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How Buildings Learn: What Happens After They're Built (Anglais) Broché – 1 octobre 1995


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Descriptions du produit

Revue de presse

"It's about time somebody wrote this book. This quirky, thoughtful volume, bursting with curiosity and intelligence, may make our everyday world more visible to more Americans. Architecture is too important to be left to architects alone."
Mixed Media

"A stunning exploration of the design of design … How Buildings Learn will irrevocably alter yor sense of place, space, and the artifacts that shape them."
—Michael Shrage, Wired

"Penetratingly original."
—Philip Morrison, Scientific American

"An extremely attractive volume that will forever alter the way we respond to the buildings around us. We may also hope it will alter the way architects design buildings."
—Harold Gilliam, San Francisco Chronicle

"A fascinating and indefinable book … How Buildings Learn is a hymn to entropy, a witty, heterodox book dedicated to kicking the stuffing out of the proposition that architecture is permanent and that buildings cannot adapt."
—Stephen Bayley, The Times (London)

"The book's diagnosis is clear and to the poiny, and its illustrations of how buildings change are both fascinating and instructive. This is, in short, one of the rare books that every architect should read."
—Thomas Fisher, editor, Progressive Architecture

"A book of good sound-bites and laser-sharp insight … No architecture students should complete their preliminary studies without reading it from cover to cover."
—Patric Hannay, The Architects' Journal

Biographie de l'auteur

Though honored as a writer—with the National Book Award for the Whole Earth Catalog, Eliot Montroll Award for The Media Lab, Golden Gadfly Award for his years as editor of CoEvolution QuarterlySteward Brand is primarily an inventor/designer. Trained as a biologist and army officer, he was an early multimedia artist. He has created a number of lasting institutions, including New Games Tournaments, the Hackers Conference, and The WELL, a bellwether computer conference system. He is co-founder of Global Business Network, a futurist research organization fostering "the art of the long view."


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Détails sur le produit

  • Broché: 252 pages
  • Editeur : Penguin Books; Édition : Reprint (1 octobre 1995)
  • Langue : Anglais
  • ISBN-10: 0140139966
  • ISBN-13: 978-0140139969
  • Dimensions du produit: 21,5 x 1,9 x 27,3 cm
  • Moyenne des commentaires client : 5.0 étoiles sur 5  Voir tous les commentaires (1 commentaire client)
  • Classement des meilleures ventes d'Amazon: 139.363 en Livres anglais et étrangers (Voir les 100 premiers en Livres anglais et étrangers)
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Format: Broché Achat vérifié
Ouvrage reçu en excellent état. C'est un livre fort intéressant,dans une belle édition , format agréable à l'oeil et à manipuler ;. Décidémment un auteur passionnant , auteur du "LONG MAINTENANT " enfin traduit en Français .
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47 internautes sur 49 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
excellent, thought-provoking, calm 9 octobre 1997
Par Greg Wilson (gvwilson@interlog.com) - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Broché
I've hesitated to review this book because I'm personally suspicious of glowing praise. However, this book deserves it. Brand's starting point is the observation that most architects spend most of their time re-working or extending existing buildings, rather than creating new ones from scratch, but the subject of how buildings change (or, to adopt Brand's metaphor, how buildings learn from their use and environment) is ignored by most architectural schools and theorists. By looking at examples (big and small, ancient and modern), Brand teases out patterns of re-use and change, and argues (very convincingly) that since buildings are going to be modified many times, they should be designed with unanticipated future changes in mind. Of course, the same is true of programs, and I found again and again that I could substitute the word "program" for "building", and "programmer" for "architect", everything Brand said was true of computing as well (but much better written than any software engineering polemic I've ever read).
26 internautes sur 26 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
This Book Effectively Merges Technology with Preservation 1 septembre 2003
Par A. Wallace - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Broché
Stewart Brand's How Buildings Learn: What happens after they're built is as much a reflection of his life as it is about architecture. This potent clearly written essay provides valuable insights for a wider ranging audience while poking fun at established norms in the information age. Depreciatory of modernism casting doubt on the success of popular monuments paying homage to their creators, Brand does not limit his criticism of Wright for Falling Water in southwestern Pennsylvania or I.M. Pei's Media Lab Building at MIT. The strength of the book is the candid and thoughtful approach, interrelating complex issues with simple strands. Weaving a tale of old stuff in a new world, Brand proposes that buildings are most useful to their occupants and neighbors when they adapt. He assures that change will happen and that the only enduring monuments are those that can transform with time. Brand relies on a variety of primary and secondary sources and reinforces his examples with candid photographs, often visually comparing and contrasting to make his points. For each of these archetypes he tests the building against its function to perform basic living needs. He candidly makes observations without concern for political correctness within the broader architectural community.
Proposing six shear levels within a building based on their ability to temporally adapt, How Buildings Learn uses Site, Structure, Skin, Services, Space, and Stuff as a highly successful outline in delivering its message (p. 13). One source attributes this paradigm to that developed by British architect and historian F. Duffy's "Four S's" of capital investment in buildings. The site is eternal, yet often ignored by architects. The structure is most permanent defining the form and lasting 30 to 300 years. The skin is the part the architects get to play with. The services change every 10 to 15 years and, for ease of adaptation, should be kept separate to allow slippage from structure. The space (interior partition and pedestrian flow) and people's stuff change continually at the will of the occupants. After defining these layers, Brand then maps how buildings acclimatize over time based on their architecture.
The architecture is divided into three paths: low road, high road, and monumental. As a counter-culturalist, Brand observations should surprise no one that those dysfunctional places revered by society adapt the worse while despised "low visibility, low-rent, no-style" structures are functional, cost effective, and adapt easily to change. Contrasting the "temporary" World War II government warehouse Building 20 at MIT to I.M. Pei's Media Lab on the same campus, Brand illustrates his points with human testimonies and photographs. Though scheduled for demolition a number of times over the decades, Building 20's adaptable character has resisted. On the contrary, it appears the only forces retaining the overly designed and dysfunctional Media Lab are economic and social: the millions of dollars expended for its construction and the people that approved the funding for a monument to its designer. High Road buildings are high maintenance, described by Brand as a "labor of love measured in lifetimes." Citing original work by the Duchess of Devonshire, he attributes the character of these buildings to "high intent, duration of purpose, and a steady supply of confident dictators" (p. 35).
Unlike Low Road buildings that demonstrate value through utility, or High Road buildings that endure for their beauty and majesty, the worst buildings for adaptation are Famous buildings. For this arena, Brand has a target-rich environment. One book reviewer describes these buildings as "ignoring time, while time does not reciprocate." Because of its leaky roofs, Falling Water becomes, "Rising Mildew" and a "seven-bucket building" (p 58.) Famous buildings cannot adapt. They either exist as monuments to their creators, requiring significant investment to preserve, or as relics on the landscape succumbing to the forces of nature disintegrating into the landscape upon which they sit. Brand applied a similar logical approach to contrast exposed building elements. The Eiffel Tower, though despised by the locals at its inception, now stands as a monumental icon to the technical advances of the early twentieth century. The structure is beautiful in the nude. On the contrary, the exposed systems on the twenty-first century Pompidou Centre - originally celebrated for innovation and creativity - are now rusted and cracked. Without intervention, Famous buildings are destined to return to the landscape from which they were created.
How Buildings Learn mirrors Brand's interest in preservation and high technology. While one might interpret preservation and modern construction materials as diametrically opposed disciplines, Brand alleys these concerns. The chapters on Preservation and Maintenance allude to the desirable attributes of quiet, populist, victorious, and romantic. The space materials create environmental stewardship through their speed, efficiency, strength and effortless implementation. Traditional or "vernacular" materials will be touchable and aesthetic but come at a higher price. Smart materials, created from advanced processes, are cheaper and may provide the economic incentive to preserve an old building that might otherwise succumb to the financial pressures created by vernacular restoration. Brand suggests that future buildings will learn more quickly. He uses computer advances in sensory and motor response as metaphors; however, does not suggest to what part of his six "S's" illustration this prediction relates.
As a matter of fact, Stewart Brand has a history of predicting technical change and has built a contrarian consulting organization around this ability. Unlike most management consultants, yet consistent with How Building Learn, Brand helps companies adapt - designing for impending change instead of planning for a strategic future outcome. As Fortune magazine paraphrased him, "If mind-boggling change is the only constant, focusing on the avoidance of major blunders yields better results than the single-minded pursuit of the big win."
25 internautes sur 26 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Fascinating and convincing 10 octobre 2001
Par Stefan Jones - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Broché
In a review in _The Last Whole Earth Catalog_ (1971), author Stewart Brand wrote: "We're not into utopian thinking around here, preferring a more fiasco-by-fiasco approach to perfection."
This perfectly captures the central thesis of _How Buildings Learn_: Once built, buildings do and must _change_ to fit the changing needs of their inhabitants. The interiors may be remodeled, roofs raised, additions made, plumbing and wiring added, rerouted or remodeled, & etc. Single-family brownstones become apartment buildings, homely warehouses may become lofts for artists and high-tech startups, and mansions may be turned into museums.
Good buildings can be changed gracefully; bad ones resist change. Brand shows us many examples of each. In many cases, "vernacular" architecture -- rather plain structures that wouldn't earn a place in an architect's resume -- prove the most suited to change. Brand reserves considerable fury for prestiege projects that seem more to serve the architect's ego than the inhabitants' practical use.
I'm not an architect, student of architecture, or what-have-you, so I don't know how this book ranks with other critiques of architecture. I can say that I found it immenseley informative, persuasive, and readable.
15 internautes sur 16 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Buildings Come Alive! 4 septembre 2000
Par Prof David T Wright - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Broché
`Buildings That Learn' covers the adaptation over time of buildings to tenant needs, often hindered by all of: the `fixed solution in year xyza' aesthetic architects; the vagaries of the real-estate market; and the short-lifetime of modern buildings (quality not increased at same or better rate of increase in human life over centuries). Interestingly, software `guru' Ed Yourdon flagged up similar problems hindering software productivity and quality in his `Rise & Fall of the American Programmer' (e.g. non-customer focus, markets prices & labor costs, poor quality development etc..).
Addressing the building layers (site, structure, skin, services, space plan and "stuff") through a logical sequence of chapters, to get the most out of this book deserves a thorough read rather than a surface glance. The deeply referenced & illustrated, entertaining chapters span:
Flow- introduction and the time dimension; Shearing Layers- of the different rates of change in buildings; "Nobody Cares What You Do In There": The Low Road- easy adaptation in cheap buildings; Houseproud: The High Road- refined adaptation in long-lasting sustained-purpose buildings; Magazine Architecture: No Road- where tenants needs ignored for photo-aesthetics; Unreal estate- and markets sever continuity in buildings; Preservation: A Quiet, Popularist, Conservative, Victorious Revolution- to address incontinuity and frustrate innovators; The Romance of Maintenance- and preservation; Vernacular: How Buildings Learn from Each Other- and respect for design wisdom of older buildings; Function Melts Form: Satisficing Home and Office; The Scenario-buffered Building; and Built for Change- imagining buildings inviting adaption.
Strengths include: the great depth of reference material, illustrations and evidence; easy-readability; an insiders' window on the international world of architects and civil engineers; and suitability for wide audience including lay-people interested in the built-environment and society, as well as complex systems architects (hard engineering or software development).
Rarely the text becomes a bit rambling (more sidebars or bulleted lists?) and repetitive with unsupported assertions- but that is the only negative. Improvements could include an additional chapter cross-referencing (learning from?) `adaptive systems', `scenario planning' etc.. from the other professions that explicitly use these approaches to develop longer-term customer-centric complex adaptive systems.
Overall a great read, that encourages re-evaluation of living and working space (don't accept those dis-functional anonymous boxes behind the trendy outer skin!). `How Buildings Learn' is best read with both something like `E-topia' by Mitchell (Architect and Computer Scientist at MIT) for a visionary (and sometimes contradictory) view of the future of the built environment; and Schumacher's `Small is Beautiful' for a sustainable economic-development viewpoint.
8 internautes sur 8 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
What you'll learn from How Buildings Learn 26 août 2005
Par S. Wald - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Broché
I liked this book so much I bought one for my sister who lives in a bungalow (explained in the book), one for my father, one for me (and then a replacement when that got lost). The book is fascinating for people interested in buildings but also a good lesson in planning, executing and followup on anything. The chapters talk about how you can design to be just-right (which never is) or for flexibility and the one on maintenance (with a wild story about the replacement beam for New College that was planted hundreds of years earlier). Software particularly, which is my field. It's now assigned reading for the technical writers who work for me. Buy it.
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