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Some of the finest architectural structures in India are to be found below ground: these are its ancient stepwells. Stepwells are unique to India; the earliest rudimentary wells date from about the 4th century CE, and eventually they were built throughout the country, particularly in the arid western regions. Stepwell construction evolved so that, by the 11th century, they were amazingly complex feats of architecture and engineering, not only providing water all year round but also serving as gathering places, refuges and retreats. The journalist Victoria Lautman first encountered stepwells three decades ago, and this book - now available in paperback for the first time - is a testament to her determined efforts over several years to document these fascinating but largely unknown structures before they disappear. Of the thousands of stepwells that proliferated across India, most were abandoned as a result of modernization and the depletion of water tables. Frequently commissioned by royal or wealthy patrons, the wells vary greatly in scale and design. Some also functioned as subterranean Hindu temples, featuring columned pavilions and elaborate stone carvings. Islamic wells were generally less flamboyant, but often incorporated shady loggias and small chambers in which to relax and escape the stifling heat. Today, few stepwells are in use. The majority have been left to silt up, fill with rubbish and crumble into disrepair. Gradually, however, the Indian government and heritage organizations are recognizing the need to preserve these architectural wonders. In 2014 India's grandest and best-known stepwell, the Rani ki Vav in Patan, Gujarat, became a UNESCO World Heritage site. In her introduction, Lautman discusses why and where the stepwells were built. She reflects on the reasons they became derelict and considers how the appreciation of stepwells is changing with the work of organizations and individuals who aim to protect and restore them. The main part of the book is arranged in a broadly chronological order, with up to four pages devoted to each of c. 70 stepwells, every one unique in design and engineering. The name, location (including GPS coordinates) and approximate date of each well accompany colour photographs and a concise commentary by Lautman on the history and architecture of the well and her experience of visiting it. While many of the stepwells are rather decrepit, their magnificent engineering and great beauty never fail to impress.
Despite its rough-and-tumble image, Chicago has long been identified as a city where books take center stage. In fact, a volume by A. J. Liebling gave the Second City its nickname. Upton Sinclair’s The Jungle arose from the midwestern capital’s most infamous industry. The great Chicago Fire led to the founding of the Chicago Public Library. The city has fostered writers such as Nelson Algren, Saul Bellow, and Gwendolyn Brooks. Chicago’s literary magazines The Little Review and Poetry introduced the world to Eliot, Hemingway, Joyce, and Pound. The city’s robust commercial printing industry supported a flourishing culture of the book. With this beautifully produced collection, Chicago’s rich literary tradition finally gets its due. Chicago by the Book profiles 101 landmark publications about Chicago from the past 170 years that have helped define the city and its image. Each title—carefully selected by the Caxton Club, a venerable Chicago bibliophilic organization—is the focus of an illustrated essay by a leading scholar, writer, or bibliophile. Arranged chronologically to show the history of both the city and its books, the essays can be read in order from Mrs. John H. Kinzie’s 1844 Narrative of the Massacre of Chicago to Sara Paretsky’s 2015 crime novel Brush Back. Or one can dip in and out, savoring reflections on the arts, sports, crime, race relations, urban planning, politics, and even Mrs. O’Leary’s legendary cow. The selections do not shy from the underside of the city, recognizing that its grit and graft have as much a place in the written imagination as soaring odes and boosterism. As Neil Harris observes in his introduction, “Even when Chicagoans celebrate their hearth and home, they do so while acknowledging deep-seated flaws.” At the same time, this collection heartily reminds us all of what makes Chicago, as Norman Mailer called it, the “great American city.” With essays from, among others, Ira Berkow, Thomas Dyja, Ann Durkin Keating, Alex Kotlowitz, Toni Preckwinkle, Frank Rich, Don Share, Carl Smith, Regina Taylor, Garry Wills, and William Julius Wilson; and featuring works by Saul Bellow, Gwendolyn Brooks, Sandra Cisneros, Clarence Darrow, Erik Larson, David Mamet, Studs Terkel, Ida B. Wells-Barnett, Frank Lloyd Wright, and many more.
This book gathers peer-reviewed papers presented at the 18th International Conference on Geometry and Graphics (ICGG), held in Milan, Italy, on August 3-7, 2018. The spectrum of papers ranges from theoretical research to applications, including education, in several fields of science, technology and the arts. The ICGG 2018 mainly focused on the following topics and subtopics: Theoretical Graphics and Geometry (Geometry of Curves and Surfaces, Kinematic and Descriptive Geometry, Computer Aided Geometric Design), Applied Geometry and Graphics (Modeling of Objects, Phenomena and Processes, Applications of Geometry in Engineering, Art and Architecture, Computer Animation and Games, Graphic Simulation in Urban and Territorial Studies), Engineering Computer Graphics (Computer Aided Design and Drafting, Computational Geometry, Geometric and Solid Modeling, Image Synthesis, Pattern Recognition, Digital Image Processing) and Graphics Education (Education Technology Research, Multimedia Educational Software Development, E-learning, Virtual Reality, Educational Systems, Educational Software Development Tools, MOOCs). Given its breadth of coverage, the book introduces engineers, architects and designers interested in computer applications, graphics and geometry to the latest advances in the field, with a particular focus on science, the arts and mathematics education.
From the fifth to the nineteenth centuries, the people of western India built stone cisterns to collect the water of the monsoon rains and keep it accessible for the remaining dry months of the year. These magnificent structures-known as stepwells or stepped ponds-are much more than utilitarian reservoirs. Their lattice-like walls, carved columns, decorated towers, and intricate sculpture make them exceptional architecture., while their very presence tells much about the region's ecology and history. For these past 500 years, stepwells have been an integral part of western Indian communities as sites for drinking, washing, and bathing, as well as for colorful festivals and sacred rituals. Steps to Water traces the fascinating history of stepwells, from their Hindu origins, to their zenith during Muslim rule, and eventual decline under British occupation. It also reflects on their current use, preservation, and place in Indian communities. In stunning color and quadtone photographs and drawings, Steps to Water reveals the depth of the stepwells' beauty and their intricate details, and serves as a lens on these fascinating cultural and architectural monuments.
Presents a chronological history of Native Americans detailing significant events from ancient times and before 1492 to the present.
Wie kann man Zukunft aus Landschaft gestalten und welchen Beitrag kann dazu die Landschaftsarchitektur leisten? Auf diese Fragen versucht der Band eine Antwort zu geben. Bald vierzig Expertinnen und Experten entwickeln ihre Gedanken zu Stichworten wie "Fragment" und "Freiraum", "Heimat" und "Horizont", "Wald" und "Wasser". Die Idee zu dem Buch entstand in einem Gespräch mit Bernard Lassus. Sie hat Professionen der Landschaft zusammengeführt und neue Ideen produziert. Von der "Imagination" als Provokation der Landschaftsarchitektur hat man bisher wenig, von der "Fraktalen Geometrie" als Neuansatz in der Gartenkunst noch gar nichts gehört. Der Band regt zur Fortschreibung an.Mit Beiträgen von: Gerd Aufmkolk, Werner Durth, Hans Jörg Duvigneau, Johannes Dziadek, Inken Formann, Anette Freytag, Christophe Girot, Gert Gröning, Stephanie Hennecke, Almut Jirku, Karsten Jørgensen, Peter Kees, Albert Kirchengast, Kaspar Klaffke, Thomas Kluge, Reinhard Komar, Stephanie Krebs, Hansjörg Küster, Bernard Lassus, Elisabeth Merk, Sarah Michaelis, Günter Nagel, Bettina Oppermann, Cord Panning, Martin Prominski, Florian Rüger, Sören Schöbel-Rutschmann, Hille von Seggern, Christiane Sörensen, Johannes Stoffler, Sigrid Thielking, Donata Valentien, Udo Weilacher, James L. Wescoat Jr., Sophie Wolfrum, Joachim Wolschke-Bulmahn, Brigitte Wormbs, Gesa Ziemer
Human vulnerability to natural disasters is an age-old phenomenon. Besides nature~s wrath, human interventions, too, have led to many calamities in the recent past. The heedless pace of development has left us ecologically barren. Most of the world~s people live in ~developing~ economies, as do most of the world~s poor. They also face the most debilitating consequences in the form of economic and social disruption caused by disasters. The long history of disasters and their intensity has brought the question of disaster management to the forefront. Disaster mitigation is a major component of a disaster management plan. Mitigation entails measures to reduce the physical, economic and social vulnerability of a community to disasters. Disaster management is still an untouched domain, suffering for want of systematic and committed research and development inputs. It is essential not only to consolidate its academic stature but also to infuse the requisite knowledge, skills and attitudes in the personnel connected with this field. This collection of articles from several contributors is an excellent analysis of different mitigation strategies. It offers insight into the different dimensions of disaster preparedness and mitigation. The underlying attempt in each chapter is to illuminate the pertinence of those mitigation efforts that would prepare everyone related with disaster management to comprehend and approach the problem more holistically. Besides government agencies, NGOs, and community-based bodies, the book is suitable for students pursuing the certificate programme in Disaster Management developed by the Indira Gandhi National Open University, New Delhi.

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