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Social Science Urban

Occasional Works and Seven Walks from the Office for Soft Architecture

by (author) Lisa Robertson

Publisher
Coach House Books
Initial publish date
Oct 2010
Category
Urban, Essays, General
  • Paperback / softback

    ISBN
    9781552452325
    Publish Date
    Oct 2010
    List Price
    $21.95

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Description

What if there is no ‘space,’ only a permanent, slow-motion mystic takeover, an implausibly careening awning? Nothing is utopian. Everything wants to be. Soft Architects face the reaching middle.

If architecture is the language of concrete and steel, then Soft Architecture needs a vocabulary of “esh, air, fabric and colour. It’s about civic surface and natural history. It’s about social space, clothing, urban geography, visual art and the intersection of all these.

This delectable book collects the rococo prose of Lisa Robertson, the ambulatory Office for Soft Architecture. There are essays – many originally published as catalogue texts by art galleries – on the syntax of the suburban home, Vancouver fountains, Value Village, the joy of synthetics, scaffolding and the persistence of the Himalayan blackberry. There are also seven Walks, tours of Vancouver sites – poetic dioramas, really, and more material than cement could ever be.

Soft Architecture exists at the crossroads of poetry, theory, urban geography and cultural criticism, some place where the quotidian and the metaphysical marry and invert. And it makes for one of the most intriguing books you’ll ever read.

Occasional Work and Seven Walks from the Office for Soft Architecture was originally published by Clear Cut Press in 2004. This revised edition features an introduction by Petra Blaisse and new material.

‘We say, on almost every page and with utmost reverence, Holy shit. … Ever since, we have wanted to think like Robertson, write like her, maybe even be her.’

Village Voice

About the author

Lisa Robertson is a Canadian poet and essayist currently living in France. Born in Toronto in 1961, she was a longtime resident of Vancouver, where in the early 90s she began writing, publishing and collaborating in a community of artists and poets that included Artspeak Gallery and The Kootenay School of Writing. She has continued these activities for 30 years, publishing books, leaflets and posters, translating poetry and linguistics from French, lecturing and teaching internationally, and continuing her ongoing study into the political constitution of lyric voice. In 2017 she was awarded an Honorary Doctorate in Letters by Emily Carr University of Art and Design, and in 2018, the Foundation for the Contemporary Arts in NY awarded her the inaugural CD Wright Award in Poetry. She has taught at Cambridge University, Princeton, UC Berkeley, California College of the Arts, Piet Zwart Institute, Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics and American University of Paris, as well as holding research and residency positions at institutions across Canada, the US, and Europe.

Lisa Robertson's profile page

Other titles by Lisa Robertson