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Art in Architecture

· Fine Book Collecting,Halifax,Montreal Canadiens,Architecture,Art

As many of my readers know, I love illustrated books and I love art books. The difference – here
is my take on it from my musing “Illustrated Books vs Art Books” posted back on December 21,

  • In an Illustrated book, the art supports the text; and
  • In an Art book, the text supports the art.

For today’s featured book, it is a close call, but I think that it is an illustrated book!

But, before I introduce today’s book, I want to mention the importance of looking at something, through a lens different from what we are used to. Here are two examples:

  • In my other occupation as a partner with Halifax Global Inc., a strategy and planning firm, I encourage clients to always look at their business through a different lens. Some years ago, I was working offsite with the Board of Directors of a large credit union. I asked them “what business are you in?”.  In unison, they stated that they were a financial organization, just like a bank. I replied by saying “yes, that is true, but look at your business as a “services provider”. Then we had quite an interesting discussion.
  • I am a shameless Montréal Canadiens fan. I follow them daily. Currently, they have an abundance of young talent, which will help them to get off of the NHL doormat. They have hired some impressive people to work with these young players and are bringing their game up to modern development standards. Just today, I saw a good example of their using a different lens approach to working with these young men:

- When Jeff Gorton was hired last November as the Canadiens’ executive director of hockey operations, the first thing he wanted to do was bring the franchise into “modernized hockey.”
- Gorton hired Adam Nicholas as the director of hockey development. The first question media had for Nicholas was whether he believes hockey sense is something that can be taught. He responded by talking non-stop for almost four minutes in explaining why he “absolutely” believes it can.
- Nicholas said he likes to watch the game through a “principal lens” as a way to teach players how to create time and space on the ice physically and cognitively. He added that players need to work together to do that, opening “neuro pathways” so that they’re thinking the same way. Nicholas said basketball, soccer and lacrosse are basically the same as hockey when viewed through a principal lens. All that’s different is the domain.

Yep! Absolutely, I said to myself. And here is a good example from my world of books. We have a number of architectural books for sale. But a recent acquisition, really caught my eye, because the author is stating and building the case for looking at architecture through a different lens. And that lens is one of architecture as art!

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Art in Architecture; by Louis G. Redstone; introduction by Jacques Lipchitz; foreword by Robert L. Durham, FAIA, President, the American Institute of Architects; McGraw-Hill Book Company, New York San Francisco Toronto London Sydney, 1968. First printing.

Here is the book description from the posting we put up onto our website platform:

The aim of this book is to have the arts take their rightful place in the total environment of our reborn cities. To stimulate and promote the integration of the arts in architecture, it presents the best current examples of architect-artist collaborations from the United States, Canada, and countries around the world. Open the book to any section and you’ll have an exciting feeling of visiting new places. Shown in scores of illustrations, 62 of which are in full color, are examples representing a wide and varied cross section of types of buildings and different approaches to the use of art forms. These are the works of well-known architects and artists, as well as of young and talented professionals known mainly in their own region.

I thought that this was so right on! I have seen so many beautiful buildings from the middle ages
through to those built in the 21st century. Walk down the “golden mile” in Chicago and you will
see what I mean. These buildings are beautiful because they are pieces of art!

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