Saturday, March 7, 2009

Reading List: The Sourcebook of Contemporary Landscape Design

As always, the holiday season came with a typically literary bent, as family and friends know of my bibliophilic tendencies - and I have a free moment or two to read - so look forward to some book reviews that have been waiting in the wings for a couple of months. One tome that was a wonderful additon to the library (thanks mom and sis!) is 'The Sourcebook of Contemporary Landscape Design', by Alex Sanchez Vidiella - published late 2008 by Harper Collins.


:: image via Harper Collins

These are interesting books - focused on imagery and graphics from a number of international projects that may or may not have made it into the collective consciousness - save voracious readers of blogs and European-focused journals like Topos. Thus, while some projects were known, this volume contains many projects that were new to me - and offers great photographs to reinforce and show some of the great detailing.

An excerpt of the books visually based content from the Harper Collins website:


:: image via Harper Collins

Alas, the constraint of a visually-based sourcebook is the lack of project context - which is so wonderfully presented in books like comprehensive book of 2008 The Public Chance, or special volumes on projects that are regionally or typologically based - which provide a necessary overview and grounding. There is some minimal location and context - but for the most part these projects become objects themselves, albeit wonderfully designed, implemented, and illustrated in the text.

At a remarkably affordable $60 US price tag - it's a steal to gather all this material in one spot, so definitely check it out for your office or better, yet, pick up one for your coffee table at home. No longer will visitors to your house need to know what landscape architecture is, and can be, after taking a look at this visual feast.

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