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Urban Literacy

Reading and Writing Architecture

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New Methods for ‘Reading’ and ‘Writing’ Places

Urban Literacy. Reading and Writing Architecture discusses how literature offers valuable ways to become aware of how people experience, use, and imagine places. It argues that Lefebvre’s concept of lived space, experienced and lived through by characters, evoking memories and imaginations, is the space that we encounter in the evocative descriptions of places and spaces by literary writers. This book proposes a literary approach using instruments from for research and design of architecture, urban space and landscapes.

The book proposes a triad of interrelated concepts: description, transcription and prescription. Within this framework, the book includes analyses of the written and architectural work of Steven Holl, Bernard Tschumi and Rem Koolhaas. Urban Literacy concludes with chapters about the potential of a literary approach for architectural education, research and design practice.

‘This important book by Klaske Havik participates in the growing conversation about the relationships between natural (metaphoric) language and architecture. Understanding the primacy of the relationships between language and design in continuity to phenomenology’s living bodily consciousness, she distances herself from previous semiotic and poststructuralist positions. The book offers valuable insights into the possibilities of literary language to generate more poetic and culturally significant environments - Prof. Alberto Pérez-Gómez, McGill University, Montreal

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ISBN 978-94-6208-121-5 | 1. edition | July 2014 | available | Klaske Havik | design: Sanne Dijkstra | English | paperback | 17 x 24 cm | 256 pages | illustrated (80 b/w) | with support from: het Stimuleringsfonds voor de Creatieve Industrie

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