PLAN 72: Article
Books! Books! Books!

More Than Two Dozen New Titles

Escape from Empire: The Developing World's Journey through Heaven and Hell. Alice Amsden. (MIT Press, 2007). Amsden argues that the more freedom a developing country has to determine its own policies, the faster its economy will grow. America's recent inflexibility has been the backdrop to the rise of two new giants, China and India, who have built economic power in their own way.

Learning from Work: Designing Organizations for Learning and Communication. Anne Beamish. (Stanford Business Books, 2008). Beamish examines how people communicate and learn in one of the most complex of industry structures: the automobile industry. Solutions to overcoming the barriers there are applicable in many different work environments.

Holographic Imaging. Stephen Benton and V. Michael Bove, Jr. (Wiley-Interscience, 2008). This authoritative work focuses on practical holography, including methods for white light illumination, full color holography and holographic recording of natural scenes. The book promotes a hands-on approach to making holograms and an understanding of why and how they work.

Designing the Reclaimed Landscape. Alan Berger, Editor. (Taylor & Francis, 2008). The first practical yet in-depth exploration of how to reclaim the post-industrial landscape, this volume includes excellent case studies by practitioners and policy makers from around the world.

Democracy as Problem Solving: Civic Capacity in Communities Across the Globe. Xavier de Souza Briggs. (MIT Press, 2008). Complexity, division, mistrust, and 'process paralysis' can thwart leaders and others when they tackle local challenges. Briggs shows how civic capacity – the capacity to create and sustain smart collective action – can be developed and used.

Aftermath. Scott Campbell. (BookSurge, 2008). The inspiration for a new film by Oscar-winning director Caroline Link (Nowhere in Africa, 2003), Aftermath is a novel based on a true story of lives put profoundly asunder and of the power of the creative process to begin to put them back together. The film, A Year Ago in Winter, was an official selection of the 2008 Toronto International Film Festival.

The Computer Clubhouse: Constructionism and Creativity in Youth Communities. Robbin Chapman with Yasmin Kafai and Kylie Peppler. (Teachers College Press, 2009). This book explores the history and theoretical foundations of Computer Clubhouses, insights into how youth engage in learning through creative design using new media, the unique mentoring and social networks, and new learning and teaching paradigms being measured and assessed within the Clubhouse environment.

Technology, Livability and Historic Cities. Dennis Frenchman, William Mitchell, Anne Beamish, Giandomenico Amendola and Christine Outram. (SA+P Press, 2008).

Sustainable Urban Housing in China: Principles and Case Studies for Low-Energy Design. Leon Glicksman and Juintow Lin (Springer, 2007). This book summarizes new research on the need to preserve and improve the global environment for current and future generations; based on a number of important collaborative projects in Beijing, Shanghai and Shenzhen, China.

The Possibility of (an) Architecture: Collected Essays. Mark Goulthorpe, dECOi Architects. (Routledge, 2008). Articulating a radical agenda for the rethinking of the basic precepts of the construction industry in light of digital technologies, this book explores the profound shift that is underway in all aspects of architectural praxis.

From Autoplastic to Alloplastic: Decoi Architects. Mark Goulthorpe. (Hyx/Pompidou, 2008). Digital production profoundly questions the logics of representation, offering new possibilities for 'non-standard' production in architecture, which extends from creative process to fabrication through the use of a variety of numeric command machines.

Business Improvement Districts: Research, Theories, and Controversies. Lorlene Hoyt and others, editors. (Auerbach Publications, 2008). This volume presents the first scholarly work on the importance of business improvement districts in urban and metropolitan areas in the United States, the United Kingdom and Canada.

American Boundaries: The Nation, the States, the Rectangular Survey. Bill Hubbard. (University of Chicago Press, 2008). Mapping how each state came to have its current shape, and how the nation itself formed within its present borders, Hubbard provides historians, geographers, and general readers alike with the fascinating story behind those fifty distinctive jigsaw-puzzle pieces that together form the United States.

Learning to be Capitalists: Entrepreneurs in Vietnam's Transition Economy. Annette Kim. (Oxford University Press, 2008). Based on years of fieldwork, this book provides a detailed account of the first generation of entrepreneurs in Vietnam in comparison to those in other transition countries.

Augmented Learning: Research and Design of Mobile Educational Games. Eric Klopfer. (MIT Press, 2008). Examining mobile games from both educational and gaming perspectives, Klopfer argues that the strengths of the mobile platform – its portability, context sensitivity, connectivity and ubiquity – make it ideal for learning games in elementary, secondary, university and lifelong education.

With Love From Haha: Essays and Notes on a Collective Practice. Wendy Jacob, Laurie Palmer, John Ploof (editors). (WhiteWalls, 2008). Since its inception in 1988, the art collective Haha has created twenty-one projects – including sculptural installations, community-based projects and video works – in the United States and Europe. With Love From Haha presents a range of the collective's projects in book form for the first time.

Natural Experiments: Ecosystem-Based Management and the Environment. Judith Layzer. (MIT Press, 2008). Layzer provides a detailed assessment of whether ecosystem-based management (EBM) delivers in practice the benefits it promises in theory by examining four EBM initiatives and three comparison cases that used more conventional regulatory approaches.

Bombay Deco. Rahul Mehrotra and Sharada Dwivedi. (Eminence Designs, 2008). The book covers art deco architecture in Bombay in the period between 1920 and1950. What made this architecture interesting was that it incorporated decorative themes and motifs facilitating continuity in expression of ornamentation critical for India.

World's Greatest Architect: Making, Meaning and Network Culture. William J. Mitchell. (MIT Press, 2008). Mitchell offers a series of snapshots – short essays and analyses – that examine the systems of function and meaning currently operating in our buildings, cities, and global networks.

Honest Signals. Alex (Sandy) Pentland. (MIT Press, 2008). Pentland shows how subtle patterns in our interactions with others reveals our attitudes toward them; if properly understood, he claims, we can accurately predict the outcomes of situations ranging from first dates to job interviews.

Digital Water Pavilion. Carlo Ratti and Walter Nicolino. (Electa, 2008). This book documents the Digital Water Pavilion at the 2008 World Expo in Zaragoza, Spain; the pavilion's walls are curtains of water programmed to display images and words, and to part for visitors and objects.

New York Talk Exchange: A Project for MoMA. Carlo Ratti, William Mitchell, (SA+P Press, 2008). Published on the occasion of the MoMA exhibit Design and the Elastic Mind, which included four visualizations produced by MIT's Senseable City Lab, this collection of essays focuses on urban life in the information age.

Inside the Sponge. Carlo Ratti and T. Dorsey (CCA Press, 2007). This book documents a student competition that analyzed communications and the use of space in MIT's Simmons Hall, designed by Steven Holl. The results were exhibited at the Canadian Center for Architecture in Montreal.

The Craftsman. Richard Sennett. (Yale University Press, 2008). Sennett considers the basic human impulse to do a job well for its own sake; his focus ranges from ancient Roman brickmakers and Chinese chefs to contemporary mobile phone designers, nurses and doctors, musicians, glassblowers, cooks and computer programmers.

Daring to Look: Dorothea Lange's Photographs and Reports from the Field. Anne Whiston Spirn. (University Of Chicago Press, 2008). In this thoughtful and meticulously researched account of Lange's career, Spirn focuses on the photographer's largely unpublished 1939 portfolio and champions it as a masterful mix of the visual and the verbal.

Architecture, Power and National Identity. Lawrence Vale. (Routledge, 2008) The first edition, published in 1992, won the prestigious Spiro Kostof award for the best book in architecture and urbanism. Vale has fully updated the book, which focuses on the relationship between the design of national capitals across the world and the formation of national identity in modernity.

Changing Cities: 75 Years of Planning Better Futures at MIT. Lawrence Vale. (SA+P Press, 2008). A comprehensive review, in images and text, of the history of MIT's urban planning program; an accompaniment to a gallery exhibit of the same name.

Political Economies of Landscape Change: Places of Integrative Power. James L. Wescoat Jr and Douglas M. Johnston, editors. (Springer, 2007). This volume explores the connections between political economy and landscape change through a series of conceptual essays and case studies.