The Language of Design. . .because great places are all about design

 
9780615614915: The Language of Design. . .because great places are all about design

The Language of Design. . .because great places are all about design is the unique result of a three-year effort to find the solution to two profound questions: First, why do people seem to care so little about the design evolution of their own communities and secondly, how can our community leaders and professional staff expect to guide design when they cannot speak the language of design. It is the first book of its kind combining text with hundreds of photographs to make understanding and speaking the language of design accessible to a general audience and most importantly, our decision makers. Collectively authors Maureen Steele-Bellows and Barry Petit have spent 50 years serving their respective communities as appointed and elected officials, while professionally practicing architecture for 70 years. These parallel experiences have placed them on both sides of the public dais, providing a unique perspective on how communities in America are developed. Throughout these years they have witnessed an all too common interaction: a developer presents a design and the decision makers offer timid, elementary or irrelevant responses. This verbal struggle is universal. The book was born when Maureen received a postcard of a Parisian building from a traveling friend. It occurred to her how odd it is that people will fly thousands of miles and spend small fortunes to see beautiful architecture, while allowing their own communities to drown in visual mediocrity. Over coffee Maureen shared this paradox with Barry: Why do people long to travel (or retire) to these compelling places but care so little about the design of their own home towns? The authors expanded this design puzzle as they considered simple consumer purchases where, for example, people seemed more passionate about the shoes they bought than the ever evolving character of their communities. While many of us can wax eloquently about the shape of the heel, height of the vamp or the toe cap of a shoe, we are stymied by the simple request to describe our response to the design of a building. Ironically, in a short time trendy shoes are relegated to the back of the closet, while buildings may last in full view for generations. The book is built around two themes: the Power of Design in our daily lives and the common Language designers use to create virtually any object. This second theme is really the core of the book as the authors define nine key Principles used to shape design Regionalism, Context, Scale/Massing, Composition, Hierarchy, Color, Detail/Craftsmanship, Transformation and Simplicity Applying these Design Principles in a disciplined order teaches our community leaders city council members, planning commissioners, and planning staffs how to engage in meaningful discussions about design of all types and scales. Anyone can easily absorb and use the information in this book to help them learn how to see through the fog of familiarity and become advocates for better design in their own neighborhoods, villages, towns, and cities. Ultimately, the Language of Design calls for a revolution that puts the pursuit of good design at the forefront of all community planning. The authors objective is to change the prevailing dialogue that has dominated city hall from the language of zoning to the language of design. While zoning is important, most of it is about organizational, formula based tidiness. However, the memory of great places is always about design . . . and you must speak the language of design to guide it.

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About the Author:

Maureen Steele Bellows (born 26 January, 1950) is an American architect born on the north shore of Massachusetts. She attended the Pingree School and received a B.A. in Urban Design from Wellesley College, with architectural studio work at MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology). She worked for a small architecture/interiors/landscape architecture firm in Cambridge, MA and took classes at the Boston Architectural Center (now the Boston Architectural College) for two years before attending the University of Minnesota where she graduated with a Bachelor of Architecture Degree. Her professional career began in Chicago where she worked for Perkins + Will, Murphy/Jahn (where she worked on the iconic State of Illinois Building), and SOM. In 1984 she returned to Minnesota and opened her own firm, first in partnership with Martha Yunker and eventually as a sole proprietor. During this time she also served as member and Chair of the Planning Commission in her current hometown of Orono, MN, as member and Chair of the State of Minnesota Designer Selection Board, Board Member of the Minnesota Board of Architecture, Engineering, Land Surveying, Landscape Architecture, Geoscience and Interior Design, and Grader and Master Grader of the National Council of Architectural Registration Board licensure examination. Today her architectural work centers on residential construction with new homes in California, Colorado, Wisconsin and Minnesota. In 2008 she joined with Barry Petit to form SBP Design Consulting, a firm dedicated to raising the bar for the design of our built environment. Barry Petit (born 25 December, 1950) is a retired architect born in Minneapolis. He attended Roosevelt High School and received a Bachelor of Architecture Degree from the University of Minnesota in 1975. Barry worked for local two firms before leaving for graduate school at the Cornell University in Ithaca, New York in 1980. Upon graduation from Cornell, he returned to Minneapolis and spent the next 22 years with Meyer Scherer and Rockcastle Architects. The lion's share of Barry's work at MSR revolved around marketing and designing public and academic libraries. His total body of library work included 19 buildings. His final MS&R project was the Bud Werner Memorial Library, Steamboat Springs, CO. In 1986 Barry was appointed to the Planning Commission in his home town of Wayzata, MN. During the appointment he chaired the Commission and stared Wayzata s first Design Review Board. In 1992 he was elected to the City Council and in 1997 he became the Mayor. During these public service days he also coached Wayzata Youth Hockey. He still considers this four year coaching experience as a great chapter in his life. In 2005 after two mayoral terms he simultaneously retired from MS&R Architects and public service. Today he markets his library expertise as a planning consultant focusing on facility evaluation, strategic planning and site evaluation. The launching of the Language of Design is hoping to spark a broad dialogue about design throughout America - it must get better.

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Maureen Steele-Bellows/ Barry Petit
Published by Tower Publishing (2012)
ISBN 10: 0615614914 ISBN 13: 9780615614915
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Revaluation Books
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Book Description Tower Publishing, 2012. Paperback. Book Condition: Brand New. first edition. 156 pages. 9.40x8.50x0.40 inches. In Stock. Bookseller Inventory # 0615614914

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