Considering my specialization in architecture, I'm not surprised that the first graphic novel to thoroughly engage, not to say captivate, me is Chip Kidd and Dave Taylor's 'Batman: Death by Design.'
Few developments central to the history of art have been so misrepresented or misunderstood as the brief, brave, glorious, doomed life of the Bauhaus - the epochally influential German art, architecture, crafts, and design school that was founded in Goethe's sleepy hometown of Weimar in 1919.
The tall building, concentrating man in one place more densely than ever before, similarly concentrates the dilemma of our public architecture at the end of the twentieth century: whether the new forms made possible by technology are doomed by the low calculations of modern patrons and their architects.
Cost overruns are not uncommon in architecture, particularly for designs that depart from structural or technological norms, or demand a finer quality of execution than commercial schemes - conditions typical of buildings for cultural institutions. Budgets are exceeded for many reasons, not all of them within an architect's control.
Architecture was the last of the major professions to devise a formal 'cursus honorum' before its practice could be undertaken.
Before the professionalization of architecture in the nineteenth century, it was standard for an aspiring mason or carpenter to begin his apprenticeship at fourteen and to become a master builder by his early twenties.
One of the most persistent yet elusive dreams of the Modern Movement in architecture has been prefabrication: industrially made structures that can be assembled at a building site.
The truth be told, the World Trade Center was neither a very good work of architecture nor a very successful piece of urbanism. Its shortcomings were somewhat mitigated by the westward and southward expansion of the World Financial Center and Battery Park City during the 1980s.
All architecture, classical or not, must have some sense of order, and order is much harder to achieve without the straight lines and right angles that have dominated the building art from time immemorial.
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