Ian Nairn: Words in Place
Format: Paperback, 160 pages,
Also available as an ebook (search for title at all major ebook sellers)
Large format paperback. Dimensions: 229mm x 152mm
Reprinting (Originally published: November 2013)
with contributions from Jonathan Meades, Owen Hatherley, Deyan Sudjic and Gavin Stamp.
Large format paperback.
Dimensions: 229mm x 152mm
"Ian Nairn taught a generation to look, and another one to write"
Ian Nairn lit up the pages of the architectural press, broadsheets and TV screens with his incandescent reports on the uglification of Britain, not just by standard eyesores but by the prissy and the pretentious and the blunderings of planners and architects creating new buildings and roads which show no respect for the places they invade. There is spreading across the country, he warned, a blight of anonymous, soulless development, which he called Subtopia.
The least likely of TV personalities, Nairn worked without a script. He was awkward and melancholy, but made admired programmes including Nairn's Travels. He was not just a prophet of doom. He championed what others mock: Swindon and Wigan, even a used car dump. Nairn’s London is still acclaimed as one of the best books written about the city. Nairn often piloted a plane over his subject matter!
He died at 52 in near obscurity. Yet in his brief incendiary heyday he taught a whole generation to look at their world in a new, more perceptive and above all, more responsive way. That is the heart of his legacy.
Gillian Darley and David McKie have charted the remarkable life of this exceptional man, with contributions from four writers who knew, worked with or were inspired by him
About the Author
Gillian Darley has written a several biographies and the pioneering Villages of Vision. Her latest book, Vesuvius, was a Radio 4 Book of the Week. David McKie is a former deputy editor of the Guardian. His most recent books include McKie's Gazetteer and Great British Bus Journeys. Jonathan Meades' latest television series is The Joys of Essex. Owen Hatherley is the author of A Guide to the New Ruins of Great Britain. Deyan Sudjic is the director of the Design Museum Gavin Stamp is a widely-published architectural critic.