Learning Through Practice presents the explorations of the architects and urban designers at Rogers Partners. In its 20 years of practice designing in cities around the country, the firm has maintained an attitude of curiosity about the elements that make design. From the smallest detail to the largest impositions, their work penetrates sites and their stories to feel their inherent conditions and find inspiration in the discovery of the unseen, the peculiar, the untouchable and the immovable.
The book introduces six topics that pervade this journey. It is the story of how these designers acquire knowledge and expertise in what they haven’t done but are doing, by making buildings, spaces and things. Navigating from how small things can have massive effect and finding adaptability in authenticity, to opening space, revealing the unexpected, designing the invisible to delight, and engaging responsibly with inherited patterns, Rogers and Moutaud use the lens of twelve of the firm’s projects, analyzed in twenty-two case studies that support those six themes. Essays and catalogued inspirations preface each chapter while a display of large images for each project discussed concludes the book. These projects include a park and pavilion on the National Mall and one in Minneapolis, a corporate campus in downtown Oklahoma City, the Ellipse behind the White House, an open space in the Tetons, the narrow streets in New York’s Financial District and the new ones along the Hudson River, a temporary art museum in Kowloon, a power plant in Syracuse, benches to aid New York’s resilience, and many more to come.