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Category: Coming Soon

Operative Mapping

Cover Operative mapping

Maps as Design Tools

Roger Paez

Operative Mapping investigates the use of maps as a design tool, providing insight with the potential to benefit education and practice in the design disciplines.

The book’s fundamental aim is to offer a methodological contribution to the design disciplines, both in conceptual and instrumental terms. When added to the resources of contemporary design, operative mapping overcomes the analytical and strictly instrumental approaches of maps, opening up the possibility of working both pragmatically and critically by acknowledging the need for an effective transformation of the milieu based on an understanding of pre-existing conditions.
The approach is pragmatic, not only discussing the present but, above all, generating a toolbox to help expand on the objectives, methodologies and formats of design in the immediate future. The book joins together a review of the theoretical body of work on mapping from the social sciences with case studies from the past 30 years in architecture, planning and landscape design in the interest of linking past practices with future ones.


Author: Roger Paez

Size: 21 x 26 cm / 8.25 x 10.25 in.
Pages: 324
Cover: Hardcover
Illustrations: Color
Publication date: September 2019
Published by: Actar Publishers, Elisava
ISBN: English 978-1-948765-07-7
Price: 40€ / $49.95 / £37

From Crisis to Crisis


Reading, Writing and Criticism in Architecture

Anthony Acciavatti, Chris Brisbin, Sony Devabhaktuni, Françoise Fromonot, Seng Kuan, Xiaoxuan Lu, Jonathan Massey, Graham Brenton Mckay, Kamran Afshar Naderi, Angelika Schnell, Eunice Seng, Nasrine Seraji, Zhi Wenjun, Tao Zhu

From Crisis to Crisis examines how reading, writing and criticism can address the urgent issues faced by architecture today, including: the role of the architect in the era of specialization; the function of criticism in diverse political, economic and cultural contexts; and, the possibility of architectural
education to take on history, theory, civic engagement and political participation. Drawn from an international public symposium organized in the spring of 2017 by the University of Hong Kong (HKU) Department of Architecture, the book is comprised in equal parts of focused essays and transcripts of the wide-ranging discussions.
From Crisis to Crisis reflects Hong Kong’s ongoing transformation from a gateway between China and the world, to a regional hub opening up a new milieu for the cultural, economic, and intellectual resources of Asia. The HKU Department of Architecture is part of this ongoing transformation, attracting thinkers from Asia, North America, Australia and Europe to engage in critical, relevant dialogues. The publication reflects this diversity and is characterized by its flexibility, contingency, vitality, and open-endedness.


Authors: Anthony Acciavatti, Chris Brisbin, Sony Devabhaktuni, Françoise Fromonot, Seng Kuan, Xiaoxuan Lu, Jonathan Massey, Graham Brenton Mckay, Kamran Afshar Naderi, Angelika Schnell, Eunice Seng, Nasrine Seraji, Zhi Wenjun, Tao Zhu

Editor: Nasrine Seraji, Sony Devabhaktuni, and Xiaoxuan Lu

Size: 5.9 x 9.05 in. / 16,5 x 23,5 cm.
Pages: 280
Cover: Softcover
Publication date: May 2019
ISBN: English 9781948765053
Price: 29€ / $34.95 / £27


Architecture and Dystopia

Archit & Distopya_COVER

Dario Donetti, Marco De Michelis, Oliver Elser, Dominique Rouillard, Marco Biraghi, Marie Theres Stauffer, Maddalena Scimemi, Simon Sadler, Massimiliano Savorra, Anthony Vidler

As a response to the profound crisis of Western culture the emerged in the 1960s, radical artists from Italy, Austria, England and Japan called into question the foundations of modernist utopias. They transmuted the difficulties of capitalism into a repertory of startling images that revealed the disturbing realities of consumer society, even in those places still resistant to the penetration of modern architecture, such as Superstudio and Archizoom’s Florence. Their model, though exhausted in the space of experimentation, went on to inspire a generation of architects, from the High Tech movement to Rem Koolhaas, who sought to employ the paradigm of dystopia as both a visionary and a constructive method, one which could operate on the architecture of late capitalism and generate unexpected possibilities for urban planning.
In the light of these examples, how to define a unified “dystopian” method of design, i.e. a common ground for an architecture that, by its very nature, seems to resist systematization? Are the most recognizable architectural expressions of this theoretical framework—characterized by brazen displays of technology and structures of overwhelming scale—merely isolated cases, albeit of particular iconic power? Or do they belong to a wider landscape of antirational architectural projects? And to what extent are these disturbing expressions premised on the utopian tradition or, better yet, the conceptual model of “negative thought”? The goal of this book is to respond to such questions, thus initiating an open dialogue about the legitimacy of this critical category.


Authors: Dario Donetti, Marco De Michelis, Oliver Elser, Dominique Rouillard, Marco Biraghi, Marie Theres Stauffer, Maddalena Scimemi, Simon Sadler, Massimiliano Savorra, Anthony Vidler

Editor: Dario Donetti

Size: 5.9 x 9.05 in. / 15 x 23 cm.
Pages: 196
Cover: Softcover
Publication date: May 2019
ISBN: English 978-1-945-150-94-4
Price: 30€ / $34.95 / £28


Design with Life

0. Cover_ Design with Life

Biotech Architecture and Resilient Cities

Mitchell Joachim, Maria Aiolova, Terreform ONE

In the challenging context of accelerating climate dynamics, the core discipline of architectural design is evolving and embracing new forms of action. New York-based nonprofit Terreform ONE has established a distinctive design tactic that investigates projects through the regenerative use of natural materials, science, and the emergent field of socio-ecological design. This kind of design approach uses actual living matter (not abstracted imitations of nature) to create new functional elements and spaces. These future-based actions are not only grounded in social justice, but are also far-reaching in their application of digital manufacturing and maker culture. Terreform ONE tackles urgent environmental and urban social concerns through the integrated use of living materials and organisms.
Mitchell Joachim and Maria Aiolova, founders of Terreform ONE, describe their practice through various projects and prolific research that has made significant impact to what is increasingly recognized as socio-ecological design. Together they achieve an abundant collection of projects that validate these unique experimental methods, including the Monarch Sanctuary, a new urban building type to protect butterflies from extinction; Cricket Shelter and Farm, a series of modular volumes for harvesting alternate forms of insect protein; and biodegradable structures called Mycoform that invokes principles of synthetic biology to prototype 100% compostable furniture. Design with Life documents this growing body of work and outlines an original direction for a changing discipline,
reviewing concepts at a range of scales for metropolitan areas. In an age where speed is everything, Terreform ONE reveals how future architecture and urban design practices can cultivate biological processes and create resilient answers to tomorrow's wicked problems.


Authors: Mitchell Joachim, Maria Aiolova, Terreform ONE

Size: 8.2 x 8.2 in. / 21 x 21 cm.
Pages: 420
Cover: Hardcover
Publication date: May 2019
ISBN: English 978-1-948765-20-6
Price: 40 € / $44.95 / £35


America Recovered

Chad Ress, Jordan H. Carver, Miriam Paeslack

America Recovered reveals the point where abstract political processes manifest themselves in the physical world, thus providing an alternate means of experiencing the contemporary American landscape. Collectively, the images and essays show what aspects of our everyday lives are being assigned value in the promise of a recovered America.
In 2009 President Obama signed the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act—known as the stimulus bill. Along with the bill, the administration launched , a website “to foster greater accountability and transparency in the use of covered funds.” The now-defunct website served as a guide for photographer Chad Ress to document a variety of projects funded by the Recovery Act. America Recovered collects forty of Ress’s photographs along with essays by Jordan H. Carver and Miriam Paeslack that trace the historical, spatial, and political significance registered within the images. The two essays frame Ress’s project within a history of US American documentary and landscape photography and its implications for a generation’s relation to constructions of nationhood, progress, and recovery.
America Recovered collects forty images that mark one of the only efforts to document the breadth of projects funded by the 2009 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. Unlike the New Deal and other programs designed for employment and infrastructural development, the Recovery Act was passed without any funds dedicated for photographic documentation. Using an official government website as his guide, Chad Ress took photographs of projects across the country. The publication of America Recovered at this moment allows for a critical reassessment of the Act and its lasting impact on the American landscape.
The two essays by architectural writer Jordan H. Carver and photography historian Miriam Paeslack situate Ress’s photographs within broader discourses of urbanism, infrastructure, and politics. The question of what role the government should play in everyday life remains one of the touchstone issues in American politics. The photographs and essays ask a different set of questions, not whether government spending is good or bad, whether it worked or didn’t, but what, exactly does government spending look like. And importantly, America Recovered asks how government spending and civic identity are constructed around place.


Authors: Chad Ress, Jordan H. Carver, Miriam Paeslack

Editor: Jordan H. Carver

Size: 6.50 x 9 in. / 16.5 x 23.5 cm.
Pages: 200
Illustrations: 40 / 10
Cover: Hardcover
Publication date: March 2019
ISBN: English 978-19-45150-93-7
Price: 19 € / $22.95 / £17


LA Forum Reader


From the Archives of the Los Angeles Forum for Architecture and Urban Design

Rob Berry, Victor Jones, Michael Sweeney, Mimi Zeiger, Chava Danielson, Joe Day, Thurman Grant, Duane McLemore

The LA Forum Reader brings together three decades of discursive writings and publications on architecture, urbanism, and Los Angeles culled from the archives of the Los Angeles Forum for Architecture and Urban Design. Published under thematic sections: Experiments, Detours, Hunches, and Santa Anas, with interludes dedicated to Art and Architecture, Downtown, and the long-running LA Forum Newsletter, the collected essays and interviews track an uneven and lesser-known history of experimental architecture, postmodern geographies, and alternative urbanism in L.A. as told by the city’s key designers and thinkers.

Today, Los Angeles is a major architectural and urban player, but for decades the city was dismissed suburban and centerless. In republishing three decades of material on architecture and design in Los Angeles, the LA Forum Reader reclaims and reconsiders the city’s architectural and discursive histories. It establishes, or reestablishes, a textual context for critical experimentation and urban investigation. This anthological volume includes essays, interviews, and reproductions of publications that have long been out of print, including pamphlets by Craig Hodgetts and Margaret Crawford, as well as early writings by Aaron Betsky and John Chase.



Rob Berry, Victor Jones, Michael Sweeney, Mimi Zeiger, Chava Danielson, Joe Day, Thurman Grant, Duane McLemore

Size: 15,25 x 22,90 cm. 6 X 9 in.
Illustrations: Color
Cover: SoftCover
Pages: 256
Publication date: September 2018
Published by: Actar Publishers & Los Angeles Forum for Architecture and Urban Design
ISBN: English 978-19-45150-99-9
Price: 30€ / $34.95 / £29


Mute Icons


A Pressing Dichotomy in Contemporary Architecture

Marcelo Spina, Georgina Huljich / PATTERNS

Mute Icons challenges fixed aesthetic notions of beauty in architecture as both, disciplinary discourse and a spatial practice within the public realm.

No longer concerned with narrative excesses or with the “shock and awe” of sensation making; the mute icon becomes intriguing in its deceptive indifference towards context, perplexing in its unmitigated apathy towards the body. Dwelling in the paradox between silence and sign and aiming to debunk a false dichotomy between critical discourse, a pursue of formal novelty and the attainment of social ethics, Mute Icons reaffirms the cultural need and socio-political relevance of the architectural image, suggesting a much-needed resolution to the present but incorrect antagonism between formal innovation, social responsibility and economic austerity.

This book aspires to stimulate authentic speculations on the real building, public space and landscape.

Marcelo Spina is on the design faculty at SCI-ARC.


Constance Vale, (ed.)

Size: 6.4 x 9.2 in. / 16,5 x 23,5 cm.
Pages: 310
Illustrations: Color
Cover: Soft cover
Publication date: August 2019
ISBN: English 978-1-945150-86-9
Price: 32€ / $34.95 / £30


Behavioral Formation: Volatile Design Processes and the Emergence of a Strange Specificity


Roland Snooks

Emergent processes of formation create intensive, volatile, intricate, complex phenomena. These processes have come to define our contemporary understanding of the nature of becoming, which stands in contrast to established notions of architectural design and authorship.

The design research of Roland Snooks is a speculation on the relationship between emergent processes of formation and architectural design intention, and explores the strange specificity of an architecture that is drawn out of this interaction. This research operates within a larger architectural and cultural concern for complex systems and their role in algorithmic design processes.

The original methodological territory carved out from this larger milieu is the articulation of a design process in which architectural intention is embedded within emergent processes.

Roland Snooks is a senior lecturer in the School of Architecture and Design at RMIT.


Roland Snooks, (author)

Size: 6.4 x 9.2 in. / 16,5 x 23,5 cm.
Pages: 256
Illustrations: Color
Cover: Soft cover
Publication date: October 2018
ISBN: English 978-1-940291-92-5
Price: 32€ / $34.95 / £29.90


Syncopated Spaces


Dominique Coulon & Associés

Dominique Coulon

This book explores the public dimension of architecture. In circumstances that are often difficult, buildings add value to their locations, transforming them.

This book takes a new look at the eclectic work of Dominique Coulon; his production of public buildings illustrates the complexity of his architectural approach.

Dominique Coulon plays with context, light, and materiality to produce public places that are detailed and welcoming. The areas he proposes affect and accompany the body. His architecture is part of a dynamic relationship, mobilising the senses to propose a specific universe, which may be cheerful, or dramatic. These spaces serve the public dimension of his architecture.

The writing of Dominique Coulon & Associés, nominated twice for the Mies van der Rohe award, reflects the agency’s work in connection with different contextual postures and the construction of complex spatial relationships.


Dominique Coulon, (ed.)

Size: 9.45 x 11.45 in / 24 x 29 cm.
Pages: 350
Illustrations: Color
Cover: Hard cover
Publication date: July 2019
ISBN: English 978-1-945150-69-2
Price: 50€ / $58.95 / £48


Cities & Rivers


aldayjover architecture and landscape

Iñaki Alday, Margarita Jover

49 A selection of architecture, landscape and urbanism works from aldayjover | architecture and landscape, an office based in Barcelona-Spain and Virginia- United States.

A collection of projects –designed from their local and territorial DNA– that respond in new ways to the global socio-ecological crisis in which we have been in engaged with since the beginning of the 21st century.

Featured works include public spaces, architecture and urban studies that incorporate natural dynamics and that also emphasize –recovering in some cases– legal access among all citizens and equal access to the city and its opportunities.

The works presented are particularly renowned given their leadership role in a new approach to the relationship between cities and rivers, in which natural dynamics become part of the public space, eliminating the effect of “catastrophe”.


aldayjover|architecture, Actar (eds.)

Size: 9 x 12 in. / 22,8 x 30,5 cm.
Pages: 312
Illustrations: Color
Cover: Hard cover
Publication date: September 2018
ISBN: English 978-1- 945150-74-6
Price: 35€ / $49.95 / £40