Giraffes, Telegraphs And Hero Of Alexandria - Urban Design By Narration

Giraffes, Telegraphs And Hero Of Alexandria - Urban Design By Narration

In this book, stories portray the production of our built environment, guided by three characters: Giraffes, Telegraphs, and Hero of Alexandria. Having developed its long neck to reach the leaves of high trees, the giraffe represents the vernacular approach to architecture, in which construction follows forces of nature. The telegraph, in contrast, embodies the modernist paradigm, in which technology reigns supreme and forces nature to adapt. Inspired by Hero of Alexandria, we subscribe to a third paradigm – using technology to optimize nature and, inversely, nature to assimilate technology.

The book is a collection of 13 architecture and urban research projects told as stories. Because stories, to borrow the words of Michel de Certeau, carry out the labor that transforms geometrical, abstract space into a lived space, and because a project should offer the interpretational openness of fiction. Complemented by photos, drawings, and diagrams the narratives guide you through contested contexts as diverse as Dubai, Burgos, Beijing, Los Angeles and the area between Halle and Leipzig, revealing otherwise invisible forces contemporary urban design may utilize. The design concepts appear as tools ready to engage our contemporary urban environment, free of today’s ecological and technological fundamentalism and in favor of experimentation, pleasure, and play.

With more than 150 drawings, illustrations and photographs and with contributions by Theo Deutinger, Rodney LaTourelle, Sabine Müller, Caroline O’Donnell, Andreas Quednau, Deane Simpson and including a poster showing a selection of the beautiful playful pneumatic inventions of Hero of Alexandria, Greek mathematician and engineer born in 10 AD. Graphic design of book and poster Katja Gretzinger.

Giraffes, Telegraphs, and Hero of Alexandria

Close to Sanlitun Street
Room 405
Art Now Hotel

Plot No. 53

Autopista Francisco Fajardo
Bulevard de Sabana Grande
La Vega
City Boids - Molecular Urbanism

Ronda Sur
Dots and Loops

Nova Eventis
Schkreutz City Maps, 1st Edition

Brazzaville, Kinshasa:
Avenue Kasa-Vubu/ Rond Point Poto-Poto
Call Me Here!


Sandtorhafen/ Oberhafen
New Horizons

Ouled Ahmed

Los Angeles:
Eastern Sierra, Great Basin
Aqueduct Tales


Western Europe:
Somewhere Cool
Cozy Chair


Niche-Tactics, Caroline O'Donnell
Tribe of Wire, Theo Deutinger
Inhabited Infrastructure, Deane Simpson
A Narrative Approach, Rodney LaTourelle

Projekt Index

  • Title

    Giraffes, Telegraphs And Hero Of Alexandria - Urban Design By Narration
  • Author

    Sabine Müller, Andreas Quednau, SMAQ, Theo Deutinger, Caroline O'Donnell, Rodney LaTourelle, Deane Simpson
  • Publisher

    Ruby Press
  • Publication year

  • Binding

  • Language


Giraffes, Telegraphs And Hero Of Alexandria - Urban Design By Narration

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Cite: "Giraffes, Telegraphs And Hero Of Alexandria - Urban Design By Narration" 31 Oct 2017. ArchDaily. Accessed . <> ISSN 0719-8884

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