Books December 2018
The dystopia we made
A review of Making Dystopia: The Strange Rise and Survival of Architectural Barbarism by James Stevens Curl.
Making Dystopia is an important and necessary book.1 It is an examination, by the eminent architectural historian Professor James Stevens Curl, of “the strange rise and survival of architectural barbarism” in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. There have been demolitions before of the bogus philosophical, sociological, aesthetic, and moral underpinnings of the modern movement and its disastrous legacy for housing, urbanism, and the built environment generally (notably David Watkin’s Morality and Architecture, first published in 1977), but Making Dystopia is the first encyclopedic historical account that is also genuinely critical. Until...
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