At the top of the list of topics architects like to talk about as little as possible is money. Dirty, complicated money.
Which means that Yale University Professor Peggy Deamer’s new book is a necessary—though highly theoretical and historical—addition to the global architectural conversation. And while the book doesn’t delve into the particularities of the professional economy, it opens up essential avenues of inquiry, as well as expressing some inspiring examples of historical and architectural scholarship at its finest. The best (and best-written) essay is Robin Schuldenfrei’s exploration of the Bauhaus’s Haus am Horn, in which she weaves discussions of materiality and construction (complete with fantastic illustrations) into a thoughtful analysis of the economic realities behind the experimental 1923 house—and, ultimately, its financial difficulties and failure as a possible (and possibly replicable) Modernist icon.