Shelter and Society by Paul Oliver (Barrie & Jenkins Ltd, 1976) explores examples of primitive dwelling and vernacular architecture. The book is a critical commentary against the prevailing attitudes towards housing in the Modern Movement.
It is painfully evident that the architects and planners who have unwittingly created a new mental oppression and have indirectly added the ‘new town blues’ to the sociologist’s vocabulary, who have ignored the widely expressed anxiety over living in high-rise flats and dismissed it as prejudice, have failed to offer developments which give the deeper sense of belonging within the community which vernacular ones commonly do. They are still more in touch with ‘architecture’ than with society(…)
Of course all this may be attributed to escapism, to a failure to face up to reality: the reality of city canons and one-way trail drivers. Yet, even if it is escape, why so often to vernacular communities, to fundamental shelter? Is it romanticism, idealism, nostalgia? Or is it that there are qualities here to which intuitively we all respond – to human scale, to human dimension, human values, human society? Here even for a brief fortnight a man may feel himself, if not a part of the community, at least associated with it; he feels a little of the experience of the intimate link between shelter and society.
– Paul Oliver, The need for a new approach. In Shelter and Society (Barrie & Jenkins Ltd, 1976), p. 28
The contributions are by Paul Oliver, John Lloyd, Adrian Atkinson, Amos Rapoport, Babar Mumtaz, Sushi Hussein Al-Azzawi, Rory Fonseca, Charles Cockburn, William P. Mangin, John C. Turner, Aristidis G. Romanos and Bill Voyd.
The text is in English. The book has been illustrated with black-and-white photographs, maps, and floor and site plans.
The copy in our stock is in nice condition. The pages are clean without any markings , and the glueing of the binding is fine. There is some age-related yellowing on the edges of the pages, and the covers show some edge wear and signs of use.