Drawing the Unbuildable : Seriality and Reproduction in Architecture book cover
1st Edition

Drawing the Unbuildable
Seriality and Reproduction in Architecture

ISBN 9781138104228
Published May 24, 2017 by Routledge
204 Pages

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Book Description

Architecture is conventionally seen as being synonymous with building. In contrast, this book introduces and defines a new category - the unbuildable. The unbuildable involves projects that are not just unbuilt, but cannot be built. This distinct form of architectural project has an important and often surprising role in architectural discourse, working not in opposition to the buildable, but frequently complementing it.

Using well-known examples of early Soviet architecture – Tatlin’s Tower in particular – Nerma Cridge demonstrates the relevance of the unbuildable, how it relates to current notions of seriality, copying and reproduction, and its implications for contemporary practice and discourse in the computational age. At the same time it offers a fresh view of our preconceptions and expectations of early Soviet architecture and the Constructivist Movement.

Table of Contents

Introduction, Part I: The Unbuildable Monument, 1. Tatlin’s Tower, 2. Palace of the Soviets, 3. Two Faces of the Same Monument, Part II: The Unbuildable Series, 4. Series within Series: El Lissitzky’s Iron Cloud, 5. Series of Series: Iakov Chernikhov, 6. The Pioneering Series: GB Piranesi Carceri, Conclusion, Bibliography

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Nerma Prnjavorac Cridge grew up and began her architectural career in Sarajevo, former Yugoslavia. At the beginning of the Bosnian war she came to the UK, continuing her studies first at Birmingham, and then at the Bartlett, UCL. Nerma was awarded a PhD at the Architectural Association in London in 2011. As well as working for several distinguished architectural practices including Thomas Heatherwick's Studio and Art2Architecture, Nerma taught at the Universities of Greenwich, Birmingham, London Metropolitan, Central Saint Martins, IVE Hong Kong and Brighton. A Fellow at the Royal Society of Arts since 2011, Nerma currently divides her time between teaching history and theory at the Architectural Association in London and design at Cambridge School of Art, as well as running her own art and design practice, Drawing Agency. She lives in London with her husband Mark and daughter Marlena.


"Drawing the Unbuildable: Seriality and Reproduction In Architecture' is quite interesting as it attempts to examine the motion that unbuildable has merit and can be related to the buildable. The author provides a comprehensive study of Russian history and architectural understanding through time that enables readers to learn about the relationship of the state to design." - Jeff Thurston, 3D Visualization World Magazine