The Tennessee Valley Authority

Design and Persuasion


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SpecificationsSKU: 90619Size: 7.5″ x 10.25″, portrait Pages: 144 Binding: Hardcover Publication Date: Spring 2016 ISBN: 978-1-56898-684-5 World Rights: Available
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The Tennessee Valley Authority, or TVA, was chartered by Congress in 1933 with the purpose of bettering the lives of those living in the poorest region of the United States, the watershed of the Tennessee River, an area woven through seven states. This infrastructural project with social purpose set out to control floods, improve navigability, reforest hills, advance agriculture, foment industry, and create electrical power and progress for a population living largely in rural isolation. What is not generally known is the degree to which design was the protagonist that propelled the TVA’s success. The Tennessee Valley Authority: Design and Persuasion, edited by Tim Culvahouse, recovers this history in a thoroughly enlightening story, in essays addressing all scales of the project, from the grand remaking of the territorial landscape, to the iconic structures of the thirty-four dams, to the detailing of the machines and the graphic design of the PR campaign posters.

Tim Culvahouse, FAIA is Editor-at-Large for the AIA California Council. He has taught at RISD, California College of the Arts, Tulane University, Carleton University (Ottawa), and UC Berkeley, and has written for a wide range of publications. He is a contributing author, with Ellen Lou, of John Kriken’s Building Saigon South: Sustainable Lessons for a Livable Future, forthcoming from ORO Editions.


Richard Barnes, Jennifer Bloomer, Steven Heller, Barry M. Katz, Christine Macy, Todd Smith, Jane Wolff, and Howard H. Baker, Jr.

Weight 2 lbs
Dimensions 12 × 10 × 2 in

7.5" x 10.25", portrait





Publication date

Spring 2016



World rights