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robertogreco : witoldrybczynski   6

The enduring influence of architect Christopher Alexander, author of A Pattern Language. - By Witold Rybczynski - Slate Magazine
"Alexander's ideas have taken root in unexpected places. His early books, especially Notes on the Synthesis of Form and A Pattern Language, influenced computer scientists, who found useful parallels between building design and software design. The New Urbanism movement also owes him a debt...Curiously, the one place that Alexander, a lifelong professor, has had the least influence is in academia. The theories that are taught in architecture schools today are of a different sort, and in the belief that the field of architecture should be grounded in intellectual speculation, rather than pragmatic observation, students are more likely to be assigned French post-structuralist texts than A Pattern Language. Which is a shame."
christopheralexander  apatternlanguage  art  architecture  books  urban  sustainability  development  planning  programming  building  design  designpatterns  witoldrybczynski 
december 2009 by robertogreco
Why Can't We Build an Affordable House?
"It is a vicious circle. Smaller houses on smaller lots are the logical solution to the problem of affordability, yet ­density—­and less affluent ­neighbors—­are precisely what most communities fear most. In the name of fighting sprawl, local zoning boards enact regulations that either require larger lots or restrict development, or both. These strategies decrease the ­supply—­hence, increase the ­cost—­of developable land. Since builders pass the cost of lots on to buyers, they justify the higher land prices by building larger and more expensive houses—McMansions. This produces more community resistance, and calls for yet more restrictive regulations. In the process, housing affordability becomes an even more distant ­chimera."
us  housing  homes  markets  economics  policy  zoning  law  politics  witoldrybczynski  affordability  suburbs  architecture 
october 2008 by robertogreco
Instant House: Would you buy a house that was made in a factory? - By Witold Rybczynski - Slate Magazine
"The vexing thing about architectural prefabs is their price; whatever the promises of mass production and standardization, they always seem to end up costing a lot."
witoldrybczynski  prefab  architecture  housing  homes  design  cost  price 
august 2008 by robertogreco
How do you build a public library in the age of Google? - By Witold Rybczynski - Slate Magazine
Dan Hill puts it well: "Not much innovation here, and save Seattle's magnificent library courtesy of OMA, some very dated thinking in US libraries."
architecture  library  libraries  design  future  reading  literature  via:cityofsound  witoldrybczynski  seattlepubliclibrary 
march 2008 by robertogreco
Architects can't predict the future; why the fad for avant-garde architecture? - By Witold Rybczynski - Slate Magazine
"truth is that buildings belong firmly to their own time...especially true of architecture that self-consciously attempts to predict future. That's why settings of old sci-fi movies are often so funny; the future never turns out the way people imagine."
architecture  criticism  future  witoldrybczynski  design  scifi  sciencefiction  futurism  history 
january 2008 by robertogreco

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