ADHOCISM: THE CASE FOR IMPROVISATION, by Charles Jencks & Nathan Silver - 1972 [1st Ed]


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Adhocism: The Case for Improvisation

by Charles Jencks & Nathan Silver

Scarce in DJ. First Edition. Garden City, NY: Doubleday & Company, Inc., 1972.

Hardback is overall in VERY GOOD+ condition, with a VERY GOOD- DJ.

  • ISBN: 0385016174
  • Illustrated cover features a photograph of a four wheeled sculpture.
  • Gray linen-wrapped boards have faint marginal toning and light edgewear
  • Corners are sharp.
  • Spine has red and black text against a grey background, is lightly sunned and has gently bumped ends.
  • Binding is strong and secure.
  • B&W illustrations scattered throughout are clear.
  • Interior is gently age-toned.
  • Inside pages are free of writing and intentional marks.
  • Text block edges show light foxing and dust. (See Photos).
  • Dust Jacket looks nice behind Mylar and is backed with archival paper.
  • Illustrated DJ is a bit rough around the edges, with chipped corners and spine ends, moreso to back head edge. (See Photos)
  • DJ is toned with some smudges and scuffing, with minimal effect to illustrations and text.
  • Book may exhibit additional minor signs of age or wear.
  • AJ20191007

216 pages. 7.5 x 10.5 inches.

This cult classic was initially published as a counterculture design manifesto, suggesting the idea to freely mix whatever materials and ideas were on hand to design and solve problems. At the time, it was received as a subversive and neopragmatic challenge to architects, designers, urban planners and their compatriots. 

This was the first call to create layered and varied visual textures, by blending unusual materials, disparate design elements, found objects, multiple construction methods, and diverse theoretical approaches. Since then other terms have been used--such as postmodernism, metadesign, repurposing, hodgepodge, and sampling--for this approach to creating a physical environment with a greater "density of meanings" than more traditional approaches. [Common Knowledge] One might even say it urges readers to put down the rule book and pay attention to how we actually do things.

Charles Alexander Jencks (1939-2019) was a significant contributor to Postmodernism theory. He published over thirty books as an American cultural theorist, landscape designer, architectural historian and more. He made numerous contributions to architecture, design, and culture.

Nathan Silver is an architect, writer, and former architecture school head living in London.

EDITION POINTS: First edition, scarce in dust jacket.

AS IS! Please see photos. More photos available upon request.

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