Building Systems : Design Technology and Society book cover
1st Edition

Building Systems
Design Technology and Society

Edited By

Kiel Moe


Ryan E. Smith

ISBN 9780415617949
Published January 20, 2012 by Routledge
272 Pages

FREE Standard Shipping
USD $54.95

Prices & shipping based on shipping country


Book Description

We can no longer view building components as artifacts (a brick or a boiler) or as autonomous systems (air conditioning or prefabrication). Rather these components and systems are part of much larger systems of which architects are one agent. This book will help architects more broadly envision these networks including :

  • canonical texts as well as contemporary thinking from well known theorists and practitioners, each contribution frames a specific range of technology in relation to society such as building process, products, economies and ecologies
  • clearly structured, the book is divided into three parts; each accompanied by a comprehensive introduction by the editors
  • an annotated bibliography provides a glossary of further reading
  • illustrated throughout with over 100 illustrations.

The book calls for integration, a convergence and confluence of social and technical factors, discovering the capability and culpability of such; for architects to finally realize that the term building systems is best grasped as a verb, not a set of nouns.

This reader presents students, faculty and practicing architects with an expanded view of technology in architecture that transcends naive determinisms and technocratic applications; forming a more pithy intellectual context for the complex and contingent roles of technology in twenty-first century architecture.

Table of Contents

Prologue  Introduction:  Systems, Technics, and Society Kiel Moe & Ryan E. Smith  Part 1 Building Systems  1. Construction History: Between Technological and Cultural History Antoine Picon 2. How the Introduction of Iron in Construction changed and Developed Thought Patterns in Design Tom F. Peters 3. Retrofitting and Redacting Masonry Engineering Philippe Block 4. Building Systems/Building Territories: Industrialized Housing Delivery and the Role of the Architect Ivan Rupnik Part 2 Building Economies 5. "Architecture or Revolution": Taylorism, Technocracy, and Social Change Mary McLeod 6. Glass and Light: The Influence of Interior Illumination on the "Chicago School" Tom Leslie 7. Obsolescence: Notes Towards a History Daniel Abramson 8. Risky Business, Fishy Forms Ellen Grimes Part 3 Building Ecologies 9. Household Conditioning (if you are cold, put on a sweater) William Braham 10. A House within a House Hillary Sample  11. Architectural Production and Sociotechnical Codes: A Theoretical Framework Steven Moore & Barbara B. Wilson Annotated Bibliography

View More



Kiel Moe is Assistant Professor of Architectural Technologies at the Harvard Graduate School of Design.

Ryan E. Smith is Associate Professor and Director of the Integrated Technology in Architecture Center at the University of Utah, College of Architecture and Planning.