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Kissing Architecture
Sylvia Lavin

Hardcover | 2011 | $25.95 | £20.95 | ISBN: 9780691149233
136 pp. | 6 x 7 1/4 | 33 color illus. 5 halftones.
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eBook | ISBN: 9781400838387 |
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Kissing Architecture explores the mutual attraction between architecture and other forms of contemporary art. In this fresh, insightful, and beautifully illustrated book, renowned architectural critic and scholar Sylvia Lavin develops the concept of "kissing" to describe the growing intimacy between architecture and new types of art--particularly multimedia installations that take place in and on the surfaces of buildings--and to capture the sensual charge that is being designed and built into architectural surfaces and interior spaces today. Initiating readers into the guilty pleasures of architecture that abandons the narrow focus on function, Lavin looks at recent work by Pipilotti Rist, Doug Aitken, the firm Diller Scofidio + Renfro, and others who choose instead to embrace the viewer in powerful affects and visual and sensory atmospheres.

Kissing Architecture is the first book in a cutting-edge new series of short, focused arguments written by leading critics, historians, theorists, and practitioners from the world of urban development and contemporary architecture and design. These books are intended to spark vigorous debate. They stake out the positions that will help shape the architecture and urbanism of tomorrow. Addressing one of the most spectacular and significant developments in the current cultural scene, Kissing Architecture is an entertainingly irreverent and disarmingly incisive book that offers an entirely new way of seeing--and experiencing--architecture in the age after representation.


"Informed, contemporary conversations on architecture presented in this format are sure to engage critics, historians, practitioners, artists as well as the general public. For the architect long out of school, yet still passionate about the profession, this series of extended essays should be a welcome addition to their reading lists."--Donna Wax, New York Journal of Books

"The book's arguments are framed by well-chosen, nicely illustrated case studies. . . . [T]he book presents important and relevant ideas that deserve consideration."--Choice

"[Lavin] smartly keeps her writing light, playfully drawing out her extended analogy of kissing throughout the book's four sections. If this is your first rendezvous with Lavin, I hope that she will soon become one of your steadies. . . . May you fall madly in love."--Elissa Favero, Yellow Umbrella blog


"In the most sober assessment I can offer, I find Sylvia Lavin's Kissing Architecture to rank among the most original writings in contemporary art discourse I have ever read. Utterly disarming, it is wondrous, brilliant, innocent, naughty, trite, hilarious, fresh, weightless, and profound. Simply put, I am mad for it."--Jeffrey M. Kipnis, Ohio State University

"Kissing Architecture is a work of wit and intelligence sprinkled with just a microgram of L.A. antiestablishment venom, and enough bite to make you almost afraid to put it down lest you miss something urgently worth knowing about. Lavin is poised to become one of the most important writers on architecture since the 1970s, and this book is surely a significant step toward that inevitability."--K. Michael Hays, author of Architecture's Desire

Table of Contents:

The First Kiss 1
Confounding Mediums 22
Superarchitecture 51
Current Kisses 65
Notes 115
Credits 121


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    File created: 7/11/2017

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