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83 of 84 people found the following review helpful
on December 10, 2004
Those who have panned this book weren't looking for insight into the thought process of architectural design. This book is not a cookbook, but a primarily graphical introductory intended to start the architecture student thinking how architects think.

I'm not technically an architecture student, but rather an architecture design "hobbyist". I found this book very useful as far as helping me to look at the design process in new ways, and to better understand the various historical (and contemporary) methods/techniques used to formulate architectural designs.

This book is a textbook, not a 5 lb. coffee table glossy.
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57 of 60 people found the following review helpful
on November 26, 2001
After seeing this book on the shelf of a friend's architecture office, I bought it for my homeschooled children who are genuinely interested in architecture and building...Their dad (who teaches drafting and construction) and I could not put it down! The drawings are clear and so comprehensive. The book covers so much...Architectural styles, drawing types, etc. Mostly in drawings with very little text. So many architecture books are filled with heavy text, that you are lost in it, rather than learning the ideas and concepts. That is not a problem here. It is not to say that in any way this is a simplistic, elementary book...I'm sure it is used at the post-graduate and professional levels. The drawings and captions/info just say so much more than all those words! We are all learning a lot from this book, and are looking forward to buying more of this man's work.
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48 of 52 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon December 1, 2002
An excellent introduction to architecture. However, I liked the old horizontal format better. The new edition has all the same illustrations but its vertical formal isn't as compelling. Ching is the master of free-hand sketching. In this book he covers the basic principles of architecture with copious illustrations and an easy to follow progression of ideas. It is great for first year students and frustrated architects alike. My only word of warning is that once you buy one of his volumes on architecture, it is hard to resist the others.
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
on January 30, 2006
I'm a freshman architecture student and had to get Ching's book for one of my classes. It is much better at explaining new concepts than the other dry articles we have to read for class and the sketchs are amazing. After getting this book I bought Ching's visual dictionary of architecture which is a great source for looking up terms.
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
on April 11, 2006
As an artist, designer and storyteller, I find Dr. Ching's book to be a revelation. You can open it to any page, like casting the I Ching, and begin to read. His draftsmanship, his infinite patience and exceptionally ordered mind places even the most esoteric subject firmly into perspective. And it seems to rub off on the reader. If you are ever blocked for any reason, duplicate a page. I guarantee you'll return to your own work with fresh insight.
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27 of 32 people found the following review helpful
This book lays the best foundation for architectural study and design of any book ever published. It should be required reading at every university and would make a great primer for high school students with enlightened teachers.
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28 of 34 people found the following review helpful
on January 8, 2000
The first time I read this book, it blew me away. Not only did Ching use a simple way of explaining the principals of architechture, he also included numberous sketches and quotes about architecture. Since I'm hoping to become a arcitect myself, I will use as a treasured resorce in my architecture in high school, in classes at college and beyond. This book has found a brilliant way to introduce the world of architecture to the reader in such a way that a person with little interest in the subject will become enthralled with it. I've even begun to read the book again!
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on September 26, 2006
I purchased this book during my first semester as an architecture student and am still referencing it well into my third semester. It has good text but the high quality illustrations are what I find most helpful. Many of them are representations of existing structures. Great Book!
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
on March 28, 2012
I gave a three because of the bad formatting not the content of the book itself. I bought this book digitally and I agree that it is a great book but when you get the digital copy it is bad. It is an actual scan of the image of the whole page of the book so when it is small and you try to zoom into the text it gets so blurry that my eyes hurt trying to read it. i tried the digital copy on my laptop and tablet but it is not worth it. Until they come out with an actual digital copy where the people type in the text and you can zoom in and out of the format than it would be great.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on July 24, 2010
This book is a great value if you are new or just a beginning your career and want to get some nice perspective fast. I know that some reviews here indicate that this book is not the right book for architects.and i can understand their point of view, because they were expecting something the book didn't give.as a matter of face i was dissappionted too when i 1st got the book, but now i know it's a real treasure and definately a must-have for architects and new designers.
This book is the greatest illustrator of buildings throughout time, not in pictures but in beautiful sketches, from different angles and with a brief explaination of the design concept...it helps if u r studying history of arhitecture and u want to know the architects and their works.
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