Society of Architectural Historians Announces 2016 Publication Award Recipients

Society of Architectural Historians Announces 2016 Publication Award Recipients

The Society of Architectural Historians (SAH) has announced the winners of the 2016 Publication Awards and SAH Award for Film & Video as part of their annual International Conference Awards ceremony in Pasadena, California.

Awarded annually, the SAH Publication awards honor excellence in "architectural history, landscape history, and historic preservation scholarship," alongside outstanding architectural exhibition catalogs. Eligible publications must have been published in the two years immediately preceding the award, with nominations for the 2017 Publication Awards and SAH Award for Film & Video opening on June 1, 2016

Learn more about the winning publications after the break.

Alice Davis Hitchcock Book Award

Honoring the most distinguished work of scholarship in the history of architecture published by a North American scholar.

Winner: Amy F. Ogata, Designing the Creative Child: Playthings and Places in Midcentury America (University of Minnesota Press, 2013)

Courtesy of Society of Architectural Historians
Courtesy of Society of Architectural Historians

From the publisher: The postwar American stereotypes of suburban sameness, traditional gender roles, and educational conservatism have masked an alternate self-image tailor-made for the Cold War. The creative child, an idealized future citizen, was the darling of baby boom parents, psychologists, marketers, and designers who saw in the next generation promise that appeared to answer the most pressing worries of the age.

Designing the Creative Child reveals how a postwar cult of childhood creativity developed and continues to this day. Exploring how the idea of children as imaginative and naturally creative was constructed, disseminated, and consumed in the United States after World War II, Amy F. Ogata argues that educational toys, playgrounds, small middle-class houses, new schools, and children’s museums were designed to cultivate imagination in a growing cohort of baby boom children. Enthusiasm for encouraging creativity in children countered Cold War fears of failing competitiveness and the postwar critique of social conformity, making creativity an emblem of national revitalization. [Amazon]

Antoinette Forrester Downing Book Award

Honoring excellence in a published work devoted to historical topics in preservation.

Winner: Miles Glendinning, The Conservation Movement: A History of Architectural Preservation (Routledge, 2013)

Courtesy of Society of Architectural Historians
Courtesy of Society of Architectural Historians

From the publisher: In many cities across the world, particularly in Europe, old buildings form a prominent part of the built environment, and we often take it for granted that their contribution is intrinsically positive. How has that widely-shared belief come about, and is its continued general acceptance inevitable?

Certainly, ancient structures have long been treated with care and reverence in many societies, including classical Rome and Greece. But only in modern Europe and America, in the last two centuries, has this care been elaborated and energised into a forceful, dynamic ideology: a ‘Conservation Movement’, infused with a sense of historical destiny and loss, that paradoxically shared many of the characteristics of Enlightenment modernity. The close inter-relationship between conservation and modern civilisation was most dramatically heightened in periods of war or social upheaval, beginning with the French Revolution, and rising to a tragic climax in the 20th-century age of totalitarian extremism; more recently the troubled relationship of ‘heritage’ and global commercialism has become dominant.

Miles Glendinning’s new book authoritatively presents, for the first time, the entire history of this architectural Conservation Movement, and traces its dramatic fluctuations in ideas and popularity, ending by questioning whether its recent international ascendancy can last indefinitely. [Amazon]

Philip Johnson Exhibition Catalogue Award

Recognizing excellence of architectural history scholarship in exhibition catalogues

Winner: Katherine A. Bussard, Alison Fisher, and Greg Foster-Rice, The City Lost & Found: Capturing New York, Chicago, and Los Angeles, 1960–1980 (Yale University Press, 2014)

Courtesy of Society of Architectural Historians
Courtesy of Society of Architectural Historians

From the publisher: American cities underwent seismic transformations in the 1960s and '70s, from shifting demographics and political protests to reshaping through highways and urban renewal. Amid this climate of upheaval, photographers, architects, activists, performance artists, and filmmakers turned conditions of crisis into sites for civic discourse and artistic expression. The City Lost and Found explores photographic and cinematic responses to the changing fabric of New York, Chicago, and Los Angeles that contributed to a reconsideration of cities in popular media and urban policy during this period. This book raises timely questions about the role of art within the social, political, and physical landscape of cities.

Featuring contributions from more than 20 noted scholars in fields including art history, urban planning, architecture, and cultural studies, this is the first publication to address an important shift in photographic, cinematic, and planning practices based on close observations of streets, neighborhoods, and seminal events in the country’s three largest cities. Over 200 illustrations bring together works by major artists and newly rediscovered projects to complete this outstanding resource on the art and architectural production during these turbulent decades. [Amazon]

Spiro Kostof Book Award

Recognizing a work in a discipline related to urban history that has made the greatest contribution to our understanding of historical development and change

Winner: Kenny Cupers, The Social Project: Housing Postwar France (University of Minnesota Press, 2014)

Courtesy of Society of Architectural Historians
Courtesy of Society of Architectural Historians

From the publisher: In the three decades following World War II, the French government engaged in one of the twentieth century’s greatest social and architectural experiments: transforming a mostly rural country into a modernized urban nation. Through the state-sanctioned construction of mass housing and development of towns on the outskirts of existing cities, a new world materialized where sixty years ago little more than cabbage and cottages existed.

Known as the banlieue, the suburban landscapes that make up much of contemporary France are near-opposites of the historic cities they surround. Although these postwar environments of towers, slabs, and megastructures are often seen as a single utopian blueprint gone awry, Kenny Cupers demonstrates that their construction was instead driven by the intense aspirations and anxieties of a broad range of people. Narrating the complex interactions between architects, planners, policy makers, inhabitants, and social scientists, he shows how postwar dwelling was caught between the purview of the welfare state and the rise of mass consumerism.

The Social Project unearths three decades of architectural and social experiments centered on the dwelling environment as it became an object of modernization, an everyday site of citizen participation, and a domain of social scientific expertise. Beyond state intervention, it was this new regime of knowledge production that made postwar modernism mainstream. The first comprehensive history of these wide-ranging urban projects, this book reveals how housing in postwar France shaped both contemporary urbanity and modern architecture. [Amazon]

Honorable Mention: Christine Stevenson, The City and the King: Architecture and Politics in Restoration London (Yale University Press, 2013)

Courtesy of Society of Architectural Historians
Courtesy of Society of Architectural Historians

From the publisher: The City of London is a jurisdiction whose relationship with the English monarchy has sometimes been turbulent. This fascinating book explores how architecture was used to renew and redefine a relationship essential to both parties in the wake of two momentous events: the restoration of the monarchy, in 1660, and the Great Fire six years later.

Spotlighting little-known projects alongside such landmarks as Christopher Wren’s St. Paul’s Cathedral, it explores how they were made to bear meaning. It draws on a range of evidence wide enough to match architecture’s resonances for its protagonists: paintings, prints, and poetry, sermons and civic ceremony mediated and politicized buildings and built space, as did direct and sometimes violent action. The City and the King offers a nuanced understanding of architecture’s place in early modern English culture. It casts new light not only on the reign of Charles II, but on the universal mechanisms of construction, decoration, and destruction through which we give our monuments significance. [Amazon]

Elisabeth Blair MacDougall Book Award

Recognizing the most distinguished work of scholarship in the history of landscape architecture or garden design

Winner: Vittoria Di Palma, Wasteland: A History (Yale University Press, 2014)

Courtesy of Society of Architectural Historians
Courtesy of Society of Architectural Historians

From the publisher: In Wasteland, Vittoria Di Palma takes on the “anti-picturesque,” offering an account of landscapes that have traditionally drawn fear and contempt. Di Palma argues that a convergence of beliefs, technologies, institutions, and individuals in 18th-century England resulted in the formulation of cultural attitudes that continue to shape the ways we evaluate landscape today. Staking claims on the aesthetics of disgust, she addresses how emotional response has been central to the development of ideas about nature, beauty, and sublimity. With striking illustrations reaching back to the 1600s—husbandry manuals, radical pamphlets, gardening treatises, maps, and landscape paintings— Wasteland spans the fields of landscape studies, art and architectural history, geography, history, and the history of science and technology. In stirring prose, Di Palma tackles our conceptions of such hostile territories as swamps, mountains, and forests, arguing that they are united not by any essential physical characteristics but by the aversive reactions they inspire. [Amazon]

Honorable Mention: Finola O’Kane, Ireland and the Picturesque: Design, Landscape Painting and Tourism 1700–1840 (Yale University Press, 2013)

Courtesy of Society of Architectural Historians
Courtesy of Society of Architectural Historians

Via CAA Reviews: Finola O’Kane’s Ireland and the Picturesque: Design, Landscape Painting, and Tourism, 1700–1840 addresses Ireland’s little-studied influence on European landscape design and stands as a timely intervention in the literature regarding the picturesque. From the outset views of Ireland were heralded as the best examples of picturesque beauty; but, as O’Kane points out, “the picturesque’s ability to appropriate and reconfigure the colonial environment led to an early appreciation of antiquities, ruins, and setting,” demonstrating that picturesque theory may have developed independently and, furthermore, may have taken hold earlier in Ireland than in England. As such, the book traces the physical formation of Ireland into a landscape to be viewed. [Amazon]

Founders’ JSAH Article Award

Recognizing an article published by an emerging scholar in the Journal of the Society of Architectural Historians that exhibits excellence of scholarship and presentation

Winner: Lukasz Stanek, “Architects from Socialist Countries in Ghana (1957–67): Modern Architecture and Mondialisation,” Journal of the Society of Architectural Historians 74, no. 4 (December 2015): 416–442.

2016 SAH Award for Film and Video

The SAH Award for Film and Video was established in 2013 to recognize annually the most distinguished work of film or video on the history of the built environment.

Winner / Oeke Hoogendijk, The New Rijksmuseum

Honourable Mention /  Dieter Reifarth, Filipp Goldscheider, Haus Tugendhat

News via the Society of Architectural Historians

About this author
Cite: Eric Oh. "Society of Architectural Historians Announces 2016 Publication Award Recipients" 19 Apr 2016. ArchDaily. Accessed . <> ISSN 0719-8884

You've started following your first account!

Did you know?

You'll now receive updates based on what you follow! Personalize your stream and start following your favorite authors, offices and users.