Building The BLDGBLOG Book: Questions for Geoff Manaugh

I've mentioned my affection for Geoff Manaugh's BLDGBLOG before (tempered only by the painful/sublime sensations that impossibly brainy and/or gorgeous architectural speculations tend to set off in my synapses), as well as my anticipation for his long-promised BLDGBLOG Book. (He was also kind enough to contribute an appreciation to Omni of J.G. Ballard, one of his guiding spirits, after Ballard's death in April.)

The book turned out to be as delicious as hoped, with Geoff clearly enjoying and exploiting the physical capabilities of the book as much as he does the digital potential of his blog. I made sure we included it on our Hidden Gems list in our Best Books of the Year So Far feature this summer, and in lieu of a better description, I'll just paste in my blurb from that page right here:

Geoff Manaugh's BLDGBLOG is an endless one-man font of curiosity, speculation, and juxtaposition about what the architecture pros like to call our "built environment": the spaces we build for ourselves and, just as interestingly, the stories we tell about them. Now Manaugh has re-engineered his conjectures into a gorgeous object that is very much a book but that thinks (with links) like a blog, about things like abandoned sewer tunnels, Soviet sleep labs, and Mars bungalows. Build a new room in your brain.

Geoff has had a busy, bihemispheric summer, but he took the time to answer a few questions about the new book (I think he was in Italy when I sent the questions, and returned his answers from Australia). By the way, he's been posting some of the fruits of his time in Australia as an instructor at Urban Islands, a weeklong architectural studio in Sydney, with stunning examples of his students' work here, here, here, and, breathtakingly, here. You've always been very aware of the relationship between architecture and books, so when you were faced with the practical mission of turning BLDGBLOG into a book, how did you shape your ideas into the architecture of a physical book?

Manaugh: The book presented more opportunities than limitations, as far as organizing my content goes. If a book is really just a way to structure your writing, then it lends itself extremely well to the development of longer-term thought processes--and that was particularly good news for me, in the sense that BLDGBLOG returns again and again to certain themes. A book meant that those themes could finally be woven together in one place.

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Your articles are perfect!

Posted by: Стихи Есенина | Thursday August 13, 2009 at 4:36 AM

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