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Designs and their Consequences

Architecture and Aesthetics

Richard Hill

View Inside Price: $60.00

July 11, 1999
296 pages, 6 1/4 x 8 1/4
106 b/w illus.
ISBN: 9780300079487

In this thought-provoking book, Richard Hill examines the many-faceted relationship between aesthetic theory and architecture. Grounding his arguments in the practical issues related to building—the demands of site, materials, labor force, the nature of the commission—Hill expands our understanding and enjoyment of architecture while offering especially valuable insights for students of architecture and the history of architecture.

The book opens with an analysis of the relationship between buildings, drawings, and designs. Hill suggests that architectural drawings are essentially pictures of physical objects, although initially they may be imagined ones, and he considers the implications of this for architects and builders. He discusses the notion of "architectural experience" that has been important in the development of modern architecture, and the notion of "seeing as" that has been developed for other visual arts and that illuminates a range of architectural meaning. Asking how architecture can be expressive of a range of human states and qualities, Hill tests the idea that our ability to see the expressive aspects of buildings relates to our ability to see meaning in the faces and demeanor of other people. In the final section of the book, the author focuses on modern architecture’s central aim to deepen the connection between usefulness and design, explores recent intense criticism of this outlook, and assesses the strengths and weaknesses of this body of criticism.

Richard Hill was trained as an architect. He has been involved in the teaching and training of architects and builders and has worked as a manager of construction projects in both the public and private sectors.

"Anyone planning to teach such a course should consider making Richard Hill’s Designs and Their Consequences a required text."—CAA Reviews

"[A] systematic and thorough treatment of the relationship between architecture and aesthetics. [Hill] also provides a pointed defense of the role that aesthetics can play in architecture. . . . An excellent book. . . . Designs and Their Consequences is most significant for clearly demonstrating how one can begin to understand the complex and difficult relationship that binds aesthetics and architecture."—Alex T. Anderson, The Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism