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Words and Buildings


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Table of Contents

Introduction Part One: The Language of Modernism (six chapters) Part Two: A Modernist Lexicon (explores 19 keywords pertaining to modernism)

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A wholly original study of the complex relationship between architecture and language that has changed and enriched the way we think and talk about the built environment

About the Author

Adrian Forty is a Professor of Architectural History at The Bartlett, the Faculty of the Built Environment at University College London, now retired. He is also the former Programme Director of the masters programme in Architectural History. In 2003, he was awarded the Sir Misha Black Award for Innovation in Design Education. Forty is the author of many highly regarded books on architecture and design, including Objects of Desire, also published by Thames & Hudson.


Academic discourse are the words that immediately come to mind when reading this work. Forty (history of architecture, Bartlett Sch. of Architecture, UK) is keenly interested in the relationship between architecture and language as complex social practices. Part 1 consists of six original essays inquiring into "the spoken and written language of modern architecture." These essays consider the language of modernism, language and drawing, masculine and feminine architecture, language metaphors, science in architecture, and the social properties of architecture. Part 2 is a "dictionary" of essays exploring the historical framework and theoretical meaning of 18 words that form the "core vocabulary of modernist architectural criticism." The scholarly text is well documented with footnotes and black-and-white illustrations. Recommended for large academic and specialized library collections.DJay Schafer, Bay Path Coll. Lib., Longmeadow, MA Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.

'Essential reading ... will change and enrich the way we think and talk about buildings' - Sunday Telegraph
'Architects should be made to read 'Words and Buildings'' - Architecture Today
'Unusually clear and accessible ... Students of all kinds will love this book' - The Architectural Review
'A forceful, clear and sophisticated exposition' - Robert Harbison, The Architects' Journal

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