A Practical Guide to Clear Communication about the Built Environment
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About the author
Carter Wiseman is a graduate of Yale and Columbia Universities. He was architecture critic and/or editor for a number of magazines including Newsweek, New York Magazine, Architectural Record, Interior Design, and ARTnews. He is currently a lecturer at the Yale School of Architecture, where he teaches courses that focus on architectural writing and criticism. His books include Twentieth-Century American Architecture: The Buildings and Their Makers and his biographical books on Louis I. Kahn and I.M Pei. He lives in Weston, Connecticut.
For ages, architects have been criticized for speaking an insular language, known to some as "archispeak." Writing Architecture considers the process, methods, and value of architecture writing based on Carter Wiseman’s 30 years of personal experience in writing, editing, and teaching in young architects how to write. This book creatively tackles a problematic issue that Wiseman considers to be a crucial characteristic of successful architecture writing: clarity of thinking and expression. He argues that because we live our lives within the built environment, architecture is the most comprehensive and complex of all art forms. Even brilliantly inspired and complex architectural structures would only amount to misunderstood abstractions without the support and reinforcement of the clear explanation.
Written as a primer for both college level students and practitioners, Writing Architecture acknowledges and explores the boundaries between different techniques of architecture writing from myriad perspectives and purposes. A poetic description of the beauty and impact of a bridge will not illuminate the mechanical knowledge housed in the structure, but at the same time, dense architectural theory will not encourage individuals experiencing and supporting the bridge to perceive significance and usefulness in the design. Using excerpts and from writers in different genres and from different historical periods, Wiseman offers a unique and authoritative perspective on comprehensible writing skills needed for success.
Trinity University Press
; July 2014
192 pages; ISBN 9781595341501Read online
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Title: Writing Architecture
Author: Carter Wiseman
In the press
Argues that clear communication is integral for successful architecture, since words have an important part in expressing ideas, and because any architect will admit they write much more than they ever would have anticipated. Archidose
A clear and concise manual for architectural students and practitioners who want to improve their writing, it provides relevant advise for the former on organizing ideas, expressing opinions, and defending arguments and, in the last two chapters, focuses on ways professionals can secure commissions and communicate with clients. Constructs, Yale School of Architecture
Writing Architecture puts this genre of productive criticism in its wider context. Harvard Magazine
A first-rate discussion of how to conduct the practice of architecture....Every student and virtually every practitioner could benefit from reading the book.Robert Stern, Dean of the Yale School of Architecture
Would serve as a fine starting point to writing about anything. Robert MacNeil, PBS Newshour