Re:Crafted, by Marc Kristal
I finally got my hands on a copy of contributing editor Marc Kristal's lush new book, Re:Crafted: Interpretations of Craft in Contemporary Architecture and Interiors, which was published by the Monacelli Press this past spring. The twenty-five projects he profiles are eclectic—an over-the-top villa for a Chinese industrialist; a graphic 'outdoor room' in a San Francisco backyard; a glacier-inspired arts complex in Oslo—but they all share a modern, expanded (and sometimes exploded) sense of 'craft,' and they've all been built in the past decade.
Kristal acknowledges that the notion of 'craft' is rather hard to pin down: "It may seem easily discernible. But the more you see—the more you realize how many forms it takes, and how imaginatively it can be interpreted—the more resistant craft becomes to easy explanation," he says. This book is his attempt to "encourage a more flexible understanding of the craft influence and how it can be used to enrich the whole of the built environment."
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Now more than ever, architects and designers are crossing aesthetic borders, and redefining craft to suit their own creative needs, philosophies, and expectations—often by commenting upon or challenging it. By transforming our notions of what might be considered “crafted,” today’s practitioners have not only put a new spin on an ancient art; they have expanded our understanding of where and how the personal touch is found in the sometimes bewildering or inhospitable terrain of the contemporary aesthetic landscape.
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