Books and Architecture Yale School of Architecture

Precedents 2008

A significant portion of this seminar is composed of a series of Case Studies examining the relationship book production has with a selection of contemporary and historical practices. This study describes each book's physical and conceptual composition, but also includes how each project acts as an agent of the architect within a larger world of communication.

Seminar members will work to develop a dossier on their comparative case study. Each case study will unpack and compare the history and design of a book in an analytical fashion.

Some questions the case study may address: What are the book's contents? What are their content mixtures, in what proportions? How is the content structured in each book? as a sequence, but also on the spread: i.e. macro/micro organization. How are the books read? (are they to be read?!?) What are their means of production? i.e. color, binding, format, page count, etc. What are the book's means of distribution? Does its design limit how far it can go? In terms of their content and message, what is each book's "position?" Are they contradictory? complicit? antagonistic?

The case study will be a collection of images, texts, diagrams, timelines, archival photos, that are structured in such a way as to make them accessible to the public at Case studies will be made of the following books:

mmm... Skyscraper, I Love You

Mask of Medusa

Learning From Las Vegas


Architecture Without Architects

Delirious New York

Herzog & de Meuron: Natural History

Le Modulor

God's Own Junkyard

Image of the City

Five Architects: Eisenman, Graves, Gwathmey, Hejduk, Meier

Education of Vision

Atlas of Novel Tectonics



Next project: → Influences 2018

Previous project: ← Precedents 2009