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Down Detour Road

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Down Detour Road is an essential roadmap to the present architectural scene and the challenges that it faces. With a tragicomic eye, Eric Cesal exposes the hubris that has led so much architectural education and practice into an impotent cul-de-sac, and succinctly presents a pragmatic and hopeful way out. -- Jeremy Till, Dean of the School of Architecture and the Built Environment, University of Westminster, and author of Architecture Depends This manifesto-memoir comes none too soon to rescue Architecture from the trash bin of postmodernism. Lucid, intelligent, and visionary, this small book is destined to become a guide for 21st century architects. Cesal reconnects his profession to the humanities from which it is becoming estranged, and to the economy, culture, and technology of an America radically different from the one built by previous generations. This tract cuts the knot of the confounding jumble all humanities and academic disciplines face, with the swift blade of an Emerson or de Tocqueville. And let me tell you: a real human being wrote this, he breathes warmly from every page. -- Andrei Codrescu, author of The Poetry Lesson

About the Author

Eric J. Cesal holds master's degrees in business administration, construction management, and architecture from Washington University in St. Louis. He is now living in Port-au-Prince, managing and coordinating Architecture for Humanity's design and reconstruction initiatives in Haiti.


This book is highly unusual for an architecture opus: it is well written, it is funny, and it is wise in so many ways. I literally 'couldn't put it down,' as the old book review-saw goes, and read it in one sitting...Cesal finds useful parables for architects and their predicament in the most unusual places: the relationship of bartenders to bar owners, how prostitutes are and are not like architects, and how a good architect is like a fire extinguisher...Cesal offers a unique, refreshing take on the profession. -Michael Crosbie, Architectural Record

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