Book Review: Architecture Technology & Process by Chris Abel

The book presents author’s take on technological development in architecture and its interaction with social, economical and traditional aspects of a region especially the pacific countries (western countries).

It describes his view of “new technology doesn’t always completely displaces or eradicates previous ones, moreover it simply adds another way of doing things to existing methods which continues parallel to previous methods”. This he calls his ‘Layer cake theory’.

The book unfolds itself in six chapter, in which one by one the author builds his concept of uniting architecture, technology and society. Abel seems to have succeeded in his attempt to correlate the rising western countries and the computer age architecture finishing nicely with some present day examples like foster, gehry and harry seidler.

Some of the other interesting topics taken up in the book are- the Great Australian dream , architect’s obsession with traditional trademark, . the Layer cake theory and true definition of Organic architecture (Bio-tech architecture s the author calls it).

The author’s view on technological advancements in architecture and its impact on society are quite unorthodox. The Layer cake theory in itself is interesting, which the author has been able to communicate to the user using various images, examples and tables. The only negative point I would say is the use of metaphorical language in some chapters which might make you scratch your head. Beside that the book is a best-buy, written in context to the present 21st century. The book serves its purpose of widening the readers horizon and making the reader (architect) think more than just about the site and its immediate surroundings.

This book review was written by: Abhinay Sharma