Author(s): Steen Eiler Rasmussen
Profusely illustrated with fine instances of architectural experimentation through the centuries, Experiencing Architecture manages to convey the intellectual excitement of superb design. From teacups, riding boots, golf balls, and underwater sculpture to the villas of Palladio and the fish-feeding pavilion of the Peking Winter Palace, the author ranges over the less-familiar byways of designing excellence. At one time, writes Rasmussen, "the entire community tool part in forming the dwellings and implements they used. The individual was in fruitful contact with these things; the anonymous houses were built with a natural feeling for place, materials and use and the result was a remarkably suitable comeliness. Today, in our highly civilized society, the houses which ordinary people are doomed to live in and gaze upon are on the whole without quality. We cannot, however, go back to the old method of personally supervised handicrafts. We must strive to advance by arousing interest in and understanding of the work the architect does. The basis of competent professionalism is a sympathetic and knowledgeable group of amateurs, of non-professional art lovers."
Steen Eiler Rasmussen was Professor of Architecture at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Copenhagen and Visiting Professor at MIT, Yale, Pennsylvania, and the University of California, Berkeley, and lectured widely at universities in Europe and the United States. He was author of London: The Unique City, called "the best book on London as a town," and other books.