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

Author/EditorVale, Brenda and Robert (Author)
Vale, Robert (Author)
ISBN: 9780500342855
Pub Date01/07/2013
BindingHardback
Pages208
Dimensions (mm)229(h) * 152(w)
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.
€23.58
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Availability: Available to order but dispatch within 7-10 days
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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.

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.

Brenda Vale is professor in the School of Architecture at Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand. Together with her husband Robert they are the authors of The Autonomous House, Green Architecture, The New Autonomous House and Time to Eat the Dog?, all published by Thames & Hudson. Robert Vale is professor in the School of Architecture at Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand. Jointly with his wife Brenda they are the authors of The Autonomous House, Green Architecture, The New Autonomous House and Time to Eat the Dog?, all published by Thames & Hudson.

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