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Abstract 2015 edited by Jesse Seegers | Columbia GSAPP, distributed by Actar D | 2016 | Amazon
Of all the architecture school annuals, Columbia GSAPP’s Abstract is the one I know the best. The first one I bought was from 1993/94, when I was in architecture school (not at Columbia). Then the books were pretty straightforward and consistent from year to year. But things got interesting when Stefan Sagmeister started designing them, treating them differently each year. The 2009/10 Abstract, for instance, has an acetate slipcase, gold cover, and layouts with small text and big images for the student projects. Things didn’t always go smoothly, as in 2013 when Abstract went digital-only and students protested by throwing the “book”‘s plastic cases out the windows of Avery Hall and using them as ashtrays (you’ll have to trust my memory on this last point, since I can’t find a photo documenting such). The latest Abstract (designed by Common Name) is a spiral-bound “post-internet book” with four sections, each with different paper and page layouts. It’s a pleasure to browse and get a flavor for what the school offers and produces.

Analytic Models in Architecture by Emmanuel Petit | Yale School of Architecture, distributed by Actar D | 2016 | Amazon
This is a very refreshing book. It is so rewarding to see a book focused squarely on models – and analytical models, to boot. When I was teaching design studio a few years ago, I liked to see analytical models as well as study models. And along those lines, these sorts of models ideally carried over to their design projects in the form of study models that distilled the main ideas, formal gestures and structural elements of their designs. Covering a selection of the roughly 900 models created by students in Petit’s studio course “The Analytic Model: Descriptive and Interpretive Systems in Architecture” at Yale from 2005 to 2014, there is plenty of model photos to contemplate.

Beyond Patronage: Reconsidering Models of Practice by Martha Bohm, Joyce Hwang, Gabrielle Printz | Actar | 2015 | Amazon
Coming out of the Buffalo School of Architecture and Planning‘s 2012 Martell Symposium, the book has three sections: “Architect as Initiator,” “Architect as Detective,” and “Architect as Advocate.” Each section is structured with an introductory essay followed by contributions from architects and then interviews with them. These include Hansy Better Barraza’s “Searching for an Authentic Production,” Juliette Spertus’s “Build It In: Making the Case for Garbage Collection in Urban Design,” Lola Sheppard’s “Navigating Territories of Engagement: Investigations in a Remote Territory.” The symposium and book were a collaboration with the Gender Institute and the School of Architecture and Planning with the goal of “redefining contemporary architectural patronage and to highlight the important role that women have had and continue to play in expanding the profession’s boundaries.”

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