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Down Detour Road: An Architect in Search of Practice
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 ...more
Paperback, 227 pages
Published August 6th 2010 by MIT Press (MA)
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Después de terminar la carrera de arquitectura y una maestría en negocios Eric J. Cesal se enfrenta ante un pequeño problema. La peor recesión económica azotaba a los Estados Unidos provocando que toda la industria de la construcción se viniera abajo. Ante este panorama el Eric J. Cesal decide escribir para mantenerse ocupado y aliviar la preocupación que cualquier persona tendría ante este difícil panorama. En este texto que se percibe como un claro ejercicio de catarsis y por momentos anecdóti ...more
The book starts rough — there are odd turns of phrase, derivative constructions throughout (one early chapter all but started by quoting from a dictionary definition of a word), and enough metaphorical explanations using abstract generalizations that sound just plausible enough to be true (like the distinction between kings and sorcerers, or the description of everyone’s favorite bartender). There’s just enough there to make me question whether the author had enough editing and fact-checking at ...more
Despite the author's attempts to clarify that this is NOT a professional manifesto, but something more like a memoir of his professional struggles....I still wanted it to be a manifesto. He's an articulate writer and the book is filled with good insights about the gap between an idealistic architectural student and the reality of finding architecture itself undervalued as a profession. As far as a memoir goes, it's not insightful enough to be satisfying. As far as a manifesto goes, it's not comp ...more
A book that is truly thought provoking for anyone within in the architecture profession, but particularly so for someone recently graduated. Many of what he writes are what I wish I learned when I first entered architecture school. The books takes a realistic look into what architecture truly is to our society.
A few of us at my office read this together. Most found it disappointing, looking for a comprehensive manifesto on where we ought to be as a profession. I just thought it asked some of the right questions, which was enough for me. After he wrote the book, the author started working for Architecture for Humanity in Haiti- I would like to see him write a book about that.