Architecture as Signs and Systems: For a Mannerist Time

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Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 2004 - Architecture - 251 pages
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Robert Venturi exploded onto the architectural scene in 1966 with a radical call to arms in Complexity and Contradiction. Further accolades and outrage ensued in 1972 when Venturi and Denise Scott Brown (along with Steven Izenour) analyzed the Las Vegas strip as an archetype in Learning from Las Vegas. Now, for the first time, these two observer-designer-theorists turn their iconoclastic vision onto their own remarkable partnership and the rule-breaking architecture it has informed.

The views of Venturi and Scott Brown have influenced architects worldwide for nearly half a century. Pluralism and multiculturalism; symbolism and iconography; popular culture and the everyday landscape; generic building and electronic communication are among the many ideas they have championed. Here, they present both a fascinating retrospective of their life work and a definitive statement of its theoretical underpinnings.

Accessible, informative, and beautifully illustrated, Architecture as Signs and Systems is a must for students of architecture and urban planning, as well as anyone intrigued by these seminal cultural figures. Venturi and Scott Brown have devoted their professional lives to broadening our view of the built world and enlarging the purview of practitioners within it. By looking backward over their own life work, they discover signs and systems that point forward, toward a humane Mannerist architecture for a complex, multicultural society.

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About the author (2004)

Robert Venturi is principal in charge of design in the architectural firm Venturi, Scott Brown and Associates in Philadelphia. He is the recipient of numerous awards and honors, including the Pritzker Prize and the Centennial Medal of the American Academy in Rome and, with Denise Scott Brown, the National Medal of Art and the Vincent J. Scully Prize of the National Building Museum. He has taught at Yale and the University of Pennsylvania.

Denise Scott Brown is principal in charge of urban and campus planning and design in the architectural firm Venturi, Scott Brown and Associates. She is the recipient of numerous awards and honors, including the ACSA-AIA Topaz Medallion for Architecture Education and the Chicago Architecture Award. She has taught at Harvard, Yale, UCLA, UC-Berkeley, and the University of Pennsylvania.

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