Architecture on the Carpet: The Curious Tale of Construction Toys and the Genesis of Modern Buildings

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9780500342855: Architecture on the Carpet: The Curious Tale of Construction Toys and the Genesis of Modern Buildings
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An intriguing and nostalgic exploration of the relationships between children’s building sets and developments in modern architecture

This entertaining book offers a novel view of architecture through the prism of construction toys. Ranging over the last century to the present, Brenda and Robert Vale draw parallels between the model-building sets of the modern period and architectural movements, social history, and national identities and myths. Some children’s construction toys such as Lincoln Logs and Tudor Minibrix have looked to the past. Others have looked to the future: as early as the 1920s, the American metal toy Bilt-E-Z could be used to construct a stepped-back skyscraper like the Empire State Building.

The Vales investigate not only how models sets have reflected different building styles but also whether the toys themselves influenced the careers of the children who grew up playing with them. They explore connections between model-railway buildings and modernism; model sets such as Castos and reinforced concrete housing; and even between the creative but slightly surreal Playplax and postmodern deconstructivist architecture. 111 illustrations, 97 in color

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About the Author:

Brenda Vale is a professor of architecture at Victoria University in Wellington, New Zealand. Her previous books include The New Autonomous House.

Review:

“Refreshingly original.”
- Interior Design

“Argues that construction toys such as Lego and Meccano not only reflect the architecture of the real world, but influence the way individual architects design.”
- The Casual Optimist

“Explores everything from gender bias to class distinctions of construction toys.”
- Notable Design Book of 2013, Designers & Books

“Quirky but fun. . . . Recommended.”
- Choice

“Argues that modern buildings have some roots in construction toys.”
- Modern in Denver

“The authors’ intensive review of the commercial creation and specifications of the individual toys is truly unique.”
- ARLIS/NA Reviews

“Chock-full of research.”
- Florida Weekly

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Book Description Thames Hudson Ltd, United Kingdom, 2013. Hardback. Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. This entertaining and intriguing book explores the host of connections linking the model-building toys of the modern period with architectural movements, social history, and national identities and myths. Brenda and Robert Vale investigate not only how model sets have reflected different building styles, both historic and contemporary, but also whether the toys themselves influenced the subsequent careers of the children who grew up playing with them. A wealth of illustrations support their case. The authors show how the famous prefabricated engineered aesthetic of Meccano does seem to have influenced some notable architects, though they question whether an early experience of Arkitex necessarily engendered a love of high-rise offices. They draw out novel connections between model-railway buildings and modernism; model sets such as Castos and reinforced concrete housing; and even between the creative but slightly surreal Playplax and postmodern deconstructivist architecture. Informative, opinionated and ranging across more than a century of toys and architectural trends, this book imparts an infectious nostalgia for these wonderful toys, many of them vintage classics. Seller Inventory # AA29780500342855

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Book Description Thames Hudson Ltd, United Kingdom, 2013. Hardback. Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. This entertaining and intriguing book explores the host of connections linking the model-building toys of the modern period with architectural movements, social history, and national identities and myths. Brenda and Robert Vale investigate not only how model sets have reflected different building styles, both historic and contemporary, but also whether the toys themselves influenced the subsequent careers of the children who grew up playing with them. A wealth of illustrations support their case. The authors show how the famous prefabricated engineered aesthetic of Meccano does seem to have influenced some notable architects, though they question whether an early experience of Arkitex necessarily engendered a love of high-rise offices. They draw out novel connections between model-railway buildings and modernism; model sets such as Castos and reinforced concrete housing; and even between the creative but slightly surreal Playplax and postmodern deconstructivist architecture. Informative, opinionated and ranging across more than a century of toys and architectural trends, this book imparts an infectious nostalgia for these wonderful toys, many of them vintage classics. Seller Inventory # AA29780500342855

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Book Description Thames & Hudson Ltd, 2013. Condition: New. 2013. 1st Edition. Hardcover. Investigates how model sets have reflected different building styles, both historic and contemporary, and also whether the toys themselves influenced the subsequent careers of the children who grew up playing with them. This title includes a wealth of illustrations that support the authors' case. Num Pages: 208 pages, 111 illustrations, 97 in colour. BIC Classification: AM. Category: (G) General (US: Trade). Dimension: 235 x 158 x 27. Weight in Grams: 564. . . . . . . Seller Inventory # V9780500342855

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Book Description Thames & Hudson Ltd. Condition: New. 2013. 1st Edition. Hardcover. Investigates how model sets have reflected different building styles, both historic and contemporary, and also whether the toys themselves influenced the subsequent careers of the children who grew up playing with them. This title includes a wealth of illustrations that support the authors' case. Num Pages: 208 pages, 111 illustrations, 97 in colour. BIC Classification: AM. Category: (G) General (US: Trade). Dimension: 235 x 158 x 27. Weight in Grams: 564. . . . . . Books ship from the US and Ireland. Seller Inventory # V9780500342855

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