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Poor Richard Volume 2 is Now Available

Poor Richard, An Almanac for Architects and Planners (2013) offered anew proverbs and witticisms about the architecture, urban design and planning of our cities. It was hailed as a “worthwhile”, “hilariously righteous epitome” for its “genius, extraordinary wit, passion for good design, and mastery of the history of planning” in “following both Benjamin Franklin and Ambrose Bierce” (Review by Harold Henderson, Planning Magazine, February 2014 and Foreword by Julia Starr Sanford to Poor Richard, An Almanac for Architects and Planners).

PoorRichardv2_FrCoverPoor Richard, Another Almanac for Architects and Planners (Volume 2) brings together more common sense proverbs, astute observations, and general rules of thumb for anyone interested in the future of our cities. In doing so, author Mark David Major again draws from a dizzyingly array of sources for inspiration including the artistic movements of Modernism, obscure African, European and Oriental proverbs, and even the Old and New Testaments. These witticisms are often eloquent, sometimes biting, and always insightful; even occasionally bizarre in the absence of deeper thought. They offer a valuable resource for the entire year, daily reminders for everyone involved in the building of our cities about their better angels and warning against the worse demons of human nature. The clear message of Poor Richard, Another Almanac for Architects and Planners, with foreword by Steve Mouzon (author of The Original Green), is we can do better for our cities and we must do better for our cities.

Purchase you print of digital version today!

PoorRichardv2_FrCoverPoor Richard, Another Almanac for Architects and Planners (Volume 2)
by Mark David Major, Foreword by Steve Mouzon
140 pages with black and white illustrations.

Available in print from Amazon, CreateSpace, and other online retailers.

Available on iBooks from the Apple iTunes Store.

Available on Kindle in the Kindle Store.

For the best digital eBook experience, the author recommends purchasing the iBook version of the book.

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Poor Richard 1.0 | Now Available on Kindle

PoorRichardv1_FrntCoverPoor Richard, AN Almanac for Architects and Planners (2013) offered anew proverbs and witticisms about the architecture, urban design and planning of our cities. It was hailed as a “worthwhile”, “hilariously righteous epitome” for its “genius, extraordinary wit, passion for good design, and mastery of the history of planning” in “following both Benjamin Franklin and Ambrose Bierce” (Review by Harold Henderson, Planning Magazine, February 2014 and Foreword by Julia Starr Sanford to Poor Richard, AN Almanac for Architects and Planners).

The first volume of the Poor Richard series is now available for purchase in the Kindle Store for $1.99 (prices may vary in Europe, South America, and the Far East, check the Kindle Store in your country for prices).

For the best digital eBook experience, the author recommends purchasing the iBook version of the book (see below).

Poor Richard, Volume 1 is also available in print from Amazon, CreateSpace, and other online retailers as well as iBooks from the Apple iTunes Store.

Coming Soon! Poor Richard, Volume 2!

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Poor Richard Review | Planning Magazine | February 2014

Planning Cover 0214“Poor Richard” Review | Planning Magazine
February 2014

Poor Richard, An Almanac for Architects and Planners by Mark David Major was reviewed by the American Planning Association’s regular Book Reviewer, Harold Henderson, in the February 2014 issue (“A thought a day”, page 51) of Planning Magazine. Read an excerpt below:

Excerpt:

The author seems to be following both Benjamin Franklin and Ambrose Bierce, and those are big shoes to fill. Not all the epigrams reach their mark, but the successful ones make it worthwhile. (Week 33, Day 5: “As obese the governed so shall be the entity that governs them.”)

PoorRichardv1_FrntCoverDownload a PDF of the full review here.

Poor Richard, An Almanac for Architects and Planners by Mark David Major  (Forum Books, 136 pages, black and white illustrations)

Available in print from Amazon, CreateSpace, and other online retailers.

Available in digital format from the Apple iTunes Store.

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Genius of ‘Poor Richard’ Laughs Our Way to Great Cities

PoorRichardv1_FrntCoverGenius of ‘Poor Richard’ Laughs Our Way to Great Cities

“You have to out-think the box before you can think outside of it.” – Poor Richard

JACKSONVILLE, FLORIDA – Architect, urban planner and entrepreneur Mark David Major has seen a lot over 20 years of professional experience in academia and the public and private sector spanning the United States, Europe and other parts of the world. And much of it is bad… or worse. Major was born and raised in the Tower Grove neighborhood of St. Louis and attended Collinsville High School. He is a graduate of Clemson University in South Carolina and the University of London in the United Kingdom with Bachelors, a Masters, and PhD in Architecture.

Frustrated with the sprawling state of our cities and complicity of professionals charged with shepherding them, he decided to do something when he established The Outlaw Urbanist, a blog dedicated to architecture, urban design and planning issues. Then he began posting on Twitter, to date, more than 600 proverbs and witticisms to help professionals and laymen better understand what makes a great city, great architecture and good practice. The result is a series of sometimes biting, sometimes obscure, but always insightful proverbs using Benjamin Franklin’s 18th century Poor Richard pen name (“A penny saved is a penny earned”). Major admits the Poor Richard moniker is a homage to the wisdom of one of the America’s most famous Founding Fathers but also a subtle dig at American urban studies theorist, Richard Florida, who was recently named the World’s Most Influential Thinker in a published ranking by MIT Technology Review. Major points out, crucially, MIT’s ranking was based on the frequency of online social media mentions and not the content of those mentions. “Too often, we confuse talking with thinking,” said Major, “and we’re too thankful for half-wrong measures when it comes to our cities and architecture because we hope they are also half-right. The results are seldom satisfying.”

mark_v3Major’s Twitter postings generated such a positive response that he collected together the first 366 proverbs in Poor Richard, An Almanac for Architects and Planners, first published in Spring 2013 but now available in digital format in Apple iBooks. The book contains a witticism for each day of the year plus one for years “in a state of leaping.” Major has continued writing and posting proverbs on Twitter. He plans to publish a follow-up book, Poor Richard, Another Almanac for Architects and Planners in 2014.

Drawing inspiration from Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson and many others, Major crafts anew a series of general rules of thumb for anyone interested in the architecture, urban design and planning of our cities. The result is a stunning book marked as much by its breadth and depth as the brevity of its words on the subject. According to leading New Urbanist architect Julia Starr Sanford, in her Foreword to Major’s Poor Richard, the book represents “genius, extraordinary wit, passion for good design and mastery of the history of planning (in a) hilariously righteous epitome of 21st century sense and sensibility.” The unmistakable message of Major’s Poor Richard is we can do better for our cities, we must do better for our cities, and, before the 20th century, we did do better for our cities.

“Thomas Jefferson gave Americans the regular grid. A committee of roadway engineers gave us suburban sprawl. Always walk with giants, never ride in the clown car.” – Poor Richard

Poor Richard, An Almanac for Architects and Planners is a 136-page book with black and white illustrations published by Forum Books, available in print from Amazon, CreateSpace, and other online retailers and digital format from the Apple iTunes Store. Visit the author’s architecture, urban design and planning blog The Outlaw Urbanist for more information.

This article originally appeared on www.stltoday.com.

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