O'Donnell Publishes Niche Tactics

book cover

Detail of Niche Tactics: Generative Relationships between Architecture and Site, by Caroline O'Donnell.

April 10, 2015

Niche Tactics: Generative Relationships between Architecture and Site (Routledge, 2015), the first book by architecture's Edgar A. Tafel Assistant Professor Caroline O'Donnell, explores architecture's relationship with site and its ecological analogue: the relationship between an organism and its environment.

Including 140 drawings and photographs, Niche Tactics provides a series of case studies that investigate historical moments when relationships between architecture and site were productively intertwined. Interspersed between the case studies are texts on subjects as diverse as giraffe morphology, ugliness, and hopeful monsters.

"The language of evolution has been creeping into architecture — words like species, brood, and mutation have become commonplace," says O'Donnell. "But there is one aspect that is often left behind: site. This book goes back to the basics of evolution theory and considers how we might think and design differently if we no longer neglect the role of the environment in the translation from evolution to architecture."

O'Donnell is the director of the professional Master of Architecture program in the Department of Architecture, the faculty editor of the Cornell Journal of Architecture, and principal of the design studio CODA.

By Rebecca Bowes

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