Pressures and Distortions

City Dwellers as Builders and Critics: Four Views


0 out of 5
SpecificationsSKU: 90361Size: 8.25″ x 11.75″ Portrait Pages: 438 Binding: Trade Cloth Publication Date: Fall 2013 ISBN: 978-0-615-41720-2
Categories: , Tag:

Pressures and Distortions provides a close-up look at how residents of cities in the developing world are reshaping their environments in response to social, economic, and environmental changes. The cities chronicled range from China through Indonesia to Latin America. In each of the book’s four sections, a team of researchers explores how an urban phenomenon of global importance is playing out in a specific city. The studies analyze the impacts of housing shortages on the residents of Shenzhen’s vanishing urban villages and Shanghai’s deteriorating lanes; the production of self-built housing and neighborhoods in Mexico City (as well as Lima, Rio de Janeiro, and Bogotá); the performance of disaster relief housing constructed in Banda Aceh after the disastrous earthquake and tsunami of 2004; and the reception of Bogota’s award-winning new public buildings and spaces by urban residents.

Throughout, the authors take a resident-centered view of urbanism and architecture. They interview city dwellers and painstakingly document their living environments as well as their self-built home improvements, using photography and measured drawings. They follow city dwellers with video cameras, recording their day-to-day interactions with urban spaces and with other inhabitants. They carefully chart the stages through which self-built communities are established and consolidated. In each case, the authors use critical examination of policy frameworks and statistical evidence to situate fine-grained observation within a larger context of urban production. Their findings avoid simplistic prescriptions while prompting constructive proposals for governments, NGOs, designers, and communities.

Rafael Viñoly Architects, founded in 1983 and based in New York City – with branch offices in London and Abu Dhabi – is an internationally renowned architectural firm with projects spanning five continents. Over the past thirty years, the practice’s key trademark is the ability to reinvent institutional typologies and integrate the public realm into civic buildings. The uniquely diverse work the firm has completed includes award-winning courthouses, museums, performing arts centers, convention centers, athletic facilities, banks, hotels, hospitals, laboratories, recreational venues, residential complexes, and commercial, industrial and educational facilities. Projects range in scale from laboratory casework to large urban commercial and institutional master plans. The firm has also completed several projects involving the restoration and expansion of buildings of significant historical and architectural value.

Rafael Viñoly Architects’ most recent designs include cultural institutions: the Cleveland Museum of Art – Renovation and Expansion, and the Edward Kennedy Institute for the Senate in Boston; academic institutions: Claremont Mckenna College – Kravis Center, University of South Carolina – Darla Moore School of Business, City Football Academy in Manchester, UK, Oxford Mathematical Institute in Oxford, UK, and New York University Campus, Abu Dhabi; transportation: a regional airport in Saudi Arabia; residential and commercial towers: 432 Park Avenue in New York, and 20 Fen-church Street in London; healthcare and research facilities: University of Chicago Medicine-Center for Care and Discovery, New Stanford Hospital, University of Pennsylvania Translational Research Center; and a civic building: 121st Precinct Police Station-house in New York.

In 2005, the firm instituted the Rafael Viñoly Architects Training and Research Program to give back to the architectural profession through research conducted outside of the constraints of architectural commissions. Four research teams’ studies of urbanism and housing in diverse societies in transition were published in 2012. Rafael Viñoly Architects is recognized in the world’s leading publications and has been bestowed numerous

Weight 4 lbs
Dimensions 12 × 12 × 3 in

8.25" x 11.75" Portrait




Trade Cloth

Publication date

Fall 2013