• Alternative Architecture: A Documentary History
    Caroline Maniaque-Benton
    MIT Press, 2014
    Caroline Maniaque-Benton

Roberta Price, Rock House upper room under construction, 1972, Libre, CO. Courtesy of Roberta Price.

Alternative Architecture: A Documentary History is a book project with MIT Press that collects and interprets source texts and images on the activist uses of architectural and environmental design from the 1960s to the present. It aims to reveal continuities and discontinuities across alternative architectural practices and debates over the last half-century, forming a geography stretching eastwards from California to India. The use of the term "alternative architecture" refers to practices which challenged mainstream architectural education, professional practice, and capital-intensive production. Alternative architecture promoted auto-didactic, self-built, communitarian, social activist, ecological, and low-cost building practices. These largely grew out of the 1960s US counterculture, suggesting a practical means by which to secede from Cold War–culture. An undeclared movement, alternative architecture affected architects and governmental policy, attracting global attention and developing regional offshoots around the world.

Caroline Maniaque-Benton is associate professor of architecture at the Ecole Nationale Superieure d'Architecture, Paris Malaquais. Maniaque-Benton is the author of Le Corbusier and the Maisons Jaoul (2009). Her works on alternative architectural practice and thinking in the 1960s has been published in Ant Farm: 1968-1978 (University of California Press, 2004) and Space, Travel, and Architecture (Ashgate, 2009). Her recent book French Encounters with the American Counterculture 1960–1980, is published by Ashgate (2011). An extended version of this book is published in french under the title Go West! Des architectes au pays de la contre-culture (Parenthèses, 2014). She is past fellow of the Canadian Centre for Architecture.