101 THINGS I LEARNED IN ARCHITECTURE SCHOOL is a book that students of architecture will want to keep in the design studio and in their backpacks. It is also a book they may want to keep out of view of their professors, for it expresses in clear and simple language the things they tend to make murky and abstruse. These 101 concise lessons in design, drawing, the creative process, and presentation–from the basics of how to draw a line to the complexities of color theory–provide a much-needed primer in architectural literacy and make concrete what too often is left nebulous and open-ended in the architecture curriculum.
Like all books in the popular and celebrated 101 THINGS I LEARNED® book series, the lessons in 101 THINGS I LEARNED IN ARCHITECTURE SCHOOL utilize a unique two-page format, with a brief explanation and accompanying illustration. A lesson on how to draw a line is accompanied by examples of good and bad lines; a lesson on awkward floor level changes shows the television actor Dick Van Dyke in the midst of a pratfall; and a discussion of the proportional differences between traditional and modern buildings features a building split neatly in half between the two.
Written by an architect and instructor who well remembers the fog of his own student days, 101 THINGS I LEARNED IN ARCHITECTURE SCHOOL provides valuable guideposts for students navigating the architectural design studio and the rest of the architecture curriculum. Architecture graduates, from young designers to experienced practitioners, will turn to the book as well for inspiration and a guide back to basics when solving complex design problems.
- I am not an architect, nor will I be. I am a student of interior design which is closer to architecture than the majority of the world realizes. This book is encouraging as a student who receives harsh and often belittling criticism on a daily basis in studio. I think that’s the nature of these programs. Your process, your creativity, your effort is red lined incessantly and it can leave you feeling small and unbelievably discouraged. The opening of this book eloquently states exactly how it feels to be in design school. I love this book, it’s a lifesaver.
- I last took an architecture class over 25 years ago. I am not an architect but I do own a home and we are looking to buy another one. This book has some great tips which will educate the home owner interested in doing renovations or simply re-configuring the house they already live in.
This book has enabled us to look at some home features in a new light. What once was an expensive remodel now looks like it will be a much simpler project. The author really makes you think about a building’s use of space and what the architect was thinking (or failed to think about for that matter.)
I highly recommend this book to anyone even remotely interested in architecture, home design, interior design, or smart home ownership. If it prevents you from making a stupid and costly mistake then it will have paid for itself a hundred times over.
- This is a great book for everyone. My son is studying to be an architect and uses it frequently to keep perspective and for inspiration. As a non-architect, I find it makes me look at buildings and space differently. It opens up a sense of appreciation for layout and design. Each page is just an idea with an example drawing, so it doesn’t read like a traditional book. It’s great to just pull off the shelf, randomly pick four or five pages and reflect.
- This is a delightful little book (speaking of the hardbound version), pocket-sized and bound as much as a work of art, itself, as it is a practical guide. It’s full of sage advice, presented in a no-nonsense straightforward manner, e.g.: How to draw lines that don’t look wimpy; How to create dynamic compositions that encourage the eye to wander; How to use geometric shapes; etc. It juxtaposes contradictory advice from Ludwig Mies Van Der Rohe and Robert Venturi (respectively, “Less is more” and “Less is a bore”) to illustrate that both are true and wisdom lies in the middle. The book is a delight to read, hard to put down, and organized as a more-than-handy reference.
In this case, it is definitely worth paying the postage charge to receive the hardbound edition, as it is lovingly bound with a library spine, stiff cover boards chosen for their materials, and laid out with generous whitespace that doesn’t make the printed content disappear into the gutter. It’s a pleasure to read and to hold in your hands.
- I am not an architect, but I am a painter, and I found this book fascinating and quite relevant to what I do. The 101 things are each given a page and an accompanying illustration. The book is about design, and just as much about the mental process of developing design. The cultivation of the habits of mind described here are essential to any one’s design process. I noted that the author explains that in architecture school a project that demonstrates a superior process would and should get a better grade than a project that may have come to a better design solution, but without having manifested a good process. Architecture school is about acquiring tools and learning a process. Great little book. I will probably look into others in this series.
- For the novice architecture student or seasoned Architect grappling with a design challenge, this primer on architectural “lessons” is of great help. There were several lessons that made me think, “yes! I forgot about that!” Thanks Matthew for short & sweet refresher.
- Simple and to the point book. Pleasing illustrations and very easy to understand and read. About 3 sentences per page and it’s helped me understand some tips that I wouldn’t have known otherwise. I think this book is great for beginner students who are entering their first studio classes. Me personally am entering my sophomore year of college and I’m reading some pages over the summer to better refresh my memory’s Design 101.
- For what it is, I think this is a very good book. It’s not meant to teach 5 years worth of architectural studies in 15 minutes, or to be a conclusive guide. But it gives an excellent overview, some poignant points, and is especially helpful for non-architects to gain a clearer picture of what architecture is and how architect’s think. (No, we don’t just “draw blueprints,” and we definitely don’t “build houses.”)
I wasn’t sure what to think when I saw the mixed reviews, and some pretty heavy criticism. But as an architect myself, I think it’s a very cool little book. I wish my friends would read it. I’m interested in buying the other books (Business, Culinary School, Film, etc.).