Adam Caruso and Peter St. John, partners in the London firm Caruso St. John, insist on architectural history as a creative resource, and on embracing that resource rather than forsaking it for the rat-race Modernist pursuit of novelty: as St. John argues, "The new for its own sake seems to us both hopeless and pathetic. We prefer characterful ugliness to calculated perfection." Aiming for a "richly associative" architecture that draws on the nature of its materials, Caruso St. John embraces outside disciplines like art, design, literature and philosophy to enrich its practice—Claes Oldenburg's 1960s work at the Storefront Gallery, for example. "Almost Everything" documents buildings and projects in Britain and Continental Europe since the early 1990s, and also assesses Caruso St. John's philosophy. With contributions by Philip Ursprung, Thomas Demand, John Blockehurst and Jonathan Glancey, it is a thorough overview of one of Britain's most independent-minded architectural firms.
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