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101 Things I Learned in Architecture School
Format: HardcoverChange
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91 of 98 people found the following review helpful
on 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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33 of 35 people found the following review helpful
on March 9, 2012
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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37 of 42 people found the following review helpful
on 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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30 of 34 people found the following review helpful
on October 30, 2007
Format: HardcoverVerified 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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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on July 9, 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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16 of 19 people found the following review helpful
on 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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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on September 21, 2012
Format: HardcoverVerified Purchase
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.).
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on August 3, 2011
Format: Hardcover
I discovered this book somewhere halfway through my first year of architecture school. That's around the point where I had been stuffed full of information that I had no idea what to do with or what any of it meant. Drawing diagrams, finding the parti of a building, all these nebulous concepts that every professor and teacher's assistant explains in a very different way. While many of these concepts are complex and difficult to explain for a reason, this book goes a long way in clarifying the basics of each one. Everything is explained in a way that anyone can understand, usually with an absolutely ingenious diagram. I keep it on my desk and flip through it when I get stuck on a concept, or when things just aren't working out quite right; the solution is usually in there somewhere. It doesn't solve problems for you, but it definitely helped me see things from a different angle and got me out of a lot of ruts. In my experience, this book is extremely helpful, if not vital, for any architecture student, and its simplicity makes architecture easy to understand for any enthusiast.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on August 24, 2011
Format: HardcoverVerified Purchase
This is seriously the best book any architecture student could ever invest in. I have learned more from going through this than from some of my professors. Pictures with direct and to-the-point text makes the concepts understandable and thankfully in plain english. And it's small enough to stash in a bag with your sketchbook.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on August 29, 2008
Format: Hardcover
Was expecting a little more from this book. It doesn't go into a lot of depth and some points hardly scratch the surface.

It does have things that every student should know, but at the same time there's no explanation or reasoning. Some pages are included in the "101" that are simply quotes that do not bear a lot of significance
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