Edited Books and Monographs

Digital Architecture: Critical concepts in Architecture

Guest Editor: Mark Burry

Routledge, First Edition, Taylor and Francis, London, 16 April 2020, 1644 pp. ISBN-13 : 978-0415816625

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‘Digital architecture’ is a relatively recent critical concept and encompasses all aspects of the discipline of architecture engaging with computation. It has evolved into a domain in its own right, as it were, rather than always being present from the first time architects ceded slide rule use in favour of electronically assisted computation. As this major collection reveals, we have witnessed growth of a creative digital influence across all of architecture’s subdisciplines and few can deny that there is now a maturity in the conversation which had been previously quite elusive. As a major work of collected critical insights Digital Architecture therefore compiles the key texts that will be as useful to the initiate as to the experienced professional, as relevant to the academician as to the practitioner and as revealing to the sceptic as they will be to the digitally converted. It does not promote any particular stream of innovation nor establish any particular cultural agenda.

The focus of the collection is the contemporary period extending from the late 1980s to the present day contextualised through the inclusion of key texts from the earlier pioneers, ordered into six sections. Each section is arranged in chronological order except where thematic clustering helps consolidate the material more usefully for the reader.

A review of the best material that has brought us to an emerging digital design maturity, fully indexed, this will be a very valuable reference for all.

Urban Futures: Designing the Digitalised City

Guest Editor: Mark Burry

Architectural Design, Vol 90, No 3, John Wiley and Sons, London, May-June 2020, 136 pp. ISBN: 9781119617563

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Given the rapid evolution of concepts such as smart cities, who are the architects riding the wave of new possibilities for urban design? How do contemporary agencies find pathways to understand the challenges and opportunities presented by evolving urban technology, and how does architecture engage with the expanding pool of associated disciplines? How should schools of architecture and urban design engage with radical digitalised urbanism?

This issue of AD claims that this is contested territory. The two-dimensionality of planners’ urban construct is as limited as engineers’ predilection to zero-in and solve problems. Urban Futures contends that society needs a much broader professional brush than has been applied in the past: interdisciplinary urban design professionals who can reach across the philosophy and mundanity of urban existence with a creative eye. The issue identifies a selection of internally resourceful visionaries who combine sociology, geography, logistics and systems theory with the practical realities and challenges of mobility, sustainable materials, food, water and energy supply, and waste disposal. Crucially, they seek to ensure better urban futures, and a civil and convivial urban experience for all city dwellers.

Contributors: Refik Anadol, Philip Belesky, Shajay Bhooshan, Jane Burry and Marcus White, Thomas Daniell, Vicente Guallart, Shan He, Wanyu He, Dan Hill, Justyna Karakiewicz, Tom Kvan, Areti Markopoulou, Ed Parham, Carlo Ratti, Ferran Sagarra, and Bige Tunçer.

Featured architects: Arup Digital Studio, Guallart Architects, Space10, Space Syntax, UNStudio, and XKool Technology.

The Innovative Imperative: Architectures of Vitality


Guest Editors: Pia Ednie-Brown, Mark Burry and Andrew Burrow

Architectural Design, Vol 83, No 1, John Wiley and Sons, London, January-February 2013, 136 pp. ISBN: 978-1119978657

Suggesting a process that is fundamentally emergent, collective and environmentally situated, this book explores architectural innovation in terms of the production of vitality. Emphasizing attention to ways of doing as key to innovation, this book brings together historical perspectives with a range of leading provocative, emerging approaches to architectural practice that together offer fresh insight into the often vague and ubiquitous atmospheres of innovation-speak.

Books and Monographs Translated

L’Ultím Gaudí, The Essential Gaudi

The Essential Gaudi - Front Cover

Author: Jordi Bonet 

Translated: Mark Burry
Publisher: Encyclopaedia Catalana, 2001

In The Essential Gaudí, we embark on a fascinating quest to discover the geometrical concepts which impregnate the Church of the Sagrada Família. Based on documents and models which survived the 1936 fire, Jordi Bonet, present director of architecture and coordinator of work on the church, describes the research carried out with the aim of discovering the paths Gaudí himself would have taken. Finding the key, the secret, the architectural laws governing the building and harmoniously continuing what had already been completed required exhaustive research work and the gradual building up of the overall idea behind the work. All this led to the final discovery of a geometric modulation embracing the entire architecture of the church, repeated in each and every one of its parts: unit, half, two thirds… Gaudí takes nature as his model and, through a unique and brilliant geometric theory, builds a church in which, just as in nature itself, there is no place for discontinuity.

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