4 West Burton Place
Chicago, Illinois 60610
Utilizing the latest software, an innovative set of digital procedures will be developed to provide more accessible, animated, and informative visual readings of buildings, providing new forms of critical and historical analysis. These techniques are used to closely read a trio of prominent post-war critics (Tafuri, Rowe, and Banham) through interpretation of a trio of exemplary buildings (by Piranesi, Giulio, and Moretti). How to Read a Building is accessible to a wide-range of individuals, from the general public to students and practitioners. It produces a primer on visual acuity, a step-by-step reading with clear diagrams, along with text and animations—all of which will take apart buildings and historical readings piece-by-piece to see what makes them tick. The project emphasizes the techniques and performance of visual reading in order to rethink how any building (and any critic) performs, so that the reader can develop and refine their own forms of close reading.
Mark Rakatansky, principal of Mark Rakatansky Studio, teaches at Columbia University. His designs and writings have appeared in numerous publications in Australia, Austria, Denmark, England, Germany, Italy, Japan, Korea, and the United States. His book Tectonic Acts of Desire and Doubt is forthcoming from the Architectural Association in 2012, as part of their Architecture Words series. Other recent writing includes "Fabricators" in Full Scale (2012) and "As Setting, as Scene" in Lo Cal City. His most recent design work includes Inner Liner; Summer Reading Pavilion (for Banned Books) for the Gwangju Biennale 2009; and Recombinant Campus, a series of designs for Queens College. He has received a diverse range of awards and citations in architecture, urbanism, landscape, and graphic design, including the Architectural League's Emerging Voices Award, a PRINT Award, and the Progressive Architecture Award; his work has been included in Venice Biennale's The City and I.D.'s Annual Design Review.
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