The Architecture of Aftermath
University of Chicago Press, $54.95 pb, 259 pp
At the centre of this book is the story of the attack on the World Trade Center towers in New York on 9/11. Terry Smith’s focus is architectural: what does it mean for buildings that are supposed to shelter and sustain our lives so spectacularly to collapse? The WTC’s destruction raises this question so singularly, not only for those who immediately suffered – traumatised by the obliteration of family members or their own escape from death – but for contemporary Everyman and Everywoman, who encountered the WTC not first-hand but as an image, what Smith calls an ‘iconotype’ in an ‘iconomy’ of architectural images.