Friday, August 22, 2008

NPR and Book Review: Look of Architecture

NPR has been doing a series on the city called The Urban Frontier and today they spoke with Witold Rybczynski about a Chester County, PA development called New Daleville (see the story here). Rybczynski is a really prolific writer -- he's the architecture critic for the on-line magazine Slate and, according to Wikipedia, he's written over 200 articles. His most recent book was Late Harvest: How a Cornfield Became New Daleville. I read an excerpt on Slate when it came out last year; its exploration of the history of development and New Urbanism didn't really intrigue me, so I haven't read the rest of it. I have, though, read The Look of Architecture, his book from 2001, which I enjoyed.

Look is a really short read, only 144 pages, and its very compact. In it, Rybczynski explores style -- what it is, why its important to architecture, and, in the most interesting part of the book, the relationship between style and fashion.

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