Situate, Manipulate, Fabricate : An Anthology of the Influences on Architectural Design and Production book cover
1st Edition

Situate, Manipulate, Fabricate
An Anthology of the Influences on Architectural Design and Production

Edited By

Chad Schwartz

ISBN 9780367178390
Published August 26, 2020 by Routledge
300 Pages 49 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

This anthology of selected works outlines three critical instigators of architecture, all tied directly to the tectonic makeup of our built environment – place, material, and assembly. These catalysts provide the organizational framework for a collection of essays discussing their significant influence on the processes of architectural design and construction.

With content from a diverse collection of notable architects, historians, and scholars, this book serves as a theoretical structure for understanding the tectonic potential of architecture. Each chapter is thematically driven, consisting of a pair of essays preceded by an introduction highlighting the fundamental issues at hand and comparing and contrasting the points of view presented.

Situate, Manipulate, Fabricate offers an opportunity to explore the essential topics that affect the design and construction, as well as the experiential qualities, of our built environment.

Table of Contents

Part 1: Situate  1. Site  2. Tradition  3. Environment  Part 2: Manipulate  4. Intent  5. Properties  6. Meaning  Part 3: Fabricate  7. Techne  8. Architectonic  9. Intersection

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Chad Schwartz is an architect and educator currently serving as an Associate Professor in the Department of Architecture at Kansas State University, USA. He teaches both design and building technology, continually seeking to merge the two bodies of knowledge. His research explores the role of architectural tectonics in the development of both contemporary and historic architecture, as well as strategies for translating the theory of tectonics into practical and poetic activities in the university classroom. He is also the author of Introducing Architectural Tectonics: Exploring the Intersection of Design and Construction (2016).


Situating contemporary discussions of material and fabrication against their historical and theoretical backgrounds, Schwartz’s Situate, Manipulate, Fabricate presents an accessible resource for considering and comparing theories of tectonics. The annotated essays convey how material is a form of intentionality: detailing and material decisions are intellectual transactions that carry political and social consequences and reflect the cultures, places, and times of their creation.  Situate will be essential reading for those interested in considering and refining how material manipulation and fabrication are powerful instruments of architectural thought.

-Shelby Elizabeth Doyle, AIA, Iowa State University

Chad Schwartz has assembled an outstanding collection of essays in this book. The author’s use of the phrase "tectonic instigators" is particularly insightful, as the processes described in the title are crucial elements in creating compelling architecture. The book’s richly varied contributions include work by authors that carefully situate discourse within their particular cultural contexts. Chad’s introductions for each chapter provide critical context, as well as facilitating reader’s engagement in unfamiliar ideas. Any architect or educator who has an interest in how one approaches the subject of making architecture will find these selections to be essential to enriching their understanding.

-Eric Weber, Associate Professor, Coordinator, UNLV School of Architecture Design+Build Studio

This vital collection of writings on architectural tectonics extends Chad Schwartz’ groundbreaking work in Introducing Architectural Tectonics to argue for building as a philosophical, as well as a physical, act. Showing that construction occurs within three frameworks—situating a building within the topography and flows of a site, manipulating materials to bend the physical world to our needs and desires, and fabricating elements and components to engage with those materials, these curated essays show how constructive acts—far from being mere nuts and bolts—embody meaning far richer than we generally acknowledge. An essential addition to any architectural library, Situate, Manipulate, Fabricate brings together a generation of collected wisdom and speculation on the intersection of making and thinking.

-Thomas Leslie, FAIA, Morrill Professor in Architecture, College of Design, Iowa State University