Home: A Short History of an Idea
Home: A Short History of an Idea
Home: A Short History of an Idea
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Price: $5.12 FREE for Members
Type: eBook
Released:
Publisher: Penguin (Non-Classics)
Page Count: 90
Format: pdf
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0140102310
ISBN-13: 9780140102314
User Rating: 4.6667 out of 5 Stars! (3 Votes)

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Witold Rybczynski download


From Publishers Weekly

In this study of the evolution of domestic living, McGill University architecture professor Rybczynski traces the material and cultural influences that have helped shape our notions of comfort. PW recommended this "intriguing" book. Copyright 1987 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal

In a loosely configured essay, Rybczynski (Architecture, McGill Univ.) discusses the idea of comfort and the Western cultural attitudes that have shaped it since the end of the middle ages. Rather than dealing with the technical aspects of architecture, he reviews such cultural variables as intimacy and privacy, domesticity, ease, and ideas about light, air, and efficiency as they have changed over time. Essentially Rybczynski makes a plea for the primacy of cultural ideals as a basis for creating psychologically comfortable homes. Though he is selective in his history and examples, this is a worthwhile counterweight to the all-too-common technical practices of modern architects. Recommended. Jack Perry Brown, Ryerson & Burnham Libs., Art Inst. of ChicagoCopyright 1986 Reed Business Information, Inc.
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


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| 4 out of 5 Stars!


Exploration

  

This book is an exploration into the meaning of the word "comfort" and its place in the home. Rybczynski begins the volume with an examination of the Sixteenth Century painting existent, since children were sent away to live and work with others at a young age, and households always included many unrelated servants or apprentices. It was only later, as the concept of the nuclear family became more established that the need for privacy came to the fore, and private and public spaces began to be differentiated within the house. Later developments in technology, especially plumbing, ventilation, and lighting also came to influence housing design. One of the themes of the book is how the field of interior design has often been faced with the conflict between what looks good and what feels good. Rybcynski stresses that often the style of a design wins out, leaving the residents with the very least in comfort (to the point of having to carry their toothbrushes to and from the bathroom for lack of proper storage there, for instance).Some of Rybcynski's discussion is quite interesting, particularly that concerning the influences French, Dutch, and British cultures have had on the development of houses and homes over the centuries, especially in North America. It would have been interesting to consider some of the influences of other world cultures on housing styles as well. For example, certainly Spanish and Arabic cultures have had a strong impact on house design and interiors of North American homes. However, considering such topics for the sake of completeness might have taken the book too far afield. In order to explore the concept of comfort with respect to design, Rybcynski has selected only a few examples of cultures and designers to explicate his points. The book is academic in style, although quite accessible and engaging for the general reader. Sources are listed in the extensive endnotes, and there is an index.

| 5 out of 5 Stars!


For anyone buying or building a home.

I first read this book 14 years ago and it changed my life. This book is a must for anyone buying or building a home. You will never look at a house in the same way again, and you will appreciate good and functional design as never before . Your understanding and excitment at the things that make a house a pleasant home will be enhanced more by this book that any academic or popular text on the subject that I have seen or read. The author weaves together the historcal and social aspects, as well as design, in an intriguing tale. This is truly absorbing reading, you will not want to put it down. It is plainly and simply, very well writen. Rybczyski speaks as one of us.

| 5 out of 5 Stars!


The underlying concepts of domesticity

I love this book. I love the topic, analyzing the humble dwellingplace for its universals. I love the way he has organized by those very topics rather than by the detail of historic era or functional object. "Home" liberates the whole topic to a level whidh allows the reader to consider what all people have in common for their needs and ambitions, and it inspires such optimism for it demonstrates how resourceful people naturally are. The reader feels so much more aware of mindless routines and can delight in the choices of continuing what is habit or deliberately designing a new tradition. For this reason I like using the book with middle school and high school students. It is too long for the time allowed in the school calendar, but it suits a jigsaw approach of different groups of students studying one of the conceptual chapters and applying the insights to their own lives. The reading level is challenging but appropriate if students are not expected to read too much of it in too short a time. This is one of those treasured volumes that suits the purest progressive tradition of education: it is based on authentic experience which helps students find meaning in their real lives here and now, all the while stretching their capacity to see logic in the world. A nice companion to it is "House" by Tracey Kidder for its similarly direct and quiet manner of discussing the decisions people make, alone and collaboratively, to improve their living situation. Like "Cod", this book should be the way students learn history: focused on a recognizable topic and connecting years and years of interaction between people as it describes the everyday personal consequences of innovation and competition. 'Home: a short history of an idea" needs more than five stars, and it needs to be widely available to schoolchildren, perhaps by individual chapter.

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