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Ugliness and Judgment


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About the Author

Timothy Hyde is associate professor in the history and theory of architecture at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He is the author of Constitutional Modernism: Architecture and Civil Society in Cuba, 1933-1959. He lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Twitter @hyde_timothy


"This book is a welcome break from good taste. . . . If you have ever wondered why a certain building seems ugly, this book will help you understand why you feel that way."---Lucy Watson, Financial Times
"A fascinating book. In taking as a point of departure the limitations of aesthetics, Hyde invites readers to understand the assessment of aesthetic failure as a wedge that pries open conversations about inadequate, unresolved, or unsatisfying social and legal arrangements. Ugliness, in his telling, points to gaps in social, regulatory, urban, and institutional fabrics. The author implies that the value of listening to complaints about buildings lies in discerning the issues that encounters with 'ugly' buildings bring to the fore."---Kathryn O'Rourke, Rice Design Alliance
"Hyde's book confronts ugliness head on, using it as a way to interrogate British architectural discourse. . . . [His] research on the individual case studies is impeccable."---Richard J. Williams, Times Higher Education
"The great achievement of this book is to show that, even if the language and opinions about taste change, debates about architecture have always had some common features. They are never just about buildings."---William Whyte, Church Times
"To call out ugliness, then, is a call to arms. While beauty basks lazily and uselessly in its own perfection, ugliness spurs us into action."---Igor Toronyi-Lalic, The Spectator
"Discussions such as those effectively summarised in Ugliness and Judgement are so instructive when we evaluate how to apply concepts of beauty and ugliness in architectural debates."---Alexander Adams, Salisbury Review

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