Building on Truth by Philip Bess | Articles | First Things

Building is a willful act of symbolic import, sometimes intended and sometimes not, and all architecture expresses the power of its makers and their aspiration to legitimate authority. This is true of individual buildings, public spaces, and all human settlements. Temple, forum, cathedral, city hall, town square, primitive hut, urban townhouse, suburban ranch burger, LEED-platinum office building, interstate highway interchange, urban landscape installation, medieval town, hypermodern metropolis—all require and represent the ability to bring them into being and sustain them over time. Their very existence requires power in the most elemental sense of the word. More than this, we attach…

Change the World from Home: A Conversation with Rod Dreher | Comment Magazine | Cardus

JKAS: You kind of wanted the resolution of the eschaton before its coming. RD: Exactly, exactly. What does this have to say to our public life? When people read The Little Way of Ruthie Leming, I dont want them to think, “We must all move to a small town”, but I do want them to consider that maybe you should go home. Maybe you have a calling there that you can do great work there. Changing the world doesnt mean becoming a great theologian or a pastor or a great journalist or whatever it is. God sees things differently. We…

Victor Dover lecture: “The Art of Street Design” | SCAD Museum of Art

Victor Dover lecture: “The Art of Street Design”Feb. 11, 5:30 p.m.The School of Building Arts Lecture Series presents Victor Brandon Dover, former chair of the Congress for the New Urbanism America, and founder and principal-in-charge of Dover, Kohl & Partners Town Planners. In his lecture, “The Art of Street Design,” Dover will discuss a revolutionary makeover that is underway to promote walking and cycling and appeal to a new generation of creative, demanding citizens. Walkable, sustainable designs can reinvigorate inner cities and retrofit suburbia to meet the needs of residents.The innovative work of Dover, Kohl & Partners has been featured…

DORTMUND LECTURES ON CIVIC ART: New Civic Art. 2014.

Christoph Mäckler & Wolfgang Sonne Formed to enliven the debate on contemporary urban development, the German Institute for Civic Art examines urban development history from architectural, planning, economic and sociological perspectives. This volume, with full English translation, documents the fourth Dortmund Lectures on Urban Design 2011, featuring British and American experts who presented recent findings and new concepts from universities and planning institutions in the field of urban construction. Norman Garrick US addresses the New Urbanism movement in a German context; Harald Bodenschatz GR considers transportation and place-making in postmodern communities; Ben Bolgar UK asks what can be borrowed from…

Older, Smaller, Better – Preservation Leadership Forum

All across America, blocks of older, smaller buildings are quietly contributing to robust local economies and distinctive livable communities. This groundbreaking study demonstrates the unique and valuable role that older, smaller buildings play in the development of sustainable cities. Building on statistical analysis of the built fabric of three major American cities, the research demonstrates that established neighborhoods with a mix of older, smaller buildings perform better than districts with larger, newer structures when tested against a range of economic, social, and environmental outcome measures. via Older, Smaller, Better – Preservation Leadership Forum.

The Catholic Writer Today Encouraging Catholic writers to renovate and reoccupy their own tradition. Dana Gioia

[excerpt from Dana Gioia, The Catholic Writer Today: Encouraging Catholic writers to renovate and reoccupy their own tradition.] The great and present danger to American literature is the growing homogeneity of our writers, especially the younger generation. Often raised in several places in no specific cultural or religious community, educated with no deep connection to a particular region, history, or tradition, and now employed mostly in academia, the American writer is becoming as standardized as the American car—functional, streamlined, and increasingly interchangeable. The globalization so obvious in most areas of the economy, including popular culture, has had a devastating impact on literature. Its…

100 Essential Books of Planning (APA/ACRL) | Environmental Design Library | UC Berkeley

To celebrate the 100th anniversary of the American planning movement, the American Planning Association has created a list of the books essential to planning. These essential books come from every decade starting in 1909, the date of the first national planning conference. Thanks to all the APA members and staff who contributed their ideas and suggestions. The Essential Books of Planning List is co-sponsored by the Association of College & Research Libraries. Published books provide one lens through which to view the history of American planning. Consider what surprises and what insights this list provides to that history. via 100…

Can These Bones Live? Unexpected Lessons From the Life of Kuyper | Comment Magazine | Cardus

In the Protestant scholastic tradition that Kuyper came to appreciate so deeply, theologians would distinguish between various sorts of covenants—familial, ecclesial, national—as a way of talking about the kinds of goods that ought to characterize human relationships. For instance, the relationship between a parent and a child ought to foster certain virtues—prudence and mercy in the parent, filial piety and self-sufficiency in the child. Likewise, relations between political rulers and their subjects ought to promote the welfare of the community and the moral formation of its citizens. The recognition of shared goods is primary, and the formal boundaries of the…

Apocalyptic Reading in a Technological World: Why We Need Jacques Ellul Today | Comment Magazine | Cardus

According to Ellul, technology/technique self-propagates by creating increasingly favourable conditions for its continued adoption and development. Ellul focused in particular on the way in which propaganda perpetrated through modern mass media serves as a specific technological tool by which to, as the authors of Understanding Jacques Ellul put it, “integrate humans into a dehumanized world, to adapt them to the technological society.” A ready and current example of this is way in which Apple is able to generate enormous, favourable attention from the press surrounding the future release of a new electronic device or software operating system, thereby subtly beginning…

Every work of architecture a prodigy

Adrian Forty, in the essay, “Context,” from Words and Buildings: A Vocabulary of Modern Architecture, writes: “… in the editorials written by Ernesto Rogers for the magazine Casabella Continuitá in the middle of the [1950s] there appeared the first serious critique of the work of the first generation of modernist architects.  Rogers criticized their tendency to treat every scheme as a unique abstract problem, their indifference to location, and their desire to make of every work a prodigy.  Rather, Rogers argued, consider architecture as a dialogue with its surroundings, both in the immediate physical sense, but also as a historical continuum…….