Title: Lawrence Halprin Notebooks 1959-1971
Publisher: The MIT Press
Book Condition: Very Good
0262080516 Cambridge, 1972. Quarto, black leatherette, 377 pp. An unread copy with a slight lean to to the spine. Excellent condition overall. Bookseller Inventory # OS2171
Synopsis: "People 'think' in different ways, and I find that I think most effectively graphically and also that my thinking is influenced a great deal by my ability to get it down where I can 'look at it' and think about it further?the process of thinking with me generates more thinking?the notebooks, in other words, have been not only a way of 'recording' ideas but also of 'generating' ideas...they are ways of running out what I call series of alternative SCORES."
These selections from Halprin's personal and professional notebooks take us as far as it may be possible to go within the imagination of another person, especially one whose highly energized originality is moving in several directions simultaneously. Halprin's creativity, as his notebooks attest, springs from his synthesizing instincts: the joining of elements of landscape and cityscape, melding of individual architectural entities with community living patterns. The whole is enlivened by Halprin's awareness in such matters as group and ecological dynamics, participatory art, the choreography and scoring of human movement.
The notebooks reveal an embracing of progressively more inclusive environments over the years: "In the early notebooks there is emphasis on gardens and on landscape...the latter notebooks reflect my increasing interest and commitment to the total environment as an integrating matrix for 'community.'" The reader will find here both an abiding interest in the natural environment and an evolving interest in the man-made environment. There are numerous drawings of mountains, rock formations, and waterfalls in California and elsewhere and an increasing concern with cities and how they can best serve man and nature. Halprin records his reactions to a worldwide array of cities?Paris, Venice, Los Angeles, Jerusalem?and displays drawings of their grand aspects and sketches of their intimate features.
Other entries reflect the inception and growth process of ideas later to be fully realized in book form (Cities; Freeways; New York New York; The RSVP Cycles) or in built form (the Portland fountains). Still others relate to Halprin's recent involvement with community workshops, group sessions and participatory planning. In short, the full range of Halprin's imagination and professional activities is displayed here: "These notebooks have been?for me?a process...a way of exploring ideas and of 'scoring' the future...they are filled with the trying-out-of-things...of alternative score S which have then been either discarded or recycled into actuality or put aside for other times...they are full of letters either sent or not sent, articles published or never submitted for publication, speeches made or only imagined...an assemblage."
The material in this book represents about one-twelfth of the original notebooks and was selected by an associate, Jim Burns, on the grounds that someone close to Halprin's work but at one removed from his total personal involvement could best present a cross section equally accenting past interests and current concerns. The notebook is entirely written in Halprin's very legible hand.
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