Survival through design by Richard Neutra – CULTURAL HERITAGE BOOKS
Survival through design by Richard Neutra
Survival through design by Richard Neutra

Survival through design by Richard Neutra

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New York : Oxford University Press, 1954. Hardcover. 384 pages ; 21 cm. Scattered foxing throughout the book including the dust jacket. Previous owner name on the half-title page. No other markings within this book. Binding is firm.


This is a revolutionary book on design and its vital significance for the very survival of the human race by one of the foremost architects in the world today. Time Magazine says: 'Of all the architects who have made their reputations in the United States, Richard Neutra ranks second only to lordly Frank Lloyd Wright.' During his vast practical experience as a city planner and designer of buildings, Mr. Neutra developed the ideas and point of view that he so forcefully expresses in this book. He plumbs our attitude toward foresight and planning. He advocates design 'for life' and health, especially mental health. Design must be adapted to actual living processes. It can harm or help them, while they unroll in time as well as in space.

Survival Through Design is bound to stimulate creative controversy and to make a lasting contribution to design criticism. It is a book to be read by anyone interested in society and civilization in a hectic, industrialized age.

The author stresses the daily impact of our complex, humanly produced, and constructed environment on the more than two billion people of this planet. All constructed and mass-produced items of modern life are 'designed,' but the principles for such designs are very much up in the air. Mr. Neutra bases his powerful argument on the historically growing necessity to plan with a more biological bias. He constructively lists and proposes in simple form suitable lines of research, the results of which would eventually make available the necessary physiological data upon which responsible design should be based and developed. There is need for a warmer, more humanly pulsing effort to design for life and thus to preserve it.

RICHARD NEUTRA, internationally famous' pioneer in contemporary architecture, housing expert, and city planner, is a man of great originality and versatility. His theories on design for life and wholesomeness are demonstrated 'in all his work. In the nineteen-twenties his Health House in Los Angeles aroused the enthusiasm of a whole generation of young architects. It was a new humanist declaration architecture honoring human physiology. His interest in social concerns, in people and populations, led him into complex projects from low-cost, open-air schools, and hospitals for tropical islands, to desert mansions with man-made climate, to defense housing for shipyard workers. Mr. Neutra's projects in a dozen states — large and small dwellings, office buildings, college campuses, health centers, auditoriums, entire communities — have brought him many distinguished awards. He has designed projects six thousand miles east and west of his office, from Northern Italy to the South Seas.

Mr. Neutra was born in Vienna in 1 892 and, achieving one of his boyhood aspirations, has long been a citizen of the United States. An honor graduate of the University of Vienna, a gardener boy in Switzerland, an architect and planner in various European countries, he came to the United States in 1923, met Louis Sullivan in Chicago, and later Frank Lloyd Wright at Sullivan's funeral. He was one of the earliest admirers of these great men. In 1925 he set up his own practice in Southern California, where Nordic custom began to be 'thawed out' after 'a millennium of glacial architecture.' Neutra projects and writings have been published around the world.

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