‘Atlas’, a Critical Review

Ten Authors on Ten Areas

Kenneth Frampton 

It is hardly an accident that I should be asked to review this recent attempt to encompass the current scope of world-wide production in the field of architecture since I was involved in a similar endeavor barely a decade ago before when I served as general editor for the ten volume World Architecture: A Critical Mosaic 1900-2000 published at the millennium by the China Architecture & Building Press. Now I am again confronted by an equally millenialistic overview edited by the one of the most distinguished architectural critics of our time, Luis Fernández-Galiano, whose magazines AV and Arquitectura Viva have put Spain on the map when it comes to global building culture. This publication may be seen as yet another attempt to evaluate ‘the state of things’ in architecture, as our world accelerates into the spectacular, along with the flow of monopoly capital, spinning us into a whirlwind of irreversible climate change. Galiano’s Atlas surveys what has happened over the past decade by dividing the world into ten regions, with a single editor assigned to each region, charged with selecting and assessing the production of the region in question... [+]

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