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101 Things I Learned in Architecture School (MIT Press) Hardcover – August 31, 2007

4.5 out of 5 stars 205 customer reviews

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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

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. 101 Things I Learned in Architecture School

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Product Details

  • Series: MIT Press
  • Hardcover: 216 pages
  • Publisher: The MIT Press; 3rd Edition edition (August 31, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0262062666
  • ISBN-13: 978-0262062664
  • Product Dimensions: 7 x 0.8 x 5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (205 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #8,181 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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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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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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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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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Format: Hardcover Verified 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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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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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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