Monday, June 25, 2018

Nonfiction Monday

Architecture: Cool Women Who Design Structures by Elizabeth Schmermund with illustrations by Lena Chandhok offers readers an overview of architectural history that is paired with a look at the careers of three women who are modern working architects.
A brief introduction highlights the book’s topics for readers ages 9 – 12. 

Chapter one examines the history of architecture from one of the earliest towns, Jericho on the Jordan river in Palestine and traces changes from Stonehenge in England, the Egyptian pyramids, Roman and Greek advances, through the Renaissance and on to the Art Nouveau trend of the 1900s. The movement toward Modernism that developed during the two world wars receives it’s share of attention as well, with a look at Frank Lloyd Wright’s Fallingwater and the Freedom Tower in New York City. The chapter concludes with a discussion of women in architecture, focusing on Zaha Hadid, and Sophia Hayden Bennett, and the obstacles they’ve faced in a male dominated profession. The chapter notes that “While 42 percent of graduates in architecture are now women, only 25 percent of professional architects are women.”

Chapters two “Patricia Galván”, three “Farida Abu-Bakare”, and four “Maia Small” highlight each woman with a thoughtful biography of their early years, education, and professional careers with an emphasis on how their backgrounds, talents, and determination enabled them to face their individual obstacles to career success. Patricia Galván focuses her career on commercial and interior architecture. Farida Abu-Bakare is well-known for the science labs she designs for universities. Maia Small is an urban designer.

Throughout the book, text boxes explain important concepts such as The Golden Mean, Linear Perspective, and Architectural Styles, highlight career options for Civil Engineers, Product Designers, and Construction Managers, and draw the reader’s attention to significant facts or individuals.  

Primary sources and QR codes appear throughout and a timeline, glossary, and further resources for readers complete the book.

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