Landscape Futures: Instruments, Devices and Architectural Inventions

I love so much of the stuff Geoff Manaugh publishes on his “BLDGBLOG” blog — an incredible exploration of urban space and architecture and hidden substrates of the built environment — that when I saw another book tied to his name I immediately became curious. It doesn’t hurt that the subtitle, “Instruments, Devices, and Architectural Inventions”, sounds like a combination of mad sci-fi engineering feats and delightful tool catalog.

From the basic blurb info available, I gather this book is about the transformation of landscapes — and our perceptions of them — by technology and design. It seems like a great place to find some carefully considered applied futurism, bringing to bear really cool and creative/inventive ways of thinking about space, dimension, scale and more. The sort of things explored in this book are noted in the description as being “not merely diagnostic but creative, deploying fiction as a means of exploring alternative futures”, and this sounds eye-opening, both in changing how we look at the world and the parts of it that surround us, and opening up cool new possibilities for imagining what might become real in the future.

A couple notes: first, the book is only available from third-party sellers, and second, there’s no “look inside” preview available! Sounds like it may be out of print, though it’s not all that old… There are two reviews, both five stars, one particularly glowing, in which I learned that the book is “intended to supplement/document an exhibit” — which I hadn’t known!

In general I’m trying not to get too bogged down in external research with these posts (kind of fun basing it off just what I can glean from the books’ Amazon pages) but I did do a quick search and found that it accompanies an exhibition at the Nevada Museum of Art from a few years back. So, more a catalog/compilation than another book by Manaugh, but apparently he did a great job editing it. One quite in-depth review on Goodreads describes much of the book’s contents — interviews, essays, graphics — in just enough detail to pique my curiosity even more!

Additional information:

  • ISBN: 978-8415391142
  • Publisher: Actar

Learn more or purchase:

* Independent online book marketplaces. While these sites are often lighter on data / reviews, and thus not the first place to go to learn about a book, they're a great place to actually purchase!