• Reviewing Design Book Review
    James Graham, Keith Krumwiede, and William Littmann
    Daniel A. Barber, Luke Bulman, Irene Cheng, Marianela D’Aprile, Michael Kubo, Nancy Levinson, John McMorrough, Ana Miljački, Jess Myers, Anjulie Rao, and Mimi Zeiger
    Applied Research + Design Publishing and CCA Architecture Books, 2024
    California College of the Arts-Architecture Division

Cover of “Design Book Review,” issue 18, spring 1990

Design Book Review, published between 1983 and 2001, was a wide-ranging journal of architectural ideas that took the genre of the review as its principal format. Rather than situating itself as a journal of architectural theory or as a champion of particular design practices, Design Book Review (DBR) instead guided its readers through the full breadth of architectural publishing with a distinctly accessible voice—“no less than the indispensable record and the liveliest critique of contemporary architectural consciousness,” as the late Michael Sorkin put it. Gathering together a remarkable constellation of authors, it remains an enduring record of architectural discourse in those years. This book project resurfaces the important work of the journal by reopening its questions and extending its energies into the present, as a dialogue between the complete archives of DBR—managed by California College of the Arts—and an emerging cadre of critics and reviewers of architectural discourse.

James Graham is an architect, historian, and assistant professor at the California College of the Arts. His dissertation—The Psychotechnical Architect: Perception, Vocation, and the Laboratory Culture of Modernism, 1914–1945—received the Graham Foundation's Carter Manny Award for dissertation writing in 2017; other ongoing research projects include the intersections of agriculture and nationality with Constructivist architecture in the Soviet Union and the architectures of coal extraction in Appalachia. He was previously the director of Columbia Books on Architecture and the City and founding editor of The Avery Review.

Keith Krumwiede is the dean of the Architecture Division at the California College of the Arts (CCA). His research and practice explore the relationship between architecture and its cultural, social, and political milieus. His recent book Atlas of Another America: An Architectural Fiction (Park Books, 2017) is a satirical assessment of the American Dream presented as an architectural treatise for a fictional, but uncannily familiar, suburban utopia. Prior to joining CCA in fall 2018, Krumwiede was the Arnold W. Brunner/Katherine Edwards Gordon Rome Prize Fellow in Architecture at the American Academy in Rome. His work has been exhibited widely, including the Chicago Architecture Biennial as well as solo shows at numerous schools of architecture, and published in venues like Cartha, Drawing Futures, The Architect’s Newspaper, The Avery Review, Log, Praxis, Perspecta, 306090, and Domus.

William Littmann is senior adjunct professor at the California College of the Arts, teaching classes in architectural history, the history of interiors, and art history, and is an occasional lecturer at the University of California, Berkeley. He received his PhD from University of California, Berkeley, and his master’s in print journalism from Columbia University. He has served on the executive committee of the board of the Vernacular Architecture Forum, is a member of the Historic Interiors Affiliate Group of the Society of Architectural Historians, and is on a committee looking at the teaching of the History of Interiors courses around the world. He has appeared twice on the podcast “99% Invisible.” He has recently published about his efforts to decolonize the architectural history curriculum in the online journal, Platform as well as a 2020 article in Buildings & Landscapes about using long walks as a tool to study urban spaces.

California College of the Arts (CCA) educates students to shape culture and society through the practice and critical study of art, architecture, design, and writing. Benefitting from its San Francisco Bay Area location, the college prepares students for lifelong creative work by cultivating innovation, community engagement, and social and environmental responsibility. Established in 1907, CCA is an accredited, nonprofit art and design college serving 2,000 students and offering 22 undergraduate and 12 graduate majors. By emphasizing interdisciplinary experimentation, and risk-taking, CCA has become internationally recognized for the creative achievements and meaningful societal contributions among its alumni and faculty. The college is structured through four Divisions: Architecture, Fine Arts, Design and Humanities and Sciences.