The Prodigious Builders: Notes Toward a Natural History of

The Prodigious Builders: Notes Toward a Natural History of Architecture with Special Regard to Those Species that are Traditionally Neglected or Downright Ignored Excerpted from the jacket Here, Rudofsky displays his genius for seeing and explaining the meaning of vernacular architecture the dwellings, fortifications, tombs, monuments, and countless other adaptations that constitute the global legacy of untutored men both ordinary and extraordinary the prodigious builders The author s discussions range from China s floating villages to the cultural significance of doors and windows in various parts of the world from a Polish salt mine so vast as to be a self contained community complete with churches, restaurants, and a narrow gauge railway, to the African Dogon s Big House, whose parts collectively symbolize a man procreating from the ingenious pretechnological alternatives to air conditioning, to giant observation kites In each case Rudofsky brings to his subject a singular blend of erudition, wit, and insight that makes the exotic seem logical and the commonplace bizarreIn his extensive travels over the better part of a century, the author has found universal evidence of man s irrepressible impulse to reveal, through what he builds, his multifaceted nature and of modern society s equally compulsive tendency to subvert itRudofsky s cogent arguments are amply documented with overof his unparalleled photographs, in addition to many rare engravings and other illustrations The total effect is to expand far beyond dictionary definitions our concepts of both architecture and the human spirit


10 thoughts on “The Prodigious Builders: Notes Toward a Natural History of Architecture with Special Regard to Those Species that are Traditionally Neglected or Downright Ignored

  1. says:

    A great, jumbo version of Architecture Without Architects As I mention in my review of Commonsense Architecture A Cross Cultural Survey of Practical Design Principles, these two books pair together nicely A great, jumbo version of Architecture Without Architects As I mention in my review of Commonse


  2. says:

    This is the big one A follow up to his MoMA exhibit and book Architecture without Architects, this is farcomprehensive Here Rudofsky is able to expand upon his point and really begin to express his general anti cultural attitude as perhaps expressed by the book s lengthy subtitle Great stuff


  3. says:

    One of my favorites


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