We have been inviting our insightful members, collaborators and partners to recommend books to our online bookstore - must-read, practical, thought-provoking books to learn about the history and to inspire the future of sustainable community practice.
- Recommended by Tere García, architect, development practitioner and freelance writer. Fascinated by cities and its culture and people. Specialize in slum upgrading and participatory processes in architecture and urban design:
1. Housing by people: Towards Autonomy in Building Environments, by John Turner
"This book shows Turner's enthusiasm for self-help solutions to housing problems and a strong belief in people's ability to successfully manage their own lives without centrally controlled systems."
2. HANDMADE URBANISM: From Community Initiatives to Participatory Models, by Marcos L. Rosa, Ute E. Weiland
"This book is all about inspiration and positivism; a proof that multidisciplinary teams and a strong network of partners can be the key of success when driving bottom- up projects."
This book is also recommended by Changfang Luo:
"Practical examples and cases, focusing on the process and the various relationships of stakeholders - a handbook to understand an integrated top-down and bottom-up urban practice."
- Recommended by Arcò – Architecture & Cooperation, is working since 2009 in International Cooperation projects. Focusing on the transmission of knowledge and skills through a process of capacity building of techniques and principles which have always been present in the local historical context:
3. From camps to city: Refugee camps of the Western Sahara, by Manuel Herz
"M. Herz analyses the urban and architectural dimension of five refugee camps, with more than 170'000 Sahara refugees. The temporary/permanent condition of these camps is deeply studied through their living, working and recreational structures."
This book is also recommended by Spontaneous City International.
- Recommended by Ibai Rigby, an Anglo-Spanish architect with experience building and training in the developing world, Project Coordinator at Aga Khan Trust for Culture:
4. The Penguin and the Leviathan: How Cooperation Triumphs over Self-interest, by Yochai Benkler
"Although this is not strictly a book about architecture, it helps to understand why people cooperate. It presents large evidence from academic research as well as insights on how platforms such as Linux and Wikipedia work, platforms which share a similar modus operandi with Architecture in Development. It also explains how to harness human solidarity through developing empathy and perceiving fairness."
5. Shadow Cities: A Billion Squatters, a New Urban World, by Robert Neuwirth
6. Simón Vélez: Architect Mastering Bamboo, by Pierre Frey
- Recommended by Alison Killing, an architect and urban designer, whose work focuses on helping people to understand and engage with their built environment:
7. Spaces of Global Capitalism: Towards a Theory of Uneven Geographical Development, by David Harvey
"For the insight that the rise of NGOs has paralled the rise of neoliberalism and the important questions that that raises about who has legitimacy in responding in post-disaster scenarios."
- Recommended by Manu Fernández, a researcher and urban policy consultant. Involved in various projects including Human Scale City:
8. Make_Shift City. Renegotiating the urban commons, by Francesca Ferguson
"Francesca Ferguson has compiled a great collection of stories, essays and interviews which represents the latest addition to a growing literature on the mix of uncertainty, austerity, insecurity and temporality as the landscape for re-imagining the city. A wide experience of practices and appropriation projects are shown up with full detail and analysis." - recommended by Manu Fernandez.
- The last three books are recommended by Architecture In Development, that have deeply inspired us and shaped our philosophy and vision:
9. Learning from Vernacular: Towards a New Vernacular Architecture, by Pierre Frey
"A book that we adore for its profound and insightful message, revealing why today's architecture is disconnected itself from its roots. This book helps us to understand why our globalized building industry and economy have brought architecture away from its local culture, alienated itself from the people and community that it is supposed to serve."
10. Expanding Architecture: Design as Activism, by Bryan Bell and Katie Wakeford
"How do we go about the architecture practice, moving away from a system where designers offer solutions to designers actively engaged as an advocate, a developer, an educator in the practice of improving the environment?
Expanding Architecture Design as Activism is a must read for those interested in socially conscious practice, with essays and cases advocating creative design can achieve to serve the greater public interest."
11. Testify! The Consequences of Architecture, by Lukas Feireiss and Ole Bouman
"Today design media glamorize architectures with seductive photos, but the images and story presented are often excluding the human occupation. Testify - the consequences of architecture helps us to reality check architecture, to discover not only the reasons to initiate a design act but also the people, the city and the contexts that gives birth to a building."
Do you have also books that inspired your practice and career choice? Email to us and recommend them to our bookstore!