book review /bo͝ok rəˈvyo͞o/



Volume 3, Issue 12
January 31, 2018


noun [Old English boc “book, writing, written document,” generally referred (despite phonetic difficulties) to Proto-Germanic *bokiz “beech.” / Review, mid-15c., “an inspection of military forces,” from Middle French reveue “a reviewing, review,” noun use of fem. past participle of reveeir “to see again, go to see again,” from Latin revidere, from re-“again”+ videre “to see.”]
| 1. an article or talk in which a book, esp. a new book, is discussed and critically analyzed.

Recycled Theory:
_Dizionario illustrato / Illustrated Dictionary
_Edited by Sara Marini and Giovanni Corbellini

At 658 pages, this dense paperback is a collection of bilingual essays, drawings, and quotes based on a selection of assigned terms, paired with definitions and organized alphabetically in a dictionary format. It is also the third and final publication of a “disjointed triptych,”[1] following an atlas (Re-cycle Atlante) and a collection of regulatory and economic proposals (Re-cycle Agenda) as a part of the research project “Re-cycle Italy: New Cycles for Architecture and Infrastructure of City and Landscape,” a collaboration between eleven research units from eleven Italian universities.

A beautifully designed book—or in this case, dictionary—whose format materializes “as an expression of cultural maturity and combines the operational agility of multiple access with a form of authoritative—and often authoritarian—solidity in the selection, classification, and cataloguing of the disciplinary foundations.”[2]Essays in English and their Italian counterparts are sparsely interjected with exquisite drawings by the likes of Fabio Alessandro Fusco and heavyweight quotes from Žižek to Koolhaas.

All in all a book difficult to criticize apart from, of course, its title.

As dictionaries are already recycled assemblages of lexicons, the book recycles far more than the title assumes. It is a recycled lexicographical collection of recycled terms accompanied by recycled essays of recycled theories based on recycled research named “Re-cycle Italy” subtitled “New Cycles” from a recycled exhibition also named “Re-cycle” doubled by recycled English entries with recycled English quotes.

Recommended for those interested in architectural theory, or teoria dell’architettura.

Available from the stacks of Haas Arts library or Quodlibet, $35.

[1] Marini, Sara, and Giovanni Corbellini, editors, Recycled Theory: Dizionario illustrato / Illustrated Dictionary (Quodlibet, 2016), 18.

[2] Ibid., 20.

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Volume 3, Issue 12
January 31, 2018

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