2017 Architecture Monograph Roundup
Some of us think architectural monographs are vestiges of days gone by: now potential clients—perhaps the most important readers—along with students and colleagues, can just go to a website. Yet the monograph lives on. Its physical robustness seems to lend credibility to the work—especially if it is a weighty, glossy compendium bolstered by essays from leading historians such as Kenneth Frampton and Barry Bergdoll. Nevertheless, most publishers can’t afford the high costs of paper, printing, fees for photographers, writers, editors, and graphic designers, especially when the print run is not more than a few thousand copies. “Since monographs are expensive, publishers need financial support from the firms,” says Andrea Monfried, the senior commissioning editor of Images Publishing Group. So they often arrange for architectural offices to kick in with photos, writers’ stipends, and/or buy a number of copies, with some firms paying more than the list price per book. Gordon Goff, publisher of Oro Editions, calls the joint process “a collaboration” that can generate “experimental and beautiful books expressing the character of the practice.” With that in mind, RECORD presents a glimpse of selected monographs that arrived during the banner year of 2017.