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101 Things I Learned in Architecture School Hardcover – August 31, 2007
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"Rebound" by Kwame Alexander
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"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
From the Back Cover
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.
Author interviews, book reviews, editors picks, and more. Read it now
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One page contains just this: "Architecture is the thoughtful making of space.", opposite to a sketchy profile portrait of Louis Kahn. Amazing. But for short, the record goes to page 62: "Less is a bore" (A too known already epigram from Arch. Robert Venturi)
Several pages are dedicated to the cool-sounding and totally vague idea of the "parti" [par-TEE] which, freed from verbal garbage, means a sketch of the general concept of a building. (Take note of this buzz word to impress laypersons). Lots of other pseudo philosophical mumbo-jumbo: zeitgeist, holistic, a little Chinese... The usual Kung-Fu gobbledygook wisdom, coming from a book introduced as presenting "in clear and simple language things that tend to be mystified in the classroom".
Simple often is. To the point of being crass: Roll your plans face outward so they will stay put on the table when you unroll them. (Remember: this you learn in Architecture School; a deep discipline, I gather). One page takes 85 words to say this: Make 3D models.
Another can be condensed into: Exert pressure at the beginning and the end of a line. More: "When lettering, slant your horizontals slightly upwards". (Both advises as if everybody is drawing with a pencil these days) ...
Other: When elements or spaces are not explicit but are apparent, they are said to be implied (Wow!. But how I am going to practically use this invaluable breakthrough of information?). More practical info: "Sense of place. Genius loci literally means genius of place. It is used to describe places that are deeply memorable for their architectural and experiential qualities." (Go ahead, use it in your next project). More immediately applicable data on page 35, which just quotes Gertrude Stain: "I like my view but I like to sit with my back turned to it". (Now that I know it, I cannot stop myself from start designing houses). I would say that on an even keel, all quotations here are useless.
I suspect that those individuals giving 5 stars to the book are friends of Frederick, helping him to sell his little (ultimately pathetic) book to fools such as me.
If this is what Mr. Frederick learned in Architecture School, he wasted his time. And mine.
I wanted to understand how buildings are made which is what I expected one learns when one studies architecture, instead I got a book that basically tells me I should keep my pencils sharp. I am not going to be an architect but I did want to understand it. This book does not do that.
Random item 49--the altitude angle and color varies with compass orientation and time of day. Thanks a lot.
Random item 35 I like a view but I like to sit with my back to it.
I tell you what I want back, my money. Not to be told keep my back to the view. I am an invalid forced to shop on the internet. If I saw this before I bought it, well it would of stayed on the shelf. I wanted to know about the golden ration tension and compression, how arches work, how glass curtian buildings work. Masonary building and their limitations.
Instead the book tells me how to roll my drawings up to carry them.
This book is a major rip off and the author should be ashamed. I wanted a book that explain architectual principals to me, what I assumed you would learn in architectural school. Instead I got a bunch of meaningless platitudes about architecture that leaves me with the same amount of architectural knowledge before I bought the book.
I feel so ripped off. I feel so cheated. I understand I have to take chances buying books on line but this was an insult that gave me none of the information I wanted to learn.
One last item. A good presentation meets the ten foot test, which means the lettering and titles can be read from ten feet away. What has that to do with architecture. It holds true for any type of presentation.
I feel like I had a gun shoved in my back and my wallet taken.
This book will teach you not one thing about architecture. I wish I was able to go to book stores on my own and see the book and not have to rely on description of the book because I would have passed this up in less than a minute.
I feel so cheated. If you want to know things about architecture and the engineering that it requires run from this book.
They might of been 101 things the author learned but they are not a very useful 101 things. And they really don't pertain to actual architecture.