Busch, Akiko 1953-
Busch, Akiko 1953-
Born 1953; married; children: two sons. Hobbies and other interests: Swimming.
The Photography of Architecture: Twelve Views, Van Nostrand (New York, NY), 1987.
Floorworks: Bringing Rooms to Life with Surface Design and Decoration, Bantam (New York, NY), 1988.
Wallworks: Creating Unique Environments with Surface Design and Decoration, Bantam (New York, NY), 1988.
The Art of the Architectural Model, Design Press (New York, NY), 1991.
Rooftop Architecture: The Art of Going through the Roof, Holt (New York, NY), 1991.
(Editor) Design for Sports: The Cult of Performance, Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum (New York, NY), 1998.
Geography of Home: Writings on Where We Live, Princeton Architectural Press (New York, NY), 1999.
(With Paul J. Smith) Objects for Use: Handmade by Design (essays), edited by Paul J. Smith, Abrams/American Craft Museum (New York, NY), 2001.
(Editor) Design Is: Words, Things, People, Buildings, and Places at Metropolis, photo essays by David Carson, Metropolis Books (New York, NY), 2001.
The Uncommon Life of Common Objects: Essays on Design and the Everyday, Metropolis Books (New York, NY), 2005.
Nine Ways to Cross a River: Midstream Reflections on Swimming and Getting There from Here (essays), Bloomsbury (New York, NY), 2007.
Contributor to periodicals, including Graphics, House and Garden, and I.D. Contributing editor, Metropolis.
Akiko Busch is a writer and critic who specializes in culture and design. She serves as a contributing editor to Metropolis, and her work has also appeared in publications such as Graphics, Home and Garden, and I.D. Busch is the author or editor of a number of volumes on design, architecture, and homes, each with its own unique approach to its material.
Rooftop Architecture: The Art of Going through the Roof takes a look at the use of roof space as part of living quarters. In particular, it addresses the wonders of rooftop gardens and the addition of other structures more typical to large gardens, such as gazebos, to the top of a building's roof. Busch gives readers an idea of approaches to these rooftop structures in different parts of the world, visiting such diverse locales as Tokyo and Vienna. A reviewer for Publishers Weekly remarked that Busch's effort "should give the savvy reader both aesthetic and practical guidance."
Geography of Home: Writings on Where We Live is a slim work compared to similar art books. Rather than providing lush photographs or plans for homes, it contains a series of essays about individual rooms. Sun Microsystems Blog contributor Bruce Lee observed that "how we live is the central question for architecture, and Akiko Busch understands it as a central question in creating a life worth living." Lee went on to praise Busch's writing style, particularly what he felt was her honest, humorous approach to her material. Eve M. Kahn, reviewing the book for Interiors, noted that there is some repetition in the volume from subject to subject, but she allowed that this can be explained by the essays having previously been published individually in magazines. Kahn appreciated how Busch's "tone is consistent and soothing, yet lively with spates of pontification … and humor."
With Nine Ways to Cross a River: Midstream Reflections on Swimming and Getting There from Here, Busch steps away from her more traditional subjects of architecture and design to share a personal experience through a series of essays. A dedicated swimmer who enjoys the sport for recreation and exercise, Busch swam across a series of nine rivers over the course of four summers, traversing the Hudson and Delaware Rivers in New York; the Connecticut River in Massachusetts; the Susquehanna, Cheat, and Monongahela Rivers in Pennsylvania; the Mississippi and Current Rivers in Missouri; and finally the Ohio River in Kentucky. The adventure began in the summer of 2001, when she decided to attempt to swim across the Hudson near New Hamburg, New York, where there was a stretch of water approximately half a mile wide. Shortly after she succeeded, the country was devastated by the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001. The state of the world, combined with Busch's own personal thoughts regarding aging, life, and the conditions of the nation's waterways, inspired her to continue her swims. The book collects her thoughts on the experience, her sense of being restored by the exercise and the sense of achievement, and her various meditations on the world at various points over the years. She also offers readers tidbits about each river, including anecdotes about the history of the region and the role of the river. A Kirkus Reviews contributor noted that, despite the fact that Busch was cautious and always made her treks with either a swimming partner or an accompanying boat of some sort for safety, "these were solitary journeys exploring an internal landscape as well as connecting to the natural world around her." A reviewer for Publishers Weekly reported that "Busch's journey across these rivers becomes an elegant metaphor for life."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Busch, Akiko, Nine Ways to Cross a River: Midstream Reflections on Swimming and Getting There from Here, Bloomsbury (New York, NY), 2007.
Architectural Record, August, 1987, Scott Gutterman, review of The Photography of Architecture: Twelve Views, p. 77.
Books, July 7, 2007, "Stroke by Stroke: Akiko Busch Immerses Readers in the Joys and Dangers of Swimming Some of America's Rivers," p. 3.
Entertainment Weekly, July 13, 2007, Tim Purtell, review of Nine Ways to Cross a River, p. 75.
Interiors, June, 1999, Eve M. Kahn, review of Geography of Home: Writings on Where We Live, p. 124.
Kirkus Reviews, April 15, 2007, review of Nine Ways to Cross a River.
Library Journal, April 15, 1991, Kathleen Eagen Johnson, review of Rooftop Architecture: The Art of Going through the Roof, p. 90; June 15, 1999, Sue Samson, review of Geography of Home, p. 96; June 1, 2007, Maureen J. Delaney-Lehman, review of Nine Ways to Cross a River, p. 143.
Print, July 1, 2005, Eve Kahn, review of The Uncommon Life of Common Objects: Essays on Design and the Everyday, p. 108.
Publishers Weekly, April 26, 1991, review of Rooftop Architecture, p. 63; May 31, 1999, review of Geography of Home, p. 82; April 9, 2007, review of Nine Ways to Cross a River, p. 39.
School Arts, May, 1992, review of The Art of the Architectural Model, p. 39.
U.S. News & World Report, July 10, 2007, "Swimming Nine Rivers: One Woman's Adventure."
Associated Content,http://www.associatedcontent.com/ (July 16, 2007), Eve Lichtgarn, review of Nine Ways to Cross a River.
Business Week Online,http://www.businessweek.com/ (January 14, 2008), profile of Akiko Busch.
Entertainment Weekly Online,http://www.ew.com/ (July 6, 2007), Tim Purtell, review of Nine Ways to Cross a River.
Omega Institute Web site,http://www.eomega.org/ (January 14, 2008), profile of Akiko Busch.
Venus,http://www.venuszine.com/ (August 13, 2007), Donna Blumenfeld, "Swimming against the Tide."