Bedside Essays for Lovers (of Cities) Now Available

Island Press E-ssential Series Features Daniel Solomon

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Washington, DC (May 2012) — In Bedside Essays for Lovers (of Cities), the new short electronic-only publication from the Island Press E-ssentials program, Daniel Solomon,  renowned architect and co-founder of the Congress for New Urbanism, presents a provocative critique of modern architecture and an engaging vision of what our cities could be.

For Bedside Essays for Lovers (of Cities), Solomon, whom the Detroit Free Press has called a “spectacularly gifted writer,” takes inspiration from creative giants like Coco Chanel and Vladimir Nabokov as well as architects and city planners to define his vision of a “continuous city.” The city, confronted by the choice between starting over from scratch and sprawling outward, instead chooses a third path: building upon and within itself, reaching toward the future while guided by the past.

From garden apartments in the Bronx to an Italian church carefully woven into an otherwise unprepossessing Roman intersection, he notes examples of the continuous city’s victories over the past few centuries. Along the way, he calls out architecture’s establishment, accusing them of stifling the sensitivity to a city’s unique personality that has given us some of our most appreciated buildings. From Rem Koolhaas’s authoritarian design for China’s Central Television Studio to the first two weeks of the Harvard Graduate School of Design curriculum, he argues that modernism embraces flawed, obsolete ideals at the cost of urban identity.

Bedside Essays for Lovers (of Cities) is a clarion call for putting context back into the architectural design process. It’s a path that can not only create more beautiful, invigorating public spaces, but also house growing populations in harmony with the environment.


Read an excerpt from Chapter One: The Continuous City

To purchase your copy of Bedside Essays for Lovers (of Cities) for $3.99, visit Amazon.

Daniel Solomon, FAIA is an architect and urban designer whose 42-year career combines achievements in professional practice with academic pursuits of teaching and writing. He has been twice named to Architectural Digest's 100 Foremost Architects, worldwide, and is the recipient of the Seaside Prize for contributions to American Urbanism, the Maybeck Award from AIA California Council for lifetime achievement in design, and was named Housing Hero by the San Francisco Housing Action Coalition. 

Courtesy of Island Press