Order Copies of Simon Unwin's Books
'Mr. Unwin's Architectural Notebook is a most distinguished and intelligent, yet modest and workmanlike excursus on his other book, Analyzing Architecture. He uses the wall as the fundamental architectural "idea" or "archetype", and expounds on this theme through a series of learned essays, all with a tone of scholarship tempered with a gritty sense of being in the practical world. The drawings are a beautiful witness to a dying art, the in-situ architectural sketch, and they follow much in Francis Ching's tradition of the pale pencil, single line weight school, but Unwin's are more poetic and less machined; they feel more personal. Anyway, the chapter on "the inhabited wall" is the crucial one in this book. I'm sure many architectural educators would make use of this chapter, and very important conceptual spatial idea, in their teaching. But it's the overall ethic implied in this work that's so exemplary; every page seems to say 'attend to the modest craft of freehand drawing, apply to rigorous observation and analysis, abstract formal principles from this work, and then reapply to the architectural project at hand.' Highly recommended.
Curt Dilger, Amazon.com website
'In Doorway, Unwin combines carefully drawn and modulated plans and sections with site photographs, most of which are again his own. Many of the latter are more than simply descriptive - they express the poetics of the subject, almost incidentally, as found or perceived phenomenological fragments. As Unwin says in his introduction, the book is about 'the doorway, it is also about threshold transition, the in-between and the experience of passing through'. So, it is the experience of confrontation as a movement or rite of passage, and of arrival at the other side - these are vital human realisations, well explored at some length.'
Michael Spens, Studio International website