Architecture From the Outside In

Selected Essays by Robert Gutman

Robert Gutman, Dana Cuff, John Wriedt

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     6 × 9 in (15.2 × 22.9 cm)
344 pages
Publication date: 3/26/2010
Rights: World
ISBN: 9781568988962

Architecture and sociology have been fickle friends over the past half century: in the 1960s, architects relied on sociological data for design solutions and sociologists were courted by the most prestigious design schools to lecture and teach. Twenty years later, at the height of postmodernism, it was passe to be concerned with the sociological aspects of architecture. Currently, the rising importance of sustainability in building, not to mention an economical crisis brought on in part by a real-estate bubble, have forced architects to consider themselves in a less autonomous way, perhaps bringing the profession full circle back to a close relationship with sociology. Through all these rises and dips, Robert Gutman was a strong and steady voice for both architecture and sociology. Gutman, a sociologist by training, infiltrated architecture's ranks in the mid-1960s and never looked back. A teacher for over four decades at Princeton's School of Architecture, Gutman wrote about architecture and taught generations of future architects, all while maintaining an "outsider" status that allowed him to see the architectural profession in an insightful, unique way.

Architecture From the Outside In is the only book that contains collected essays by Gutman spanning his career, with the earliest essay included from 1965,and the most recent from 2004. Before his untimely death in 2007, Gutman also wrote new introductions for the book, its chapters, and each of the included essays. Organized into five thematic sections (Practices, Buildings and Projects, Sociology and Architecture, Housing, and Architectural Education), the fourteen essays by Gutman included in the book are valuable historical documents but are also relevant to architects practicing today.

Following Gutman's death, his friend architectural writer Dana Cuff and son-in-law John Wriedt ushered the book to completion and gave the book an additional element: twelve "dialogues" by some of Gutman's former students, now some of the best-known architects and theorists of today: Deborah Berke, Bryan Bell, Peggy Deamer, Frank Duffy, Keller Easterling, Robert Fishman, Marta Gutman, Wallis Miller, David Mohney, Patricia Morton, Eric Mumford, and Sarah Whiting. These essays give a contemporary response to Gutman's work, and help make Architecture From the Outside In an invaluable text.

Robert Gutman was the distinguished professor of sociology at Rutgers University. Beginning in 1971, he was also visiting professor in the School of Architecture at Princeton University.

Dana Cuff is a professor of architecture and urban design at the University of California, Los Angeles.

John Wriedt is an architect and writer who lives in Princeton, New Jersey.

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