Publisher description for The uses of decoration : essays in the architectural everyday / Malcolm Miles.

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Counter The book draws together material from several countries and areas of practice - from the affluent as well as the non-affluent worlds, and from art as well as architecture - which it links by a common framework of critical reflection and theory. Some of the cases considered, such as hajj painting in Egypt, have received little attention, while others, such as the mud-brick architecture of Hassan Fathy, are better known although still subject to little critical debate. Others still, such as the Nine Mile Run Greenway project in Pittsburgh, are set in post-industrial cities, the conditions and dynamics of which require new emphases and directions in critical discussion. Running through the book is a concern for the everyday, for the seemingly small and insignificant ways in which people occupy the built environment, which constitute what Henri Lefebvre calls representational spaces; from awareness of this dimension of urban space (and the failures consequent on ignorance of it in some kinds of modern architecture and planning), the book moves to the question of sustainability. As is demonstrated through their efforts to construct informal settlements, people possess an ability to organise their lives through the production of space; therefore, the book argues, the expertise of dwellers on dwelling is of as much importance in shaping the futures of cities as that of designers on design.

Library of Congress subject headings for this publication: Architecture and society, City planning