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Taking Measures Across the American…
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Taking Measures Across the American Landscape (1996)

by James Corner, Alex S. MacLean (Photographer)

Other authors: Denis Cosgrove (Contributor)

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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This book will change the way you look at and think about landscape. Technically, it's a landscape architecture book, and the essays that deal with that subject are excellent. James Corner is one of the best landscape architects/theorists around, and his writing is though-provoking, lucid and enjoyable to read. He draws an wonderful comparison between this work and Le Corbusier's sightseeing flights over North Africa in the 1930's. But without a doubt, the reason to buy this book are the photographs that document the unexpected beauty that arises out of the interaction between man and nature. The incongruities of landscape, juxtaposed against the linear certainty of the Land Ordinance Act grid, farm plots and other common interventions make for stunning photography.
There are also little subplots, such as creative reuses of already built spaces (tennis courts as parking lots & football field yard lines over a baseball diamond), and the similarity of totally unrelated natural forms (who knew that from 7,000 feet, cracked pond ice looks like microscopic images of streptococcal bacteria?).

There are dozens of other little thoughts I could include, and one of most remarkable things about this book is that the photogrpahs allow the reader to draw on his or her own knowledge to make connections and interpertations. There's no right or wrong way to see these things, which makes it universally rewarding and enjoyable. ( )
1 vote ibbetson | Jun 2, 2006 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
James Cornerprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
MacLean, Alex S.Photographermain authorall editionsconfirmed
Cosgrove, DenisContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Van Valkenburgh, MichaelForewordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0300086962, Paperback)

This book combines breathtaking aerial photographs and exquisite map-drawings of the American landscape with thoughtful essays that explore how various cultures have forged the landscapes in different regions of the country and what the possibilities are for future landscape design.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:33:25 -0400)

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