becomes.
Aaron Betsky, architect, author, curator, former museum director, and currently the dean of the Frank Lloyd Wright School of Architecture, guides readers into the rich and complex world of contemporary architecture. Combining his early experiences as an architect with his extensive experience as a jury member selecting the world’s most prominent and cutting-edge architects to build icons for cities, Betsky possesses rare insight into the mechanisms, politics, and personalities that play a role in how buildings in our societies and urban centers come to be. In approximately fifty themes, drawing on his inside knowledge of the architectural world, he explores a broad spectrum of topics, from the meaning of domestic space to the spectacle of the urban realm. Accessible, instructive, and hugely enjoyable, Why Architecture Matters will open the eyes of anyone dreaming of becoming an architect, and will bring a wry smile to anyone who already is.
Nine essays by noted architects and architectural historians cover a range of topics from broad-based critical commentaries to discussions of individual architects and buildings. Among the latter are the architects Enrique del Moral, Juan O'Gorman, Carlos Obregón Santacilia, Juan Segura, Mario Pani, and the campus and stadium of the Ciudad Universitaria in Mexico City.
Relatively little has been published in English regarding this era in Mexican architecture. Thus, Modernity and the Architecture of Mexico will play a groundbreaking role in making the underlying assumptions, ideological and political constructs, and specific architect's agendas known to a wide audience in the humanities. Likewise, it should inspire greater appreciation for this undervalued body of works as an important contribution to the modern movement.