Cruvellier, Dimcheff, and Sandaker Publish Model Perspectives

Model Perspectives cover detail

Cover detail from Model Perspectives: Structure, Architecture and Culture.

September 23, 2016

Model Perspectives: Structure, Architecture and Culture (Routledge 2016), a new book by architecture faculty members Mark Cruvellier and Luben Dimcheff, presents a combination of various media in an exploration of the links between structure, architecture, and cultural context.

The book, which was coauthored with Bjørn Sandaker, professor of architectural technology at The Oslo School of Architecture and Design, showcases photos of former Cornell students' structures models of contemporary case studies along with a curated set of nearly 50 essays that memorably address these intertwined topics and were written by such people as Colin Rowe, Robert Silman '56, and Cecil Balmond, as well as texts including The Eiffel Tower by Roland Barthes and Olafur Eliasson's Models Are Real.

"This is indeed a book about structures — which won’t surprise anyone here at Cornell who knows me!" says Cruvellier, who is the Nathaniel and Margaret Owings Professor and chair of the Department of Architecture. "But this one is purposefully different in both content and presentation — the photos, essays, and text excerpts combine to situate the topic of structures within the broader context of architectural ideas and cultural influences."

"As the book pans methodically over key structural categories, it also covers multiple territories of geography and thought,” notes Dimcheff, Richard Meier Assistant Professor of Architecture. "A crafted visual narrative leads the reader through, or lets one wander at will."

In a review of the book, Juhani Pallasmaa, architect, writer, and professor emeritus at the Helsinki University of Technology writes, "Model Perspectives: Structure, Architecture and Culture returns architectural thinking back to its tectonic principles and elementary syntax. It also emphasizes the essential cultural connectedness of the art of building; architectural meaning cannot be invented, as it is bound to reflect the human existential and mental reality."

"My coauthors and I are exceptionally pleased with the way this 'experiment' of a book turned out," says Cruvellier, "and we’d like to thank the many individuals who have been involved with it in various ways over the past few years."

A launch event will be held on the AAP Ithaca campus in the Frances Shloss Studio on the third floor of East Sibley Hall on October 3, 2016, from 5 to 7 p.m. Books will be available for purchase at the event. Another launch event will be held at AAP NYC in November.

By Edith Fikes

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