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The Long First Millennium: Affluence, Architecture and the Making of Modern Society (Routledge, Forthcoming 2024).

FROM THE INTRODUCTION:  “Instead of writing the story of great urban-based empires and working our way outwards through the domain of ‘trade’ into the hazy zone of unruly tribal contacts, aiming for the teleological end game of modernity – as reinforced through the nation-state – where there are more and more “states” and fewer and fewer “tribals,” what if we wrote a history that is peripheral-centric? What if we treated ‘dark-matter’ economy and its attendant societies with the same disciplinary respect as the 'history of civilization'?... The goal of the books is to lay out the parameters for a trans-disciplinary, geographic-anthropology of interdependency.”

Architecture Constructed: Notes on a Discipline (Bloomsbury, 2023).

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"Archē(non)tektōn is, of course, not a word. It is a grammar founded on the impossibility of its own possibility. A grammar of autopoietic indeterminacy. I will call this phenomenon simply ‘architecture’ (with scare quotes) to differentiate it from architecture (without scare quotes) in its colloquial sense. The scare quotes are necessary to express the word’s semantic slipperiness within its own disciplinary formations. I will always use the phrase "architecture" (with scare quotes), to avoid the easy tendency to read the word architecture (without scare quotes) universally as if it exists outside of its grammatological operations. …. To not use the scare quotes, as is, of course, systemic in the literature, is to fall into the trap set out in the field’s disciplinary pretentions and over-determinations."

A House Deconstructed (Actar Press, 2023).

"A house is like a Black Hole. It sucks a huge amount of energy, creativity, materials, labor, and molecules into its orbit. But in the end what does it tell us? The decisiveness of the final building, its gravitational hold on the earth, belies the tangled web of realities that made it happen. For that reason, we need to remind ourselves of the strange inversion that is in play when we take on the study of the history of a building, even one as small as a house. While the possibility of intelligibility is presented throughout the profession and discipline (promised in the very idea of research), the house—as a signifier of architecture—seeks to preserve the secret that is at its core and at the core of modernity: the violence of the productivity that makes the house possible"

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"The world of data is not just the world of “information” and information gathering, but governed by a desire to  find / isolate / locate / manufacture / exploit information in a sea of reality. The end result will be a human – a new human – scaled infomatically against global realities that are concealed from the individual except when it is convenient to power and capital." (8-9)

Digital Stockholm Syndrome in the Post-Ontological Age (University of Minnesota Press, 2016).

"Before Buddha invented renunciation. Before Christians invented martyrdom. Before Mohammed invented the jihad, before the Hebrews invented monotheism, before Plato invented the dreaded cave in which we supposedly live, blind to the presence of all that is Good, people talked to each other in freer ways. They talked to dead ancestors, to rocks, to trees, to animals, to spirits. A Being-Global world returns us to ancient possibilities, repressed under centuries and layers of civilizational ideologies and naturalized, self-mutilations. I can talk with my grandmother; but I can also talk with my refrigerator, washing machine, thermostat, car ignition, all of which can send me messages and suggestions. At MIT they are developing a special toilet. Soon even my shit will have something to say." (p. 44)

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From the dawn of human society, through early civilizations, to pre-Columbian American societies, Architecture of First Societies traces the different cultural formations that developed in various places throughout the world to form the built environment. It is the first book to explore the beginnings of architecture from a global perspective. Viewing ancient cultures through a lens of both time and geography, the book brings its subjects to life with full-color photographs, and custom-made maps, and drawings. The concluding chapter “Encounters with Modernity” examines some of the contentious political issues that we face in preserving these traditions and the surviving manifestations. 

Mark Jarzombek, Vikram Prakash and Francis D.K. Ching, A Global History of Architecture, (New York: Wiley & Sons, August 2006), 800 pages. ... Third edition August 2015.

First published in 2006, a Global History of Architecture was the first textbook to fully break away from the classic Eurocentric approach. The book is organized by time period, from 3500 BCE to the present. Each time period / chapter begins at a different geographical place, so as to remind the read that the world is truly round and that no linear history is possible. The chapters focus on a set of buildings that bring us deeper into the particular cultural, historical or political contexts of the times.

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Krzysztof Wodiczko, City of Refuge: A 9/11 Memorial Mark Jarzombek and Mechtild Widrich eds. Contributions from John Rajchman, Lisa Saltzman, Kirk Savage, and Andrew Shanken (London, UK: Black Dog Publishing, 2009).

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City of Refuge: A 9/11 Memorial is a study of Krzysztof Wodiczko’s practice, the political and personal concepts pushing his project forward, and the idea of social responsibility infused in his work. It is a proposal parallel to the World Trade Center Memorial but with the aim of provoking a more active and critical commemoration of the September 11 terrorist attacks, understood in their historical and political context, and in the light of their domestic and international fallout. New and unpublished hand-drawn sketches and digital montages create a vivid picture of memory at work. The book is supported by text from scholars in a variety of disciplines: Mark Jarzombek, Daniel Bertrand Monk, Lisa Saltzman, Kirk Savage, Andrew Shanken and Mechtild Widrich. Their contributions constitute a forum published alongside Wodiczko’s text, ensuring an engaging and timely debate.

Urban Heterology: Dresden and the Dialectics of Post-Traumatic History, volume 2 in the Studies in Theoretical and Applied Aesthetics series, (Lund: Lund University, Spring 2001).

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"Since the space between the (re-)building of a city and the (re-) building of history will be necessity become a site of semantic ambiguity, we will have to admit up front that the relationship between words and history is not only fluid, but that this fluidity is both the s tarting and end point of analysis. In the end, this history / “history” manifests itself as an aesthetic which, despite the duplicity that can sometimes function at its core, might be able to lead us to answer the question as to what design operations can both reflect this condition and reconnect (even though it would have to remain hypothetical) to an underlying civitas." (p. 14)

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“The history that I tried to diagram in this book tries to force into the open an unusual problem in the study of (our) intellectual history, for it recognizes that psychology 's success lies not so much in its actual scien­tific pretensions as in its conflational strategies, historical revisionisms, and invisible rhetoric. But these practices that were once part of the hope for the elevation of the arts have become every discipline's daily routine, so much so that no one takes responsibility for the void over which we continue to construct the foundations of our knowledge systems. Even the concept History has become an anachronism in its own domain. But if there is to be any attempt to keep its meaning relevant as a discourse of critical (and certainly academic) reflection, it will inevitably be forced to cross its own disciplinary lines in a way that instantly makes it speculative, "theoretical," and self-conscious, and thus once again a product and victim of the ubiquitous modern disciplining of self-consciousness that it critiques.” (p. 210)

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Designing MIT: The Architecture of William Welles Bosworth (Boston: Northeastern University Press, October 2004).

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"A network of interrelated personae dramatis, all with autobio­graphical overtones, links the various writings of Leon Baptista Alberti. Philodoxus, Philoponius, Microtiro, Genipatro, and even Baptista, to name only a few, represent different voices in the Albertian polyphonic song of self; though each is inti­mately connected with Alberti, no single voice carries the mel­ody exclusively. To see the characters in isolation would be to take them out of the context of an autobiographical method­ology in which they serve the purpose of developing, testing, and elaborating theoretical concerns." (p. 3)

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