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Down Detour Road : An Architect in Search of Practice - Eric J. Cesal

Down Detour Road

An Architect in Search of Practice

Paperback Published: 6th August 2010
ISBN: 9780262014618
Number Of Pages: 240
For Ages: 18+ years old

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"I paused at the stoop and thought this could be the basis of a good book. The story of a young man who went deep into the bowels of the academy in order to understand architecture and found it had been on his doorstep all along. This had an air of hokeyness about it, but it had been a tough couple of days and I was feeling sentimental about the warm confines of the studio which had unceremoniously discharged me upon the world." --from "Down Detour Road" As the world redesigns and rebuilds in the face of economic and ecological crises, unprecedented numbers of architects are out of work. What does this say about the value of architecture? That is the question that confronted architect Eric Cesal as he finished graduate school at the onset of the worst financial meltdown in a generation. "Down Detour Road" is his journey: one that begins off-course, and ends in a hopeful new vision of architecture. Like many architects of his generation, Cesal confronts a cold reality. Architects may assure each other of their own importance, but society has come to view architecture as a luxury it can do without. For Cesal, this recognition becomes an occasion to rethink architecture and its value from the very core. He argues that the times demand a new architecture, an empowered architecture that is useful and relevant. New architectural values emerge as our cultural values shift: from high risks to safe bets, from strong portfolios to strong communities, and from clean lines to clean energy. This is not a book about how to run a firm or a profession; it doesn't predict the future of architectural form or aesthetics. It is a personal story--and in many ways a generational one: a story that follows its author on a winding detour across the country, around the profession, and into a new architectural reality.

This book is highly unusual for an architecture opus: it is well written, it is funny, and it is wise in so many ways. I literally 'couldn't put it down,' as the old book review-saw goes, and read it in one sitting...Cesal finds useful parables for architects and their predicament in the most unusual places: the relationship of bartenders to bar owners, how prostitutes are and are not like architects, and how a good architect is like a fire extinguisher...Cesal offers a unique, refreshing take on the profession.

-Michael Crosbie, Architectural Record
This book is highly unusual for an architecture opus: it is well written, it is funny, and it is wise in so many ways. I literally 'couldn't put it down,' as the old book review-saw goes, and read it in one sitting...Cesal finds useful parables for architects and their predicament in the most unusual places: the relationship of bartenders to bar owners, how prostitutes are and are not like architects, and how a good architect is like a fire extinguisher...Cesal offers a unique, refreshing take on the profession.

-Michael Crosbie, Architectural Record * Reviews *

Acknowledgmentsp. vii
Introduction: Reflections from Detour Roadp. 1
The Aimless Architectp. 7
The Case for Empowermentp. 27
Where We Get Power (Kings, Not Sorcerers)p. 43
Camping in the Front Yardp. 55
The Financial Architect (or, A Brief Economic History of Architecture)p. 59
Great Architecture is Like Pulling Teethp. 79
The Value Architectp. 83
Horse Apples and Cow Piesp. 97
The Risk Architectp. 101
I'm an Architectp. 115
The Paid Architectp. 119
The Best Idea in Historyp. 133
The Idea Architectp. 135
The Basis of All Thingsp. 153
The Knowing Architectp. 157
You're an Architect, Aren't You?p. 171
The Named Architectp. 173
How to Become a Famous Architectp. 185
The Citizen Architectp. 189
How to Make a Golf Course "Green"p. 197
The Green Architectp. 199
The Difference between Hookers and Architectsp. 207
The Sober Architect (or, A Doctor, a Lawyer, and an Architect Walk into a Bar)p. 209
Epilogue: Finding Love at a Hardware Storep. 213
Notesp. 223
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780262014618
ISBN-10: 0262014610
Series: The MIT Press
Audience: General
For Ages: 18+ years old
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 240
Published: 6th August 2010
Publisher: MIT Press Ltd
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 14.1 x 20.1  x 1.4
Weight (kg): 0.37