World's Greatest Architect
Making, Meaning, and Network Culture
By (author) William J. Mitchell
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World's Greatest Architect by William J. Mitchell
Book DescriptionArtifacts (including works of architecture) play dual roles; they simultaneously perform functions and carry meaning. Columns support roofs, but while the sturdy Tuscan and Doric types traditionally signify masculinity, the slim and elegant Ionic and Corinthian kinds read as feminine. Words are often inscribed on objects. (On a door: "push" or "pull.") Today, information is digitally encoded (dematerialized) and displayed (rematerialized) to become part of many different objects, at one moment appearing on a laptop screen and at another, perhaps, on a building facade (as in Times Square). Well-designed artifacts succeed in being both useful and meaningful. In World's Greatest Architect, William Mitchell offers a series of snapshots -- short essays and analyses -- that examine the systems of function and meaning currently operating in our buildings, cities, and global networks. In his writing, Mitchell makes connections that aren't necessarily obvious but are always illuminating, moving in one essay from Bush-Cheney's abuse of language to Robert Venturi's argument against rigid ideology and in favor of graceful pragmatism. He traces the evolution of Las Vegas from Sin/Sign City to family-friendly resort and residential real estate boomtown. A purchase of chips leads not only to a complementary purchase of beer but to thoughts of Eames chairs (like Pringles) and Gehry (fun to imitate with tortilla chips in refried beans). As for who the world's greatest architect might be, here's a hint: he's also the oldest.
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Book DetailsISBN: 9780262633642
(229mm x 152mm x 11mm)
Imprint: MIT Press
Publisher: MIT Press Ltd
Publish Date: 2-Sep-2008
Country of Publication: United States
Books By Author William J. Mitchell
Imagining MIT, Paperback (March 2011)
The story of the decade long, billion-dollar building boom at MIT and how it produced major works of architecture by Charles Correa, Frank Gehry, Steven Holl, Fumihiko Maki, and Kevin Roche.
Education and Creativity, Paperback (February 2008)
The education sector will be key to the continued success of the UK economy, but will need to adapt to significant changes in its demographic mix coupled with higher social expectations. This book studies the future of the knowledge and creative economies in our changing world.
Placing Words, Paperback (October 2005)» View all books by William J. Mitchell
Reflections on architecture and the exchange of information in the spaces and places of the city, from the necessity of skyscrapers in an age of Web sites to cities as talent magnets, from architectural bling to the neo-minimalism of the new MoMA.
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Author Biography - William J. Mitchell
William J. Mitchell is the Alexander W. Dreyfoos, Jr. Professor of Architecture and Media Arts and Sciences and directs the Smart Cities research group at MIT's Media Lab. He was formerly Dean of the School of Architecture and Head of the Program in Media Arts and Sciences at MIT. He is the author of Imagining MIT: Designing a Campus for the Twenty-First Century, Placing Words: Symbols, Space, and the City, Me++: The Cyborg Self and the Networked City, e-topia: "Urban Life, Jim--but Not as We Know It", City of Bits: Space, Place, and the Infobahn, and The Reconfigured Eye: Visual Truth in the Post-Photographic Era, all published by The MIT Press.
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