New publications from Mark Jarzombek

Two new publications by Mark Jarzombek (HTC) are now available.

Architecture Constructed: Notes on a Discipline (2023, Bloomsbury Press) argues that the architecture/contractor divide is a ‘construction’ with a particular history and theoretical problematic that impacts not just the history of the discipline, but also the history of labor that haunts the very understanding of contemporary architecture. The book looks at issues relating to preservation theory and the Library of Congress ordering systems, as well as to the tragic dualisms of ‘theory and practice,’ mind and body, design and craft, and architect and builder that belay any attempt to ever get out from under its particular falsifications. The book weaves in Socrates, Plato, Derrida, Laugier and others. Learn more

A House Deconstructed (2023, Actar) by Mark Jarzombek, Vikramaditya Prakash explores what goes into making a modern building. We would like to think that we ‘know’ what goes into making a modern building. But the truth is that no one, not even architects, knows. The OUR [Office for Uncertainty Research] spent three years studying a single, relatively modest modern house located in Seattle, WA. The research focused on four vectors: Atomic Consciousness that dates back to the Big Bang and the earliest Super Novas: Production Consciousness that involves a vast array of ingredients that are combined to make architectural products: Labor Consciousness that spans a wide spectrum of temporal and economic conditions; and Source Consciousness that is multilayered and global in its reach. Though much was learned, it became clear that a huge proportion of what we ‘know’ about the house was unknowable, not because our epistemological instruments aren’t strong enough or calibrated precisely enough, but because things themselves are indeterminate, uncertain. This begs the question about agency. If we are to critique our profession and even improve some of its claims about Sustainability, then we must develop a more robust understanding of the building industry and the sourcing and making of materials.  We must even develop a stronger awareness of the history of atoms and how architecture brings that history into a remarkable focus. Learn more.