...an engaging survey of the science of buildings and a reported account of the quest to improve life by deliberate design ... Ms. Anthes astutely distinguishes between design’s anticipated potential and demonstrated benefit ... Of course, astute architectural choices won’t solve complex social problems, but they can nudge us in the right direction, Ms. Anthes says, and help us lead 'healthier, happier, more productive lives.' It’s a compelling, science-based argument for the wisdom of intelligent design.
I read it, in a perverse spirit, entirely outside, on a sunny patch of grass, without a single person within seeing or hearing distance ... In order to enjoy one of these books, you need to trust the author’s ability to responsibly synthesize specialized knowledge that lies outside of her, and your, expertise. You need to know in your soul that the author is not the type of person to cite Wikipedia as a source or become enveloped in a plagiarism scandal one instant after you finish reading her book. I am glad to report that Anthes passes the trustworthy test. Her sources are respectable and diligently noted. My margins were covered with scribbled WTFs not because she was drawing deranged conclusions from misinterpreted studies but because the book contains piles of cool facts that are actually, from what I can tell, facts ... The Great Inddors.
Great Indoors contains no slogs about how inclusionary zoning codes support affordable housing design. Instead, readers learn, for example, how dirt, water, and barbed wire are ingredients for easily constructed dome homes that have provided emergency housing for refugees and could better serve people in poverty ... A self-described fan of the indoors, Anthes encourages readers to reconsider the places where they spend most of their time and to ask themselves whether those places serve their needs. At a point when we are spending even more time than usual indoors, all of humanity could likely benefit from confronting such questions.