Provided mostly as a supplement to the latest post by The Sesquipedalist, I’ve dug out some old cover images from AD magazine in the 70s.

AD cover Dec 75

Much better qualified to explain the history of architectural journalism than I, The Sesquipedalist sets the scene:

During the “book business model” of the ’70s, where the magazine almost completely eschewed advertising, the covers became outlandish and featured Cedric Price, Archigram, Foster Associates, Buckminster Fuller, Royston Landau, Alvin Boyarsky, The Smithsons, Aldo van Eyck and some attractive ones too.

Another fascinating entry from a great blog, I encourage you to add it to your feed reader if you haven’t already. I’ll merely add the simple observation that the predominant use of illustration rather than photography serves the magazine well in its exploration of potential futures, ideas rather than things.

There’s much to learn from the 30 year old pages. Of particular interest to me have been the pleas by foresighted ecologists proposing basic environmental science improvements that are to this day dealt with as fringe concepts – such as the benefits of passive solar in the ‘Housing Provision’ issue of August 1976 by Gerald Foley. The landscape issue from the following month (cover by Ron Herron) contains a piece by Sutherland Lyall, whose name might be known to fellow bloggers thanks to his column in the Architectural Review on architecture web sites.  Which gives me another opportunity to thank him for his kind words back in November 2005:


I realise now that I’ve completely ignored his advice about using blogs for company websites.

The December 77 cover showing a beautiful Erskine drawing has been uploaded more extensively before, also you may like to contrast and compare these with somewhat more sombre approach taken by the AR during the same decade.


You can see all the covers I’ve uploaded over the last few years in a flickr collection.