Off the Shelf: Edward R. Ford

September 14, 2009

Edward R. Ford, professor of architecture, "Five Houses, Ten Details." Princeton Architectural Press.

Edward Ford's 40 years of practicing and teaching architecture have focused on one area: the architectural detail.

Detail for Ford is not an accessory to architecture, but its essence.

Each of the five designs explores a different aspect of architectural detail: how it acts to connect to or disconnect from a site; how it is expressive of material; how it acts to reveal structure; how it articulates the act of construction; and how it can be inconsistent, in a beneficial way, with the remainder of the building.

Each design in "Five Houses, Ten Details" explores and articulates one aspect – site, structure, material, joinery or furniture – at the expense of the others. Each architectural exploration leads to a larger understanding of construction and a larger understanding of how details communicate.

Woven throughout with historical references and specific examples of his design process, "Five Houses, Ten Details" is an accessible and at times personal account of one man's exploration of architectural detail.