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The Architecture of Patterns


Paul Andersen (Author), David Salomon (Author), David Carson (Artist)

With a Foreword by Sanford Kwinter

Our Retail Price:£18.99

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Through a precise and expansive definition of what a pattern is, this book offers ways to understand and use patterns in contemporary design.

From the structure of the universe to the print on your grandmother’s couch, patterns are found in a variety of concrete and conceptual phenomena. For architecture, something that so easily traffics between science and taste demands attention, which partially explains patterns’ recent revival across diverse stylistic and intellectual camps. Yet, despite their ubiquity, their resurgence remains un-theorized and their capabilities underutilized. To date no account has been given for their recent proliferation, nor have their various formal and functional capacities been examined. In fact, the relationship between patterns and architecture hasn’t been addressed in almost 30 years.

This book fills that gap by tracking the definitions and applications of patterns in a number of fields, and by suggesting how contemporary patterns might be used in design. Drawing on historical material and recent case studies, it gives shape to patterns’ emerging potential. The Architecture of Patterns provides an updated definition of patterns that is at once precise and expansive—one that allows their sensory, ephemeral, and iterative traits to be taken as seriously as their functional, everlasting, and essential ones.

Book design by David Carson. Foreword by Sanford Kwinter. Projects by Atelier Manferdini, Bjarke Ingels Group, Ciro Najle, EMERGENT/Thomas Wiscombe, Foreign Office Architects, Jason Payne and Heather Roberge, Herzog and de Meuron, J. Mayer H. Architects, Reiser+Umemoto, Responsive Systems Group, and !ndie architecture.


“[B]oldly designed and visually punctuated by art director David Carson.” — Architects + Artisans

“This is a seductively designed theoretical text which architects may actually be compelled to pick up and have on their studio desk and, while it would fit well as supplemental reading in an undergraduate or graduate architectural theory course, it has a lot to offer for students at work in the design studio. The book makes its case quickly and supports it with several high-quality images.” — Architectural Research Quarterly

“[T]he authors’ frequent repetition of the idea that architecture is — at its heart — the synthesis of many patterns of ‘spatial and temporal demands, integrating material and social behaviors and combining cultural trends [and] formal desires’ is profound.” — Ann Lok Lui, ArchNewsNow

“[T]he graphic design (images, fonts, horizontal layout) works with the words to create spreads that highlight the smaller, intricate ideas within the larger pattern of the book’s complex theorizations.” — John Hill, Daily Dose of Architecture

“Wise words, well-served….Quirky, thinky and surprising, this soft-cover book is a piece of art unto itself, thanks to its smart observations and clever design. The authors find the patterns of the 21st century —in weavings, on manhole covers, on the bottom of sneakers — and argue them as an inspirational starting point for building design.” — The Denver Post

“The book offers captivating surprises as it unveils how patterns link seemingly disjointed categories, such as botany and graffiti or sensation and organization…redefines patterns, illuminating their transient and sensory traits that are often overlooked. It offers designers an abundance of ways to showcase the unique traits of patterns and incorporate them into smart and innovative designs.” — Zoe Namerow, Contract Magazine's "Talk Contract" blog