Building and Dwelling. Ethics of the City // by Richard Sennet

On Urbanism

#BookReview​

The urbanisation inexorably spreads across the world. But how to build people-friendly cities? Building and Dwelling is thought-provoking and animating. This is my favourite book I’ve read in 2018. A real, humane inspiration that should attract anyone interested in the physical circumstances of civilisation.

favorite book in 2018

Long Story Short

What is a good built environment? How can the design of cities enrich or diminish your everyday experience? Within this scope Richard Sennett introduces the concept of an open, organically developing city and why it is worth to seek for the right balance between conflicting interests of planners, builders and dwellers. Must read for philosophers and urban planners.

About the Author: Richard Sennett

Richard Sennett is a award winning sociologist who has written about social life in cities, changes in labour, and social theory other the last fifty years. After a view schools in the US, he currently teaches in London.

He is married to my personal role model sociologist Saskia Sasse. I have probably seen every lecture from herI can find online.

Architect? Why to read Building and Dwelling

In Building and Dwelling, Richard Sennett distils a lifetime’s thinking and practical experience to explore the relationship between the good built environment and the good life. He argues for, and describes in rich detail, the idea of an open city, one in which people learn to manage complexity. He shows how the design of cities can enrich or diminish the everyday experience of those who dwell in them.

Richard Sennet’s exploration of the challenges of urban living and urban planning caught my interest from page 1. In times of affordable housing shortage and unsocial urban organisations the question becomes increasingly important: How to build people-friendly cities?

Soon half of the world’s population lives in urban areas. And this number is still about to icnrease. Young people increasingly seek opportunities in cities. The urbanisation inexorably spreads across the world. In this regard, urban planners and their visions obviously become more and more the focal point of how we will live in the future. You don’t have to be an architect to experience this undeniable connection between people’s feelings and architectural space while exploring a city, be it the one you live in or one that you’re are visiting as a guest. This subtile and simultanousely complex relationship has much to do with spatial strutcures, volume and with humanity.

In Building and Dwelling you can join Sennet on his analysis of the modern city and his various insights about urban hotspots. He bridges brilliantly from history to today, from theory to personal experiance and brings you to cities such as London, Paris and Barcelona to Shanghai, Mumbai and Medellin in Colombia. Jargon-free, thought-provoking and animating. This is my favourite book I’ve read in 2018. A real, humane inspiration that should attract anyone interested in the physical circumstances of civilization.

Other Book Reviews

Josh Stephens
Balancing Act: Richard Sennett’s “Building and Dwelling”
Los Angeles Review of Books
June 15, 2018

Jonathan Meades
Building and Dwelling by Richard Sennett review – how to build people-friendly cities
TheGuardian.com
February 24 2018

Publishing House

Publisher: Allen Lane (an imprint of Penguin) 2018
ISBN: 9780141022116
Length: 368 Pages