Feature: BWAF Bookshelf, June 2013

From the BWAF Bookshelf

Book covers from left to right: Digital Workflows, Jacqueline Tyrwhitt, Mariana Griswold van Rensselaer. *See photo credits below.

Book covers from left to right: Digital Workflows in Architecture, Jacqueline Tyrwhitt, Mariana Griswold van Rensselaer. *See photo credits below.

The June 2013 BWAF Bookshelf features books ranging from digital design and implementation to histories of women pioneers in urban planning and landscape criticism. Books include:  Digital Workflows in Architecture: Design—Assembly—Industry, Jacqueline Tyrwhitt: A Transnational Life in Urban Planning Design, and Mariana Griswold van Rensselaer: A Landscape Critic in the Golden Age.

Digital Workflows in Architecture: Design—Assembly—Industry

Scott Marble (editor)

(Birkhäuser, 2012)

The logics of digital processes in architecture have begun to structure the way that architects design, the way that builders build, and the way that industry is reorganizing. The process of architectural design has become a complex workflow. At the core of the shift toward more expansive forms of digital production within the design and construction industry is the integration of communication through digital networks. The goal is to develop a continuous, easily accessible and parametrically adaptable body of information that coordinates the process from design through a building’s lifecycle. Organized around the key fields of Designing Design, Designing Assembly and Designing Industry, this book is a reference work on digital technologies as key factors in architectural design, fabrication and workflow organization. It presents essays and case studies from some of the leading voices on the topic.

Jacqueline Tyrwhitt: A Transnational Life in Urban Planning Design

Ellen Shoshkes

(Ashgate, 2013)

Jaqueline Tyrwhitt’s life story is truly a gap in the planning and urban design literature: while largely unacknowledged, she played a central role in twentieth-century design history. Here, Ellen Shoshkes provides a full and insightful appraisal of the British town planner, editor, and educator who was at the center of the group of people who shaped the post-war Modern Movement. Beginning with an examination of her early work planning for the physical reconstruction of post-war Britain, Shoshkes argues that Tyrwhitt forged a highly influential synthesis of the bioregionalism of the pioneering Scottish planner Patrick Geddes and the tenets of European modernism, as adapted by the Mars group, the British chapter of CIAM.

The book traces Tyrwhitt’s subsequent contribution to the development of this set of ideas in diverse geographical, cultural and institutional settings and through personal relationships. In doing so, the book also sheds light on Tyrwhitt’s role in the revival of transnational networks of scholars and practitioners concerned with a humanistic, ecological approach to urban and regional planning and design following World War Two, notably those connecting East and West.

Mariana Griswold van Rensselaer: A Landscape Critic in the Golden Age

Judith Major

(University of Virginia Press, 2013)

Mariana Griswold Van Rensselaer (1851–1934) was one of the premier figures in landscape writing and design at the turn of the twentieth century, a moment when the amateur pursuit of gardening and the increasingly professionalized landscape design field were beginning to diverge. This intellectual biography—the first in-depth study of the versatile critic and author—reveals Van Rensselaer’s vital role in this moment in the history of landscape architecture.

Her cosmopolitan education and elevated social status gave her, much like her contemporary Edith Wharton, access to the homes and gardens of the upper classes. This allowed her to mingle with authors, artists, and affluent patrons of the arts and enabled her to write with familiarity about architecture and landscape design. Identifying over 330 previously unattributed editorials and unsigned articles authored by Van Rensselaer in the influential journal Garden and Forest—for which she was the sole female editorial voice—Judith Major offers insight into her ideas about the importance of botanical nomenclature, the similarities between landscape gardening and idealist painting, design in nature, and many other significant topics. Major’s critical examination of Van Rensselaer’s life and writings—which also includes selections from her correspondence—details not only her influential role in the creation of landscape architecture as a discipline but also her contribution to a broader public understanding of the arts in America.

Excerpts of the descriptions were obtained from the publishers’ website.
Photo Credits: Photos were obtained from publishers’ websites.

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