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Inscriptions: Architecture Before Speech

Inscriptions: Architecture Before Speech

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Publisher: Harvard University Press; 1st edition, May 2022, Authors: Andrew Holder and K. Michael Hays, ISBN: 9781934510797, Format: Hardcover, 632pp

Inscriptions: Architecture Before Speech is a theory of contemporary architecture, spanning the work of 112 practices in 750 images. Against the popular characterization of contemporary architecture as a centerless field where anything goes and everything is possible, the book argues that much recent work belongs to a collective undertaking. Underneath the impression of kaleidoscopic difference produced by the rapid circulation of design images, there is a shared mechanism, an agreement about how architectural objects emerge from the procedures of design. This mechanism, which we call Inscription, manages to both offer fundamentally intelligible form to architecture’s audiences, while at the same time advancing the field toward novel outcomes. The ensuing work is nothing less than democratically optimistic in its wide appeal and challenging in its cuts against convention.

Featuring essays from Catherine Ingraham, Lucia Allais, Stan Allen, Phillip Denny, Edward Eigen, Sylvia Lavin, Antoine Picon, and Marrikka Trotter, Inscriptions offers a broad array of critical perspectives on work that defines architecture’s second decade of the 21st century.