"In the 1960s at the University of Pennsylvania, my students and I watched a lecture in landscape architecture where the growth of roses was demonstrated through time-lapse photography. We enjoyed the beauty of the movement from bud to bloom, twice, three times -- then I realised that we were seeing only half the pattern. After bloom comes blight; the rose wilts, withers and dies. But our sequences ended with full flowers. They omitted the wasting that followed." -- from Denise Scott Brown's article "The Art in Waste" in Transdiscourse 1: Mediated Environments
From the Amazon.com product description:"Mediated Environments" addresses the problem that society interprets our environment through conditioned and constructed representations of mainstream media and not in a transdisciplinary way with the help of artists, architects, filmmakers, cultural theorists and scientists. The writers who come from these various backgrounds all wish to give media artists, designers and writers a new role in relation to the pressing issues of urban and rural life: ones that can address the challenges of human psychology, recycling, agricultural production, climate chaos and energy conservation. The main aims were to focus on the potentials of creative work to raise public awareness and to find new discourses that can be shared within the areas of mediated architecture, eco art, experimental documentary film, eco-emergent design and art and science collaborations. The editors believe that a closer transdisciplinary working relationship could encourage a more tangible approach to these problems of the future."
CONTENTS: Foreword • Invention and Tradition (1986) • Towards an Active Socioplastics (2007) • On Pop Art, Permissiveness, and Planning (1969) • The Hounding of the Snark (1999) • On Formal Analysis (1979) • Sexism and the Star System (1989) • The Making of an Eclectic (1979) • A Worm’s-Eye View (1984) • What Should New Orleans Do? (2005) • Planning the Powder Room (1967) • On Analysis and Design (1970) • Words about Architecture (2009) • Afterword • Further Reading
"Put a group of architects, urban designers and planners in a sightseeing bus and their actions will define the limits of their concerns. The architects will take photographs of buildings or highways or bridges. The urban designers will wait for that moment when the three are juxtaposed. The planners will be too busy talking to look out of the window." - Denise Scott Brown
In Supercrit No. 2, Robert Venturi and Denise Scott Brown revisit their infamous Learning from Las Vegas, which overturned the barriers separating high architecture from the commercial architecture of the Strip. You can get involved, hear the couple's project description, see the drawings, and join in the crit. This innovative text is an invaluable resource for any architecture student and an inspiring record and exploration of this fascinating project. - adapted from Amazon synopsis
Now, for the first time, these two observer-designer-theorists (Robert Venturi & Denise Scott Brown)
turn their iconoclastic vision onto their own remarkable partnership
and the rule-breaking architecture it has informed. The views of Venturi
and Scott Brown have influenced architects worldwide for nearly half
a century. Pluralism and multiculturalism; symbolism and iconography;
popular culture and the everyday landscape; generic building and electronic
communication are among the many ideas they have championed. Here,
they present both a fascinating retrospective of their life work and
a definitive statement of its theoretical underpinnings. Accessible,
informative, and beautifully illustrated, Architecture as Signs and
Systems is a must for students of architecture and urban planning,
as well as anyone intrigued by these seminal cultural figures. Venturi
and Scott Brown have devoted their professional lives to broadening
our view of the built world and enlarging the purview of practitioners
within it. By looking backward over their own life work, they discover
signs and systems that point forward, toward a humane Mannerist architecture
for a complex, multicultural society. - from Amazon Review
This is the catalog for an exhibition originating at the Philadelphia Museum of Art and traveling to the Museum of Contemporary Art in La Jolla, CA, and the Heinz Architectural Center in Pittsburgh. Brownlee (art history, University of Pennsylvania), David De Long (architecture, University of Pennsylvania), and Kathryn Hiesinger (curator of European decorative arts, Philadelphia Museum of Arts) discuss architecturalaccomplishments and their decorative arts via drawings and color plates. The chronology and project list includes 400 projects designed between 1957 and 2000. - adapted from Amazon Review
This new collection of writings argues for a generic architecture defined by
iconography and electronics, an architecture that has used meaning as shelter
and symbol. It is a call to architecture to recover its lost soul.
Venturi is known as an architect who communicates his architectural ideas,
formal and verbal, with grace and wit. In that sense, this book is vintage
Venturi. These essays, letters, reports, lectures, manifestos, and polemical
texts offer a candid, irreverent view from the drafting room - or, as he says, "commonsense responses, urgent and diverse, of a busy architect," who finds
himself bothered by the conceptualizing of architecture and the contamination of
the field by other disciplines. Seven of the essays were co-authored by Denise
Edited by Frederic Schwartz. Here, Robert Venturi reflects on this seminal building from a distance of over a quarter of a century. He discusses why its style and form, once so revolutionary, are accepted now. Equally important, he reminisces about "how hard it was for me, as its author, to arrive at." This book presents for the first time all of the developmental drawings that were executed to accompany the six stages of the design.
On Houses and Housing illustrates a great diversity in styles and commissions. Social housing, such as the seminal Guild House or the oriental-inspired Chinatown Housing, are included, as well as designs for individual residences. By focusing on houses as luxuriant as the House in Connecticut alongside projects as 'ugly and ordinary' as Brighton Beach Housing -- the competition entry in which the term was in fact coined -- their range proves to be as wide as their concept of 'home.'
Denise Scott Brown's role in VSBA --as an interdisciplinary, cross-continental link and a collaborator in translating urban ideas into architectural terms -- is not well known. In these essays, which are in part autobiographical, she surveys the richness of architectural and urbanistic thinking that has emerged from the "three disciplines of three countries" of her professional and suggests that urban ideas that are very meaningful to Venturi and Scott Brown could be useful to others. At the end, the transcript of a panel discussion after the Tate Gallery lecture reveals a fascinating confrontation between British and American ways of seeing urbanism, with Scott Brown performing what is perhaps her most useful function -- linking things together.
These seventeen essays span thirty-two years in the careers of Robert Venturi and Denise Scott Brown. In these careers one can see the inextricable blending of the building of buildings and the building of words. They "look, analyze, synthesize, through writing, synthesize through design, then look again." A leading exponent of the Postmodern, VSBA has been in the forefront of new approaches in architecture and design, combining traditional with modern. And their writing has been viewed as "brilliant and liberating."
This book continues the groundbreaking work begun in Complexity and Contradiction in Architecture and Learning from Las Vegas. It is a remarkable accolade to the sustained brilliance of two minds and to the tradition they have advanced of thinking, writing, and building.
Learning from Las Vegas created a healthy controversy on its appearance in 1972, calling for architects to be more receptive to the tastes and values of "common" people and the commercial vernacular and less immodest in their erections of "heroic," self-aggrandizing monuments. This revision includes the full texts of Part I of the original, on the Las Vegas Strip, and Part II, "Ugly and Ordinary Architecture, or the Decorated Shed," a generalization from the findings of the first part on symbolism in architecture and the iconography of urban sprawl.
"I am especially pleased to have had the wit to assert in [my original introduction] that Complexity and Contradiction was 'the most important writing on the making of architecture since Le Corbusier's Vers une Architecture of 1923.' What counts is that this brilliant, liberating book was published when it was. It provided architects and critics alike with more realistic and effective weapons, so that the breadth and relevance which the architectural dialogue has since achieved were largely initiated by it." - Vincent Scully, April, 1977
The influential theories and powerful work of this esteemed international design firm are
documented in a concise, one-volume format. Architects and partners, the studio of
husband-and-wife team of Robert Venturi and Denise Scott Brown has always believed that
good design is a collective endeavor, attaching very special value to the contributions of
the many renowned associates who have worked with them on notable projects. A full account
of their studio's brilliant collaborations comes alive in these pages. - from Barnes & Noble Review