In any event, I have not seen a book on architecture and urban design, recently, that has bothered me as much as this one. If that is an improper foreword, so be it.

from Arcology (1969)

Portrait of Peter Blake

Peter Blake

September 20, 1920 – December 5, 2006

Peter Blake lived in the mainstream of contemporary architecture and art. As writer, magazine editor, critic, and practicing architect, he numbered among his friends and acquaintances (and occasionally enemies) virtually all of the major figures of modern architecture, and a good many famous artists as well. He served as head of the architecture and design department of the Museum of Modern Art, editor in chief of Architectural Forum, and chairman of the department of architecture at Catholic University.

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Paolo Soleri

Arcology

Visionary architect Paolo Soleri challenges us to think of cities as biological entities with his concept of the arcology—a massive, self-sustaining, urban “organism of a thousand minds” designed to exist in harmony with nature. He proposes that the purpose of life is aesthetogenesis: the universe progressively complexifying itself into compassionate, beautiful structures. Soleri showcases 30 potential arcologies through incredibly detailed diagrams, explaining how each integrates itself economically and ecologically into the world and fulfills his aesthetogenic criteria. The scope of his vision ranges from cities designed to span canyons or float on the oceans to cube-shaped metropolises suspended on pillars, and even a space habitat. While comprehensive, Soleri's focus lies primarily on realizing arcologies that meet humanity's moral imperative for sustainable urban living.