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Feature: BWAF Bookshelf, July 2013

From the BWAF Bookshelf
July 2013 Bookshelf Covers

From left: Writing About Architecture, Women in Green, Enamored with Place (credits below)

The July 2013 BWAF Bookshelf features a handbook for students, scholars, and critics of architecture; a compilation of conversations with leaders in the sustainable design field (2007); and a memoir of an architect/single mother (2012). This month's books will stimulate you intellectually, visually, and emotionally. Books include: Writing About Architecture: Mastering the Language of Buildings and CitiesWomen in Green: Voices of Sustainable Design, and Enamored with Place: As Woman + As Architect.

Writing About Architecture: Master the Language of Buildings and Cities

Alexandra Lange (Princeton Architectural Press, 2012) Extraordinary architecture addresses so much more than mere practical considerations. It inspires and provokes while creating a seamless experience of the physical world for its users. It is the rare writer that can frame the discussion of a building in a way that allows the reader to see it with new eyes. Writing About Architecture is a handbook on writing effectively and critically about buildings and cities. Each chapter opens with a reprint of a significant essay written by a renowned architecture critic, followed by a close reading and discussion of the writer s strategies. Lange offers her own analysis using contemporary examples as well as a checklist of questions at the end of each chapter to help guide the writer. This important addition to the Architecture Briefs series is based on the author's design writing courses at New York University and the School of Visual Arts. Lange also writes a popular online column for Design Observer and has written for Dwell, Metropolis, New York magazine, and The New York Times. Writing About Architecture includes analysis of critical writings by Ada Louise Huxtable, Lewis Mumford, Herbert Muschamp, Michael Sorkin, Charles Moore, Frederick Law Olmsted, and Jane Jacobs. Architects covered include Marcel Breuer, Diller Scofidio + Renfro, Field Operations, Norman Foster, Frank Gehry, Frederick Law Olmsted, SOM, Louis Sullivan, and Frank Lloyd Wright.  

Women in Green: Voices of Sustainable Design

Kira Gould and Lance Hosey (Ecotone Publishing, 2007) Research has shown that women are more inclined than men to support environmental causes through voting, activism and consumer choices. Gould and Hosey examine this statistic within the context of the building industry, one of the richest territories for environmental change. Through conversations with architects, designers, consultants, policymakers, educators and students, the authors examine the implications of women in the sustainable design field, asking both what the field offers women and what women offer the field. Emerging from these conversations is an argument for a gendered orientation of green design, drawing a connection between women’s normative nurturing attitudes and holistic thinking and placing contemporary practice into an environmentalist history stemming from female trailblazers including Jane Jacobs and Rachel Carson.  

Enamored with Place: As Woman + As Architect

Wendy Bertrand (Eyeonplace Press, 2012) This is the personal and professional memoir of an architect who tells how her identity and life as woman are inseparable from her adventures in the profession of architecture. She reflects in the epilogue about how what she knows now could influence the way our culture goes about the making of place. Wendy Bertrand has been a mother since 1966 and a registered California architect since 1978. She graduated from the University of California, Berkeley with a bachelor of architecture (1971), and with a master of architecture (1972) after study in France at the École des Beaux Arts (1964–65). She divides her time seasonally, between her writing desk in San Francisco and her weaving studio in Del Norte County, where she spins yarn and weaves colorful rugs. She frequently visits France, where her daughter, Chanette Manso, is one of the top internationally recognized light painters. Excerpts of the descriptions were obtained from the publishers’ website. *Photo Credits: Photos were obtained from publishers’ websites.

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