"In large Victorian houses with many rooms and heavy doors. the occupants could be mysterious and exciting to one another in a way that those who live in rackety developments can never hope to be. Not even the lust of a Lord Byron could survive the fact of Levittown."

            Gore Vidal
            N.Y. Review of Books Mar 31,1966


"We are only cave men who have lost their cave."

            Christopher Morley


"Home life is no more natural to us than a cage is to a cockatoo."

-G.B. Shaw



"a carpet should not be bedizened out like a Ricaree Indian-all red chalk, yellow ochre, and cock's feathers. In brief-distinct grounds, and vivid circular or cycloid figures, of no meaning, are here Median laws. The abomination of flowers, or representations of well-known objects of any kind, should not be endured within the limits of Christendom. Indeed, whether on carpets, or curtains, or tapestry, or ottoman coverings, all upholstery of this nature should be rigidly Arabesque."

-Edgar Allan Poe   "Philosophy of furniture"



"The psychology of place is essentially about belonging. Because it is a fundamental part of human psychological makeup, we know that all people need to belong. Each and every human being needs a place to call home."

-Mindy Thompson Fullilove,

The House of Joshua: Meditations on Family and Place


"Believe me, that was a happy age,

before the days of architects, before the days of builders."

-Seneca (5BC-65 AD) Epistle 90





John Muir



"Our houses are such unwieldy property that we are often imprisoned rather than housed in them."





"The surroundings householders crave are glorified autobiographies ghost-written by willing architects and interior designers who like their clients, want to offer"

            T. H. Robsjohn-Gibbings (Town & country Jan: 1961)



"All are architects of fate,

Working in these walls of time:

Some with massive deeds and great:

Some with lesser rhyme."

-Longfellow, The Builders



"The proper aim of architecture, which is to create a genuine civic life."

-Paolo Soleri



"A man builds a fine house; and now he has a master, and a task for life; he is to furnish, watch, show it, and keep it in repair the rest of his days."

            Society & Solitude (1820)


"The extent and condition of our property, and our choice of style in dwelling, create a powerful emblem of our identity and status...

            Deborah Tall
            From where we stand


"I argued that the living arrangement Americans now think of as normal is bankrupting us economically, socially, ecologically, and spiritually. I identified the physical setting itself-the cartoon landscape of car-clogged highways, strip malls, tract houses, franchise fry pits, parking lots, junked cities, and ravaged countryside-as not merely the symptom of a troubled culture but in many ways a primary cause of our troubles."

            James Howard Kunstler 

        Home From Nowhere



"American cities are dismal. The majority of American small towns have become dismal."

            James. Howard Kunstler


   "On a Winter day some years ago, coming out of Pittsburgh on one of the expresses of the Pennsylvania Railroad, I rolled eastward for an hour through the coal and steel towns of Westmoreland country. It was familiar ground; boy and man, I had been through it often before. But somehow I had never quite sensed its appalling desolation. Here was the very heart of industrial America, the center of its most lucrative and characteristic activity, the boast and pride of the richest and grandest nation ever seen on earth-and here was a scene so dreadfully hideous, so intolerably bleak and forlorn that it reduced the whole aspiration of man to a macabre and depressing joke. Here was wealth beyond computation, almost beyond imagination-and here were human habitations, so abominable that they would have disgraced a race of alley cats."

H.L. Mencken

Prejudices: Sixth Series, 1927



   "Here is something that the psychologists have so far neglected: the love of ugliness for its own sake, the lust to make the world intolerable. Its habitat is the United States..."

H.L. Mencken

The Libido for the Ugly  (from Prejudices: Sixth Series, 1927)



"The physical setting that we Americans have lately constructed for our everyday lives reflects this trashiness. It is probably self-reinforcing, meaning the worse it gets, the worse we act, and the worse we act, the worse it gets.. One could almost state that the everyday world of the United States seems designed to enable us to dwell in a condition of ever-diminished humanity.?"

            James Howard Kunstler



   "A most eloquent example may be seen in the story of housing. A hundred years ago, more or less, when men built houses to live in themselves, they were constructing private property. The purpose was one to be honored, and they worked well, with an eye at least to the third generation. This is a simple instance of providence. One can see those dwellings today in quiet villages of New England and in remote places of the South, the honesty of the work that went into them reflected even in a grace of form. A century or a century and a half goes by, and they are both habitable and attractive. Let us look next at the modern age, in which houses are erected by anonymous builders for anonymous buyers with an eye to profit margins. A certain trickiness of design they often have, a few obeisance's to the god comfort; but after twenty years they are falling apart. They were never private except in a specious sense; no one was really identified with them. Thus our spiritual impoverishment is followed by material impoverishment, in that we are increasingly deceived by surfaces. We lose in the most practical manner conceivable when we allow intension to be replaced by extension."

Richard M. Weaver

Ideas Have Consequences


There still are no architects today.
We all are merely the precursors of him who,
One day, will deserve again the name of architect,
For it has been said: The Master, who builds gardens Out of deserts and piles miracles into Heaven."

            Walter Gropius 1919



"The poor man is to become just as is the rich man- No. 367222, block 99, shelf 17, entrance K .

            Frank Lloyd Wright



"The origins of measures, we may presume, go back to the dawn of human history. Well, not quite the dawn. According to Josephus, the Jewish historian of antiquity, the origins of measurement go back to Cain. This degenerate son of Adam not only killed his own brother, he was the first land surveyor and city planner. Then to round out his sins  he put an end to that simplicity in which men lived before, by the invention of weights and measures."

Ken Alder

The Measure of All Things



"May we rightfully assume architecture to be in the service of humanity? Do we not know that if architecture is not reared and maintained in such service it will eventually be damned?"

            Frank Lloyd Wright


"The modern city is not a harmonious expression of mankind's biological heritage, perhaps no more than a thousand-stall barn is an expression of the temperament of a cow.

            Karl-Erik Fichtelius



   " The first sight to catch the traveler's eye as he sailed into Alexandria's waters were the Royal Palaces, which ran contiguous with the Royal Palaces on Lochias. Along its serene coast rolled groves of lush trees and shrubs. But it was what lay inside Alexandria that attracted visitors: the countless temples, a magnificent Theatre, Cleopatra's Needles standing guard over the port, the Poseidium, and particularly the Emporium, with its busy bazaars and warehouses extending as far as the Heptastadion, the great mole that connect Pharos Island to the mainland.

   Further on, a navigable canal led to Lake Mareotis; and beyond the canal, the Necropolis (Western Cemetery), with abundant gardens, graves, and halting stations for corpse-embalming. Along both sides of the canal, as far as the Serapium, there were more buildings. The most beautiful of all, however, was the University, whose rows of porticoes extended more than a hundred meters in length. At the heart of the city stood the imposing Court of Justice. Here too was the Paneium (temple to Pan, the Greek god of shepherds and goatherds), reached by a winding spiral road, and from whose commanding summit the whole city could be viewed."

Theodore Vrettos

Alexandria: City of the Western Mind



"We may, without offending any laws of good taste, require of an architect, as we do of a novelist, that he should be not only correct, but entertaining."

            John Ruskin


"Any work of architecture that does not express serenity is a mistake."

            Luis Barragan


"Don't be afraid of being called 'unmodern.' changes in the old methods of construction are only allowed if they can claim to bring improvement; otherwise stick with the old ways. because the truth, even if hundreds of years old, has more inner connection than the falsehood that walks beside us."

Adolf Loose (1913)


"Something ignoble, loathsome, undignified attend all associations between people and has been transferred to all objects, dwellings, tools, even the landscape itself."

Bertolt Brecht (on America)


A Solar Age will replace the industrial age….We will create solar cities and solar buildings with solar technology."

            Sir Richard Rogers


"Have you ever watched the millions of stars in the sky on a moonless night, or seen the wind waver over a field of grass, or noticed the dust at play in a shaft of light, or felt the warmth of another's hand....someone you cared for? This is where architecture must come from. Architecture must take measure of all that it is to be human in a world that is whole."

James Hubell


"Let us begin afresh!" This piece of obvious common sense seemed then to me instinct with courage, the noblest of words. My heart went out to him as he spoke. It was, indeed, that day as vague as it was valiant: we did not at all see the forms of what we were thus beginning. All that we saw was the clear inevitableness that the old order should end....

   And then in a little space of time mankind in halting but effectual brotherhood was moving out to make its world anew. Those early years, those first and second decades of the new epoch, were in their daily detail a time of rejoicing toil; one saw chiefly one's own share in that, and little of the whole. It is only now that I look back at it all from these ripe years, from this high tower, that I see the dramatic sequence of its changes, see the cruel old confusions of the ancient time become clarified, simplified, and dissolve and vanish away. Where is that old world now? Where is London, that somber city of smoke and drifting darkness, full of the deep roar and haunting music of disorder, with its oily, shining, "mud-rimmed, barge-crowded river, its black pinnacles and blackened dome, its sad wildernesses of smut-grayed houses, its myriads of draggled prostitutes, its millions of hurrying clerks? The very leaves upon its trees were foul with greasy black defilements. Where is lime-white Paris, with its green and disciplined foliage, its hard unflinching tastefulness, its smartly organized viciousness; and the myriads of workers, noisily shod, streaming over the bridges in the gray cold light of dawn? Where is New York, the high city of clangour and infuriated energy, wind swept and competition swept, its huge buildings jostling one another and straining ever upward for a place in the sky, the fallen pitilessly over-shadowed? Where are its lurking corners of heavy and costly luxury, the shameful bludgeoning bribing vice of its ill-ruled under ways, and all the gaunt extravagant ugliness of its strenuous life? And where now is Philadelphia, with its innumerable small and isolated homes, and Chicago with its interminable bloodstained stockyards, its polyglot underworld of furious discontent?

   All these vast cities have given way and gone, even as my native Potteries and the Black Country have gone, and the lives that were caught, crippled, starved, and maimed amidst their labyrinths, their forgotten and neglected maladjustments, and their vast, inhuman, ill-conceived industrial machinery have escaped-to life. Those cities of growth and accident are altogether gone, never a chimney smokes about our world today, and the sound of the weeping of children who toiled and hungered, the dull despair of overburdened women, the noise of brute quarrels in alleys, all shameful pleasures and all the ugly grossness of wealthy pride have gone with them, with the utter change in our lives. As I look back into the past I see a vast exultant dust of house-breaking and removal rise up into the clear air that followed the hour of the green vapours, I live again the Year of Tents, the Year of Scaffolding, and like the triumph of a new theme in a piece of music-the great cities of our new days arise. Come Caerylon and Armedon, the twin cities of lower England, with the winding summer city of the Thames between, and I see the gaunt dirt of old Edinburgh die to rise again white and tall beneath the shadow of her ancient hill; and Dublin too, reshaped, returning enriched, fair spacious, the city of rich laughter and warm hearts, gleaming gaily in a shaft of sunlight through the soft warm rain. I see the great cities America has planned and made; the Golden City, with ever-ripening fruit along its broad warm ways, and the bell-glad City of a Thousand Spires. I see them as I have seen the city of theatres and meeting places, the City of the Sunlight Bight, and the new city that is still called Utah; and dominated by its observatory dome and the plain and dignified lines of the university facade upon the cliff, Martenabar the great white winter city of the upland snows. And the lesser places too, the townships, the quiet  resting-places, villages half forest with a brawl of streams down their streets, villages, laced with avenues of cedar, villages of garden, of roses and wonderful flowers and the perpetual humming of bees. And through all the world go our children, our sons the old world would have made into servile clerks and shop men, plough drudges and servants; our daughters who were  anemic drudges, prostitutes, sluts, anxiety-racked mothers or sere, repining failures; they go about this world glad and brave, learning, living, doing, happy and rejoicing, brave and free. I think of them wandering in the clear quiet of the ruins of Rome, among the tombs of Egypt or the temples of Athens, of their coming to Mainington and its strange happiness, to Orba and the wonder of its white and slender tower....But who can tell of the fullness and pleasure of life, who can number all our new cities in the world?-cities made by the loving hands of men for living men, cities men weep to enter, so fair they are, so gracious and so kind.....

H.G. Wells

In the Days of the Comet


nr of shipping containers (of about 200 million transported annually) estimated to fall off cargo ships into the ocean every year-10,000


Book: "Buildings that Changed the World" by Klaus Reichold & Bernhard Graf

Book: "Evil Paradises: Dreamworlds of Neoliberalism" Ed by Mike Davis and Daniel Bertrand Monk

Book: "Concrete Dragon: China's Urban Revolution and What it Means for the World" by Thomas J. Campanela

Book: "A History of Architecture: Settings and Rituals, 2nd Edition" editor: The late Spiro Kostof

Book: "His Invention So Fertile: A Life of Christopher Wren" by Adrian Tinniswood

Book: "Frank Lloyd Wright" by Ada Louise Huxtable

Book: "Robert Mills: America's First Architect" by John M. Bryan

"The Architecture Timecharts" Ed. by Louis I Rocah 

Book: Icons of Architecture: the 20th Century" ed by Sabine Thiel-Siling

Book: "A World History of Architecture" by Marian Moffett et al

Book: "Architecture of the Night: The Illuminated Building" ed by Dietrich Neuman

Book: "The End Of Innovation In Architecture, Number 2:New Architecture" Ed. by Andreas Papadakis et al. 

Book: "On A Grander Scale: The Outstanding Life of Sir Christopher Wren" by Lisa Jardine

Book: "Prestel Sightlines: Architecture from Art Nouveau to Deconstructivism" by Klaus Richter

Book: "Through the Labyrinth: Designs and Meanings over 5,000 years" by Hermann Kern

Book: "The World's Greatest Architecture: Past & Present" by D.M. Field

Book: "Western Architecture: From Ancient Greece to the Present" by Ian Sutton

Book: "The Nature of Order: The Phenomenon of Life" by Christopher Alexander

Book: "A Pattern Language" by Christopher Alexander

Book: "Prescriptions for a Healthy House" by Paula Baker-Laporte

Book: "Alternative Construction: Contemporary Natural Building Methods" by John Wiley and Sons

Book: "Shelter" by Lloyd Kahn

Book: "Sidewalk Critic: Lewis Mumford's Writings on New York" Ed. by Robert Wojtowicz

Book: "Living On Earth" by Komatsu Yoshio

Book: "Architecture Without Architects" by Bernard Rudofsky

Book: "Appropriate Building Materials: A Catalogue of Potential Solutions" by Roland Stulz & Mukerji Kiran

Book: "From Ecocities to Living Machines" by John & Nancy Todd

Book: "The Natural House Book" by David Pearson

Book: "The Imperial Cities of Morocco" by Mohamed Metelsi

Book: "A little House of my Own" by Lester Walker

Book: "Nature and Architecture" by Paolo Portoghesi

Book: "Sacred Architecture" by A.T. Mann

Book: " Islam: Art and Architecture" ,ed. by M. Hattstein & P. Delius

Book: "The Story of Islamic Architecture" by Richard Yeomans

Book: "Architecture: The Critics' Choice" Ed. by Dan Cruickshank et al

Book: "The Palladian Ideal" by J. Rykwert

Book: "Tales of Taliesin: A Memoir of Fellowship" by Cornelia Brierly

Book: "Building On the Sea: Form and Meaning in Modern Ship Architecture" by Peter Quartermaine

Book: "The Chrysler Building: Creating a New York Icon, Day by Day" by David Stravitz

Book: "Barragan: Armando Salas Portugal Photographs of the Architecture of Luis Barrigan" 

Book: "Architecture from Prehistory to Post modernity" by M. Trachentberg & I. Hyman

Book: Great Gothic Cathedrals of France" by Stan Parry

Book: "The Art of Natural Building" ed Joseph F. Kennedy, Michael G. Smith & Catherine Wanek

Book: "Soleri: Architecture As Human Ecology" By Antoinietta Lolanda Lima

Book: "Structures: The Way Things Are Built" by Nigel Hawkes

Book: "The Vision Of Frank LLoyd Wright" by Thomas A. Heinz

Book: "Brick: A World History" by J.W.P. Campbell & W. Pryce

Book: "6,000 Years of Housing, Revised Edition" by Norbert Shoenauer



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