It by Bit has universal implications, in that it explores the particularity of a renown yet regional practice dedicated over thirty-five years to the testing and refinement of a working method first suggested by Adolf Loos, interpreted by Hannes Meyer in the Bauhaus and further demonstrated by the mid-century architecture of Shadrach Woods. Yet this is a design method missing in present discourse more preoccupied with the authorship, escapism and the saturated image. Muir’s is an architecture seemingly subsumed in the vicissitudes of use, inhabitation, body centric experience and the materials and practice of the local. The work provides resistance to the disruptive influence of the uncanny. It is Freud’s tattoo but more importantly the tattoo that plays host to the body.
The contributors [Kroloff and Pallasmaa] bracket the conversation with their understanding of first, the place in the Western US and second the possibilities of Muir’s approach. Muir in his essay, “It by Bit,” illuminates the historical precedent for this practice, calibrated against the theoretical propositions of Carlos Ginzburg and Jurg Habermas. The book represents in varying level of detail, the initial idea, drawings holistically considered and photographs of the architecture with special attention to ones physical engagement with the work.