A Design Conversation

Scott Johnson, Bill Fain

     8.5 × 9.5 in (21.6 × 24.1 cm)
240 pages
220 color illustrations
Publication date: 5/1/2004
Rights: World
ISBN: 9781890449230

Figure/Ground: A Design Conversation, is a collection of six dialogs on design between Scott Johnson and William Fain, the principals of Johnson Fain Partners of Los Angeles. Covering a broad range of topics, the conversations center on such themes as the globalization of architecture, the impact of the Internet, the issue of "big architecture" vs. urban design, and the role of historicism in design. Along the way, Johnson and Fain find inspiration in jazz improvisation, Noam Chomsky, Roman urbanism, passive solar heating in China, Catholic monasticism, and Native American spirituality.

With an elegant layout by National Design Award winner Lorraine Wild, the dialogs are illustrated with photographs of recent work by the firm, including their plan for central Beijing, and the new Native American Center in Oklahoma City.

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