This new book is a profound philosophical work presented as a set of architectural lecture notes. It reads very easily, explaining why certain buildings and places speak to our hearts, thus illuminating many of our old assumptions about taste. Salingaros establishes, using biology, why traditional architecture is perceived intuitively by most people as more natural and life-affirming than modernist architecture. A deep malaise of contemporary society is tied to the shocking state of architecture and urbanism in our times, characterized by distorted buildings and unusable urban spaces. Salingaros is the archetypal deep thinker and punctures the pretenses of our most respected architecture critics. He is a charismatic teacher, and manages to explain seemingly inaccessible concepts such as fractals, scaling, the golden mean, cellular automata, genetic algorithms, and complexity in simple hand-drawn sketches. He has found a way to translate the complexities inherent in the design of our environment into imagery that even a general reader can understand. “Twelve Lectures on Architecture” includes an excellent introduction to Christopher Alexander’s recent and remarkable work on how biology and architecture intersect in humankind’s unconscious perceptions. This book has the importance to change the world because it goes into things that people should have thought about but haven’t.
What They're Saying...
"With Nikos as our guide, we see through the invisibility of the emperor’s new clothes, and we laugh (or cry) all the harder at the joke played on mankind by modern architecture.”
— The Providence Journal
“Salingaros is a charismatic teacher. The author presents mathematical concepts and computer technologies: fractals, cellular automata, genetic algorithms. He shows us the beauty of mathematics through its usage….Formulating his message through a broad spectrum of topics, Salingaros appears to be a true Renaissance figure.”
— Jadwiga Zarnowiecka, professor and architect, Bialystok, Poland.
"This book is intended for students, yet I think it should be read by everyone who is interested in or works with the built environment. Those who teach urban planning do it for their own ego, not for people who are supposed to live there. The result is an architectural object for imaginary people."
— Cristina Caramelo Gomes, professor and architect, Lisbon, Portugal