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101 Things I Learned in Architecture School [Kindle Edition]

Matthew Frederick
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (119 customer reviews)

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Book Description

This is a book that students of architecture will want to keep in the 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 things that tend to be murky and abstruse in the classroom. 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, making concrete what too often is left nebulous or open-ended in the architecture curriculum. Each lesson utilizes a two-page format, with a brief explanation and an illustration that can range from diagrammatic to whimsical. The lesson on "How to Draw a Line" is illustrated by examples of good and bad lines; a lesson on the dangers of awkward floor level changes shows the television actor Dick Van Dyke in the midst of a pratfall; a discussion of the proportional differences between traditional and modern buildings features a drawing of a building split neatly in half between the two. Written by an architect and instructor who remembers well the fog of his own student days, <I> 101 Things I Learned in Architecture School </I>provides valuable guideposts for navigating the design studio and other classes in 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 a complex design problem.

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"The winner of a host of prizes, this delicately laid-out book advises students how to approach a number of design principles. Including advice on everything from 'how to draw a line' to 'how to sketch a one-point perspective of a rectangular interior space' this is a must-have for anyone starting out in the field." -- Will Coldwell, The Independent

"How to draw a line, the meaning of figure-ground theory, hand-lettering and the fact that windows look dark in the daytimeeach item has resonance beyond architecture. Books like this are brief tutorials in the art of seeing, a skill useful in every aspect of life on the planet." -- Susan Salter Reynolds latimes.com

Review

"The winner of a host of prizes, this delicately laid-out book advises students how to approach a number of design principles. Including advice on everything from 'how to draw a line' to 'how to sketch a one-point perspective of a rectangular interior space' this is a must-have for anyone starting out in the field." -- Will Coldwell, The Independent



"How to draw a line, the meaning of figure-ground theory, hand-lettering and the fact that windows look dark in the daytimeeach item has resonance beyond architecture. Books like this are brief tutorials in the art of seeing, a skill useful in every aspect of life on the planet." -- Susan Salter Reynolds latimes.com



" 101 Things de-mythologizes the jargon that obscures the real meanings of what is taught in design schools. Designers too often write in obtuse terms that make relatively simple concepts difficult to comprehend. But understanding how we perceive, experience, and interpret the spaces we inhabit should not make us feel dumb, or left out. This readable and graphically clear book is a great introduction to design terms, principles, and concepts. Anyone interested in design will learn much from this terrific book." -- Theodore C. Landsmark , President, Boston Architectural College, President 2006-07, the Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture



"Matthew Frederick offers a wide-ranging assortment of architectural pearls of wisdom that every architecture student should understand, consider and embraceor perhaps rejectwhen first learning the daunting process of design. Encompassing both theory and practice, and illustrated with often witty drawings, 101 Things is an eclectic itemization of architectural philosophies, compositional strategies and tactics, design conventions, drawing and presentation techniques, and even tips about how to behave as an architect." -- Roger K. Lewis , Professor Emeritus of Architecture, University of Maryland, author of Architect? A Candid Guide to the Profession


Product Details

  • File Size: 1661 KB
  • Print Length: 216 pages
  • Publisher: The MIT Press (August 31, 2007)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B002CQV4OQ
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #91,842 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
84 of 91 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I wish I had this book in Architecture School September 21, 2007
Format:Hardcover
I don't remember ever having a textbook for design studio - undoubtedly because this book hadn't been published yet. If it had, I would have had a wonderful little book that breaks down five years worth of architectural wisdom into 101 pages. I recommend reading it (about a ten minute read) before and a couple of times during the design process to refocus yourself. If nothing else, it should be required reading for first year students because it will teach you to speak architect. 'Parti' 'Figure/Ground' 'Positive Space' 'Negative Space' and all the other jargon architects tend to use are all defined here.

The book contains advice on both the technical and the intellectual. Hints for everything from lettering to post modern theory share page space with reminders as varied as 'design in section' to 'if you can't explain your design in terms your grandmother understands, you don't understand your own design.'

Nearly everything in the book is a hit. Even the cover is made from chip board. If you're a poor architecture student, scrape together some coffee money and get a copy. If you're already an architect, get a copy and remember a time before design problems were strip malls and warehouses.
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34 of 39 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Real wisdom, elegantly presented January 4, 2008
Format:Hardcover
One of those fantastic books that makes you feel smarter for reading it. The 101 little rules or principles that the author distills from his time as an architect are undoubtedly of use to an architect, but are also mind-openers for any curious and design- or art- inclined person.

Each principle is stated in a sentence or two, with an accompanying illustration. Some are specific little rules (the pointlessness of spitting a room with a single step; people are wider in the Winter); some are perspective shaping (about negative space; about meandering ways of getting to somewhere often beating direct ways). The illustrations are elegant and compliment each principle perfectly. You'll find yourself idling over each, as the lessons behind the lessons sink in.

If you have any asthetic inclinations but find yourself dealing too much with words, open this beautiful little book and feel those old synapses firing up.

Great gift too.
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20 of 22 people found the following review helpful
By Foxcat
Format:Kindle Edition
The print version of this book is excellent. The layout is clean, elegant, easy-to-read, with illustrations and explanations facing each other on separate pages, and the content is insightful. This book is a model in clarity and conciseness. I own this book and love it.

Unfortunately, the eBook version's page layout is a failure. It has the same content, but the layout is completely messed up. For a given illustration, the *previous* explanation appears on the same page, without any visual indication that it is so. It is thus very hard to read and utterly confusing. I'm surprised the publisher messed up the layout of this book so badly. The font is also weirdly huge. I was so disappointed. Don't buy this eBook version until they fix the layout.
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27 of 31 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars As an Architecture Student this book is essential October 30, 2007
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I am an architecture student, and with every project in studio, this book is a reference to keep my mind in check. This book should be in every architecture students hands. Simple as that, if your an architecture student this $12 that the book costs is the best $12 you will ever spend.
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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Not Only for Architects September 22, 2008
Format:Hardcover
Not Only for Architects

"101 Things I Learned in Architecture School" is an enjoyable, well-designed little book.

As a registered architect since 1968 I sometimes wish I could do a better job of making others understand why we do what we do. Matthew Frederick has captured the essence of what makes most of us tick. Lend this book to non-architect friends and to clients. If you don't get it back, buy another.

From No. 1 "How to draw a line", to No. 101 "Architects are late bloomers", and my favorite, No. 72 "Design with models", this book is a gem.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great little book, Great price, Great Idea. July 8, 2012
Format:Hardcover
As is the case with many designers, I only received this little book after finishing architecture school. This was truly unfortunate since, similarly to Frederick's opinion, a book such as this, would have made my educational journey significantly less painful.

If at first glance this chipboard covered book seems a bit peculiar, don't despair, all your reservations will disappear once you start scanning the pages. Each spread contains a diagram and short description of a concept or technique every designer should know. Starting with "How to draw a line" to "Architects are late bloomers" this book represents a great summary of concepts every design student should learn at least once in their lives.

I have heard some readers critique this publication based on the fact that it is not 'technical' enough. I agree, this little book is not 'technical'. But given the title and the price (less than $12) I suspect the disappointment is largely due to unrealistic expectations rather than to bad content. Given the title, binding and description, it is clear that this was never intended to be a graphic standard , structural manual or code summary. Given the author's introduction I am of the opinion that this little book succeeds splendidly in its intent - providing an overview of 101 Things students learn (and so easily forget) in Architecture School.

It is most certainly guaranteed to jump-start design solutions, motivate, and entertain - only three of the possible 101 uses you'll discover for "101 Things".
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful!
Wonderful product. I would buy again for a gift. I got this for my husband just to inspire him. Helped a lot.
Published 13 days ago by angie110216
5.0 out of 5 stars Our Salad Days
The things I have forgotten, to take pen to paper once again, to sketch and design, delightful book, brings back fond memories
Published 25 days ago by douglaslloyd
1.0 out of 5 stars Not what I expected
This isn't quite what I expected, a bunch of one liners strung together to make up a book. Don't waste your $$...
Published 1 month ago by RandyR09
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Gift!
I got this to give as a gift to a student of architecture. It has very interesting tips for the non-architect as well!
Published 2 months ago by DTMom
5.0 out of 5 stars Invaluable resource
Simple, straightforward information that you can review regularly to keep your design game in line. The kind of thing you can open up when you're standing in line and review.
Published 4 months ago by L. Huls
5.0 out of 5 stars good, u deserve this.
Very good look and helpful. u can look at this book stay in bathroom for a look time because it is awesome. u deserve this.
Published 4 months ago by Xiadi Sun
5.0 out of 5 stars To the point
When you go to a design school that offers very little to no time to read up on information--this is definitely the way to go in learning via books. Read more
Published 5 months ago by Circle Cutter Commander
1.0 out of 5 stars Way too tiny!!!
This book I assumed to be more of a text book size. I guess I neglected to read the dimensions, if they were given. I was quite shocked at the small size of the book. Read more
Published 5 months ago by Truth
5.0 out of 5 stars Read it
Great advice and reminders for students studying architecture and aspiring architects. Succinct, well illustrated and poignantly written. Must have for your bookshelf.
Published 5 months ago by bryan s. davis
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book for the budding architect!!
My daughter is in college and her first major is architecture. She really likes this book and stated that many of her friends in class had it as well. Read more
Published 6 months ago by Mark C Peak
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More About the Author

Matthew Frederick is an architect and urban designer in Hudson, New York and Cambridge, Massachusetts.

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