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Informal (Anglais) Broché – 30 avril 2007

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Book by Cecil Balmond

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Amazon.com: 17 commentaires
42 internautes sur 45 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Not necessarily for engineers... 31 janvier 2003
Par young at heart - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Relié
Peruse this book it extensively before you buy it. As an engineer, I feel it is long on graphics and musings but short on insight. I think his intended audience is architects more than fellow engineers. I think he wants to show them how engineers are also innovative and multidimensional designers, that we aren't just number-crunchers. A worthy goal, to be sure. But I was hoping to be wowed with project-specific responses to architectural challenges. I wasn't, but I don't consider basic overturning resistance and load transfer to be sheer brilliance. On major backflips of his designs, he holds his cards close. Also, Balmond correlates his work extensively to nature, frontier conceptual science and the arts in the tradition of great thinkers. But the correlations are rarely logical, nor do they show a consistent consciousness or developing method across his oeuvre. Were this not the case, I would be more inclined to believe these epiphanies occurred during actual design as opposed to monograph-writing. Also, it sure is a tiny book for $....
In his defense and perhaps my own, a disclaimer: in no way is this review intended to diminish Balmond's significance to the world of architectural structures. We as engineers aren't known for writing flourishes. And has anyone ever read a design monograph free of ego?
I would recommend What is a Bridge? by Pollalis or An Engineer Imagines by Peter Rice over this book. Both clearly convey the real experience and potential brilliance of the modern structural designer.
24 internautes sur 28 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Wow ! 16 juin 2006
Par Joong Won Lee - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Relié
Informal is an extraordinary work. I guess the reason why it's so shocking is that the content of the book is not like those static structural forms or solutions that we see in structural class. The case studies that Balmond brings to the table are very recent and genuine by star architects. I guess I was shocked by the fact that all these architects are not structurally oriented architects such as Foster/ Piano/ Calatrava/ Hopkins. Rather, they are theoretically approaching architects such as Koolhaas/ Liebskind; or, tectonically approaching architects such as Siza. I never thought projects by them had anything to do with structural or mathmatical innovation. Reading Informal, one can easily detect where the originality lie in each project. Sometimes it's in the irregularity of geometry or sometimes it's in mathmatical mystery. Balmond contends that they are all in mother nature. Unlike a formal structural engineering (e.g. Peter Rice) Balmond's originality comes from the informal networks. In High-tech, the ingenuity of structural entity was condensed into joinery. Informal networks is much more diverse and complex than that. It is against the conventional formal structural idea of hierarchy/center/symmetry. Balmond argues, formal approach is defining a problem in a "fixed" or "contained" manner; hence, leading to a same old idea of solution/ detailing. In Informal, Balmond redefines it in a more active/dynamic geometry, to bring about unexpected realities. Sometimes through structural innovation and sometimes through special surface treatment, Balmond promoted and realized the ideas of star architects. Overall, he has freed architecture from the "Cartesian Cage".
17 internautes sur 19 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
A dialogue 6 avril 2003
Par Un client - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Relié
Informal is a terrific read; it places me right at the table as the author engages with his architect collaborators pursuing innovative building designs. The range is fascinating, from a box shape in the Villa Bordeaux to a curvilinear form in the Arnhem Interchange to the serene and effortless canopy in Lisbon. In each project the author establishes simple initial moves which lead ultimately to new configurations and importantly develops throughout the book a rigorous basis for exploring the non linear. This is welcome in an age when so much architectural form making is whimsical. As an architect I was fascinated how this book also brings out the lyrical and poetic inherent in structure. Best of all perhaps is the 27 sectioned speculation at the end on the anatomy of form, and an insight into the structure of organisation itself. In conjunction with his intriguing earlier book Number 9 Balmond sets out a new agenda for designers everywhere, including architects and engineers.
16 internautes sur 19 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
A behind the scenes of great architecture 25 novembre 2003
Par "gotan007" - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Relié
It was quite interesting to get a look at the somewhat unusual engineering process of Cecil Balmond.
And to discover his inputs behind some famous building, from Koolhas, Libeskind to Siza.
The book is quite easy to read and don`t think you are going to get a structural crash course from Balmond (I must admit, I was bit disapointed of not finding that) but you do get the kind of passionate and heartily discussions you would get if you had the chance of drinking down a few drinks with Balmond and ending up with his famous sketches he drew on the bar's napkins.
Expect a book with graphics and layout of Koolhas' SMLXL / Big fonts, dual-tone pictures.
GOod read, good essay, not for someone looking for glossy pictures
1 internautes sur 1 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Outstanding... 15 mai 2010
Par Sub-Kontinental - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Broché Achat vérifié
I wanted to dislike Informal. I was frothing at the mouth ready to find fault with the book...up until I read it. And it was stellar. I'm actually kind of upset this isn't required reading in my architecture school.

The ultimate benefit of reading Informal is in getting a glimpse into how Balmond thinks. Regardless of whether or not the end products were built, seeing how he thinks his way through problems makes you wish his overwhelming creativity would wash off on you. Balmond explores structure as a possibility rather than a limitation. He conceives highly imaginative and innovative solutions that work symbiotically with the architecture. His writes with humane prose and presents his ideas with inquisitive boyishness, in no way belying his erudition.

Genius. Pure and simple. Worth every dime.
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