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Taking Measures Across the American Landscape

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This title won the 1997 American Institute of Architects Book of the Year Award, and the American Society of Landscape Architects Award in the Communications category.

About the Author

James Corner is assistant professor of landscape architecture at the University of Pennsylvania. Alex S. MacLean is a photographer and founder of Landslides, a firm that specializes in low altitude aerial photography. Denis Cosgrove is professor of geography at the Royal Holloway and Bedford New College, London.


This book gives the impression of being handcrafted, as if each copy were its own special volume. It is a loving appreciation of the land, space, and forms that architects, builders, road crews, and farmers have added to the America that can be seen from above. Corner (landscape architecture and regional planning, Univ. of Pennsylvania) has contributed the essays and commentary that give the book its flow. His drawings are the work of a keen imagination capable of startling points of view. But it is MacLean's aerial photography that forms this beautiful volume, giving heart and light to the land and all that is upon it. The dignity of Iowa farms, the quilted surface of agriculture in North Dakota, and the amazing markings in the Mojave somehow merge to give a sense of a sculpted nation waiting for MacLean to fly over it at low altitude to photograph and glorify. This is a work of pure aesthetics, with some prose to hook it all together, but it will be visually thrilling to library browsers. Highly recommended.‘David Bryant, New Canaan P.L., Ct.

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