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The Portfolio and the Diagram


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"This book alters our view of American architecture during the 1920s and 1930s. It reaches far beyond the narratives indebted to the European avant-garde or technological modernization to elucidate the rich intellectual history behind the emergence of American modernism as a socially-oriented practice."--Gail Fenske, School of Architecture, Art, and Historic Preservation, Roger Williams University "This insightful history of the 1920s and '30s entices us with multiple implications. The Portfolio of drawings and the abstract Diagram, two 'practical systems' of architectural production, have also generated distinct languages for understanding and debating the very nature of architecture itself."--Gwendolyn Wright, Professor of Architecture, Columbia University "Because architects do not make buildings but representations of them, the media of architectural thought and discourse will always merit attention and reconsideration, especially in a time such as ours when the techniques of producing this 'discourse' are rapidly changing. The Portfolio and the Diagram illuminates the historical and theoretical conditions of the shift in representational intentions and techniques that defines the modern period -- a shift that has both destabilized and invigorated contemporary architecture."--David Leatherbarrow, University of Pennsylvania

About the Author

Hyungmin Pai is Associate Professor of Architecture at the University of Seoul.


With the resurgence of interest in diagrams for design, The Portfolio and the Diagram is a timely and valuable reminder that reflecting on the historical uses of diagrams enables more-informed future practices and, hopefully, avoids the separation of fact and appearance that continues in too many architectural practices today.

-Journal of Architectural Education

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