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Mechanization Takes Command

A Contribution to Anonymous History

2013
Author:

Siegfried Giedion

Mechanization Takes Command

One of the twentieth century’s best-known architectural theorists examines the impact of mechanization on daily life

First published in 1948, Mechanization Takes Command is an examination of mechanization and its effects on everyday life. A monumental figure in the field of architectural history, Sigfried Giedion traces the evolution and resulting philosophical implications of such disparate innovations as the slaughterhouse, the Yale lock, the assembly line, tractors, ovens, and “comfort” as defined by advancements in furniture design.

It is a provocative, enlightening, sometimes frightening story.

Thomas Sugrue, New York Times

First published in 1948, Mechanization Takes Command is an examination of mechanization and its effects on everyday life. A monumental figure in the field of architectural history, Sigfried Giedion traces the evolution and resulting philosophical implications of such disparate innovations as the slaughterhouse, the Yale lock, the assembly line, tractors, ovens, and “comfort” as defined by advancements in furniture design. A groundbreaking text when originally published, Giedion’s pioneering work remains an important contribution to architecture, philosophy, and technology studies.

Mechanization Takes Command

Sigfried Giedion (1888–1968) taught at the Federal Institute of Technology and was Mellon Lecturer at the Washington National Gallery and the Charles Elliot Norton Lecturer at Harvard University. His other works include Space, Time, and Architecture and The Eternal Present.

Mechanization Takes Command

It is a provocative, enlightening, sometimes frightening story.

Thomas Sugrue, New York Times

Many people have wondered what mechanization is doing to man; nobody yet has investigated, documented, and illustrated the question to the extent of this enormous and fascinating book.

Time

Giedion reveled in the splendor of such humble things, the stuff of ordinary life. He studied them lovingly and sought to convey to his readers a sense of their inner beauty, mystery, and wonder.

Technology and Culture

A fascinating and equally surprising work that exposes the roots of the United States’ rise as a nation built on technological progress.

Journal of Architectural Education

Kozol empowers her readers to understand the visual culture of war and see how the problem of ethics is woven into it. This extraordinary book is a recommendable reading to those concerned with analysis, war photography, and US military history of the 20th and 21st centuries.

Imaginations: Journal of Cross-Cultural Image Studies