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Fantasy orange architectural structure with reptile head, grey cover, Creatures Are Stirring in dark grey font above

Creatures Are Stirring

A Guide to Architectural Companionship

By (author) Joseph Altshuler
By (author) Julia Sedlock


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  • Includes three illustrated mythologies on the past, present, and future of humankind’s relationship to architecture and features three contemporary essays on architecture’s relationship to zoomorphism, animism, and solidarity with other beings
  • This book is visually seductive and accessible, using playful and imaginative imagery to illustrate what we mean when we talk about “creaturely architecture.” The tone of writing in the book alternates between fictional mythology and non-fictional architectural theory, and therefore appeals to both academic audiences and more mainstream, literary audiences. While there is a cohesive arc that runs through the book text from beginning to end, the book structure and the relationship between text and images also make it possible to pick it up and read one section at a time in any order
  • The market for this book will link audiences in several different fields and interests groups, including architects, architectural historians, landscape architects, urban designers, environmentalists, literary critics, animal scholars, animal lovers, and speculative futurists. While the book is primarily situated in the world of architecture, it aims to expand audiences for architectural content among a broader market of thoughtful readers interested in the social, environmental, philosophical, and cultural makeup of the built environment
Full Description

Creatures Are Stirring is an optimistic manifesto that rescripts the anthropocentric narratives of Western architecture with new myths for a playfully compassionate and co-habitable future. The book reconceptualises buildings as our friends by amplifying architecture’s creaturely qualities—formal embellishments, fictional enhancements, and organisational strategies that suggest animal-like agency. In an unsettled world, these qualities initiate more companionable relationships between humans and the built environment, and ultimately foster greater solidarity with other human and nonhuman lifeforms.

Addressing a broad audience, Creatures Are Stirring uses the apparent subjecthood of familiar objects like plush toys and sports mascots to guide readers towards a novel way of seeing, reading, and making creaturely architecture. The book combines the authors’ essays and memoirs (narrated from buildings’ points of view) with contributions from contemporary architects whose work collectively defines an architectural territory that is at once grounded in disciplinary rigor and urgent realities, and liberated to elicit fantastical futures.

About the Author

Joseph Altshuler is cofounder of Could Be Architecture, a Chicago-based design practice, an assistant professor of architecture at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and the founding editor of SOILED, an architectural literary magazine.

Julia Sedlock is co-founder of Cosmo Design Factory, a Hudson Valley practice that combines residential client work with a commitment to local community development and activism. As a founding member of Philmont Land and Opportunity Trust (P.L.O.T.), Julia collaborates with neighbours and local government to improve housing equity and inclusivity in the village of Philmont, NY.

Look Inside
ORO Editions
23rd Mar 2022
Paperback / softback
World excluding USA, Canada, Australasia & Asia (except Japan; China non-exclusive)
254 mm x 178 mm
180 Pages
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