Thursday, June 3, 2010

Buildings Bookcase

In Praise of Shadows Exhibition at V&A London 2009 on Vimeo.

I just got round to adding a little Amazon 'Buildings Bookcase' to my ever growing sidebar. This was quite a fun exercise in picking out 10 books loosely based on Architecture with a capital 'A' and stuff that's a bit more fuzzy around the edges. One of the books that came to mind very quickly was 'In Praise of Shadows' by the rather wonderfully named Jun'ichirĊ Tanizaki. 

I was recommended to read this by a tutor many years ago and it's one of those books that once you read it you just don't forget. It's very short, very subtle and very well written. It harks back to a simpler way of life in Japan, when paper screens and candles ruled the roost, before Western culture invaded and they went all neon. What's interesting is this book was written in the 70's and now the tables are turning. This may be a wild generalisation but the West seems to be going all Eco (see above interview on a London lighting exhibition named after this book) while the East just cannot get enough technology. 

I don't usually touch on work on this blog but it's funny that I spent the morning touching up photoshop renders to tone them down a bit from what comes back from our Chinese rendering company, to make them better suit my eyes (to use a bit of Chinghlish) but at the same time I could be short selling us out of a sale with a Chinese client who generally can't get enough bling. As the saying goes you can't see light without shadows. Whatever, the book is recommended to all, not just Architects wearing funny glasses.