GoArchitect is starting a blog series about the books that influence today's architects and designers. Each week we will interview one person with one question: What 3 books have impacted your life in architecture and why?
The 3 books may be from childhood or just last week, the important element is that they helped define their personal or professional life. If you would like to be considered for a future interview, please fill this out.
Ryan Cameron is an Architect with DLR Group. He is leading computational design efforts at the firm that range in practice from data analysis, data strategy, parametric modeling, to data-driven design. He is evidence-based certified as well as a licensed architect in several states. He is a technology enthusiast and designer with degrees in architecture and engineering. Ryan’s long list of public presentations and innovative work have been commonly cited as representing the vanguard of critical directions for the industry.
What 3 books have impacted your life in architecture and why?
Architectural Design: Architecture+Animation vol. 71. No.2 April 2001
Helen Castle (Editor), 2001
Starting around third year in architecture college I was in the library one day and left the modernist section of Le Corbusier, Frank Lloyd Wright and Mies. I stumbled across Architectural Design volumes edited by Helen Castle. The first of many volumes I pulled out was Architecture+Animation vol. 71. No.2 April 2001. This was several years old at the time but looking at the list of the editorial board you would see names like Peter Cook, Antoine Predock and many others. It was my introduction to an entirely different concept of architecture and space by means of time-based multidimensional motion. I found an entirely new design language from the way we design space, to the way we design the transitional states between the spaces. At which point I started putting these concepts and theories to the test by entering competitions, to great success. Had I not stumbled across these volumes and applied their techniques, I would not have won a series of competitions. In turn, I built a portfolio of work that led to me accepting the Gary Spring Memorial Scholarship to help pay for grad school. My advice for everyone is do not read for knowledge, read for action and leave yourself room for discovery in life, even if its accidental.
Nathaniel Kahn, 2003
If I can break from the mold for a second, the movie "My Architect" by Louis Kahn's son, Nathaniel Kahn, was a heavy influence. The time and research that was put into this was astounding to me back then. To see Louis Kahn's contemporaries like Frank Gehry, I.M.Pei, and Phillip Johnson speak about his father and the impact he had on the world with just a few great projects speaks volumes about architecture. Design became personal at that point in my life. The affect architects have on people deeply impacted me. It flipped the script, as I realized that it wasn't just for me to design whatever I wanted, but to merge the ideas to create something special that everyone can enjoy.
Randy Deutsch, 2019
I'm going to make a prediction on this last book. As far as impact goes, Superusers: Design Technology Specialists and the Future of Practice by Randy Deutsch, 2019 will have an influence on me as it is the first book in which I'm mentioned. Its a very surreal feeling to hear other people's reaction to what's going on in the industry and have it match up with your own. I count myself very lucky to have met and influenced so many people in my talks around the world and even more humbled to know it has made an impact. Many of those talks included friends who have gone on to do great things as well. Its all about teamwork! What you will read in this book is a long overdue voice that reminds us all that in order to get better, things have to change. What I will say, is that Randy's series of books are very influential and he deserves a lot of credit for being the collector of voices in an industry not adept at changing its ways.
Have any of these books influenced your life or career in architecture? Leave a comment below and tell us how.
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