The Emerald City: And Other Essays on the Architectural Imagination

The Emerald City: And Other Essays on the Architectural Imagination

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In The Emerald City, Dan Willis takes us on a flight of imagination that paradoxically never strays far from the most tangible, even intimate subjects. His essays range from the Tower of Babel to the Wizard of Oz, from Christo to Christmas trees, from the "lightness of being" to the "weight of architecture." This ultimately optimistic book suggests that architecture is as vital as ever: "It is tempting to say that our present cultural situation...has rendered architecture nearly impossible if not unnecessary. But it is also possible to look to what our lives, at the turn of the millennium, typically lack-fulfillment, spirituality, a sense of belonging, weight-and to conclude that the ground for architecture has never been more fertile. The texts-intelligent and readable-draw equally from literary sources, architectural practice, philosophical analyses, pop culture, and everyday experiences. Willis's perspective as a writer, architect, artist, and teacher informs his work; his texts are at once reflective and proactive, as they challenge readers to rethink their participation in the built environment. Accompanying the text are the author's original illustrations, which link the forms and forces surrounding architecture at the end of the twentieth century in novel, thought-provoking ways.

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