Spring Escapes

Sheep Meadow, Central Park, New York

After an arduous and frigid winter, the rationale for stepping out of the studio and back into the warmth of the spring sun should need little justification. However, if you’re like most architecture students you may be in need of some extra architectural motivation to vindicate your escape from the confines of thesis prep, preparing for your structures finals and the like. Here are a few quick reads to take to the park, some current films to help you justify taking an evening break, and various exhibits that may just do the trick.

Quick & Easy Reading (park-lying justification)

20140414 - Critical Architecture Spring Reading

Alain de Botton’s The Architecture of Happiness (New York: Vintage Books, 2006).

Paul Goldberger’s Why Architecture Matters (New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 2009).

Jeff Manaugh’s The BLDGBLOG Book (San Francisco: Chronicle Books, 2009).

BIG’s Yes is More: An Archicomic on Architectural Evolution (New York: Taschen, 2010).

Matthew Frederick’s 101 Things I Learned in Architecture School (Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press, 2007).

Alex Kotlowitz’s The Other Side of the River (Norwell, MA: Anchor Press, 1999)

Need more options? Check out our “Essential Reading” post and our Further Reading resources.

New(er) Films (evening escape justification)

20140414 - Critical Architecture Spring Films

Her (Spike Jonze. Annapurna Pictures, 2013) – IMDb

Gravity (Alfonso Cuarón. Warner Bros., 2013) – IMBb

If You Build It (Patrick Creadon. O’Malley Creadon Productions, 2013) – IMDb

Transcendence (Wally Pfister. Alcon Entertainment, 2014) – IMDb

Want to spend the night in? Looking for something already on DVD or Netflix? Head over to our “Architecture & Film” post.

Exhibitions (fieldtrip!)

Image Source: http://www.guggenheim.org/new-york/press-room
Image Source: http://www.guggenheim.org/new-york/press-room

In the New York City area?

Head over to the Italian Futurism, 1909–1944: Reconstructing the Universe exhibit now through September 1, 2014, and the ongoing tribute to Frank Lloyd Wright’s Usonian House and Pavilion at the Guggenheim, or…

Allan Wexler’s Breaking Ground exhibition at Ronald Feldman Gallery now through May 3, 2014.

The Palaces for the People exhibit at Museum of the City of New York.

Consider the Quake at the Center for Architecture.

The always reliable…dia: Beacon and Storm King.

The Frank Lloyd Wright and the City: Density vs. Dispersal exhibit at MoMA opening April 20th and on display through June 1, 2014.

…and don’t forget that Tuesday, April 15th, there’s the Sou Fujimoto Lecture at The Architectural League of New York!


Image source: https://www.flickr.com/photos/lacma/
Image source: https://www.flickr.com/photos/lacma/

For those of you in the City of Angels,

Check out the Calder and Abstraction: from Avant-Garde to Iconic exhibit at LACMA now through July 27, 2014, or…

Head over to MoCA for the Jacob Hashimoto’s Gas Giant exhibit.

…and for all you Little Lebowski Urban Achievers looking to drown those studio sorrows in a caucasian or two (post exhibit, of course), check out Bowlarama at the Architecture and Design Museum.


Image source: http://ad009cdnb.archdaily.net
Image source: http://ad009cdnb.archdaily.net

Further North, in Fog City? Don’t miss…

Designing Homes: Jews and Mid-Century Modernism at The Contemporary Jewish Museum now through October 6, 2014, or…

Head over to SFMoMA On-the-Go (while we patiently await the re-opening…in 2016).

… and The Bay Bridge: A Work in Progress exhibition at the de Young Museum.


Image source: http://www.pinkcomma.com
Image source: http://www.pinkcomma.com

In Boston? Check out…

Lines in Water at Pink Comma

The Nick Cave and William Kentridge exhibitions at the ICA.

Volumetric Robotics, now through May 26, 2014, at BSA Space.

..and Sea Change: Boston opening April 16th at District Hall.


Image source: http://www.nbm.org/plan-visit/
Image source: http://www.nbm.org/plan-visit/

For our friends in the District of Columbia,

Head over to the National Building Museum to check out the ongoing exhibits or for the Genius Loci: the Public Art of Raymond Kaskey exhibition opening May 1, 2014.



And finally, if you’re lucky enough to be in Paris and want to pull yourself out of the parks and into the museum, check out the Bernard Tschumi retrospective which opens on April 30th at Centre Pompidou.


There’s architecture outside too…enjoy!


(Written by Alex Stewart. Editing and additional contributions by Brian Pickard.)

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