Monday, May 24, 2010


This week sees the publication of my book on Vernacular Architecture by Thames & Hudson in the UK.

To follow are the US and Italian editions by Rizzoli (pictured below).


Copy of VERNACULAR1602
 LEFT: Review in The Scotsman (5.6.10)
Review in the Financial Times by Nicole Swengley
‘It was a jolt to learn that most people in the world (roughly 80 per cent) live in self-built homes. And, if ever there was a case against the rush to concrete urban jungles, this captivating book makes it in the most charming way. ‘
Review on the US website Dexigner:
‘…this book offers a knowledgeable and encompassing presentation.’    
Message from Norm Weinstein in the US:  Attached is a link to a webinar I'm giving next week where I'll speak highly of your new book. Also attaching list of 9 other books I'm be talking about.  What to Learn from the Top 10 Architecture Books: 1. Vitruvius, 10 Books of Architecture; 2. Hiroshige, One Hundred Famous Views of Edo; 3. John May, Buildings Without Architecture: A Global Guide to Everyday Architecture; 4.Frank Lloyd Wright, American Master; 5. Hart Crane, The Bridge; 6. AIA Architectural Graphic Standards; 7. Carter Wiseman, Louis Kahn: Beyond Time and Style; 8. Ada Louise Huxtable, On Architecture; 9. Architecture for Humanity, Design as if You Give a Damn; 10. Thomas R. Fisher, In the Scheme of Things: Alternative Thinking on the Practice of Architecture
Comment on Rizzoli’s website:
"Diligent environmentalists John May and Anthony Reid have put together a book, Buildings Without Architects: A Global Guide to Everyday Architecture, that will change the way you view the art of dwelling design. Showcasing man's capacity for creation and ingenuity, the book reminds us that human beings the world over have built homes with nothing more than their own two hands and Mother Nature's rich resources... Buildings Without Architects evokes a time before electricity and advanced technology, before modernization and beaming skyscrapers when design grew out of resourcefulness and was, in fact, truly green." ~Zink

Neue Bücher bei Pro qm

Earth Architecture

Vernacular architecture, by its very nature, is built from local materials that are readily to hand and is thus defined by the geology and ecology of the region and by local climatic conditions. Constructed by the community using traditional tools, these structures are highly practical, energy-efficient, and blend with the landscape. They carry many of the attributes that we are now seeking in green architecture as we struggle to adapt our built environment to the demands and concerns of the climate-change era. ‘Handmade Houses and Other Buildings’ looks at everyday structures all over the world, from whatever wood, grass, earth or stone that was to hand, in ways that offered practical solutions to the challenges of climate or terrain. Based on immemorial principles, but highly relevant to our newly found environmental concerns, these buildings show the simple and satisfying ways in which humans have worked out how to live and live well, in harmony with their surroundings.
Book offered as a competition prize on BD Online

Handeye Magazine

Stepping into [Paul] Oliver’s shoes, author and journalist John May has compiled the slender and concise Building without Architects, a wonderful introductory and comprehensive visual guide of the different types of housing and dwellings from around the world that were created by anonymous builders...

 Whether it’s the simplicity and utility of early American Shaker buildings or the structural beauty and mechanical marvel of Dutch windmills that pique one’s curiosity, Building without Architects is a wonderful and informative reference guide that offers an ideal introduction for anyone who is interested in the disappearing traditions of handcrafted structures that combine beauty, form, and necessity.

1 comment:

Silas said...

Came across it in London today and crossed my fingers to find an earthen residence I documented in Herzliya, Israel. It's quite worth a look, perhaps one day for a follow up edition. Nissim's work of 3 years is under threat from this rather affluent city's bureaucrats:

Further info and images: