101 Things I Learned in Architecture School
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101 Things I Learned in Architecture School

4.06 of 5 stars 4.06  ·  rating details  ·  1,705 ratings  ·  118 reviews
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 th...more
Hardcover, 128 pages
Published August 31st 2007 by MIT Press (MA) (first published December 31st 2006)
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We've all heard that we're not supposed to judge a book by its cover--but as with wine bottles, the cover may not be the whole story, but it's not irrelevant either. In this case, the unfinished cardboard front cover, embossed type juxtaposed with pen drawing, classic red/black/white color scheme, and chunky horizontal layout all suggest, rightly, that Mr. Frederick has an aesthetic voice worth listening to. The structure of the book's content--illustrative sketch on the left, general principle...more
Nada Elfeituri
I read this book before I started architecture school, and re-read it in the break between each semester. Each time I find something new that I had learned, and it helps encourage me when I'm in a design funk.
It's a relatively quick read, but for those like me who are sometimes overwhelmed by the stress of the design process, it's invaluable. One of the must-read architecture books for any student.
Dimitris Hall
Useful tips, even if you're not an architect. "Draw lines with bold beginnings and ends", "windows appear dark during the day", "beauty has more to do with the harmonious connection between parts of a composition rather than with the parts themselves", "a good building reveals different aspects of itself when viewed from different distances", "less is more // less is boring", "in winter, people have a width of 61cm. In summer, it's 56cm".

I find Thing 101 especially encouraging for I feel it desc...more
Wei Cho
Dear Reader,

As a future Architecture student who has taken some design classes in my nearest community classes, I find this book honest, insightful, and slightly comedic about what really happens to student in Architecture school. I find myself nodding and giggling at every "thing". It was just hilarious. It was very helpful too. It made me realize that I'm not alone in my thoughts and feelings about this area of study. I was actually beaming when I turn page after page. This is a very clever id...more
Brad VanAuken
I have to preface this by saying that I am not an architect nor did I study architecture in school. However, architecture is one of my more passionate avocations. I am pretty sure I want to be an architect in my next life. Now to the book. I really loved it. Each chapter (a two-page spread with an illustration on the left page and one-to-three paragraphs of text on the right page) focuses on a given concept that is important in architecture. Some of the chapters feature appropriate quotes. There...more
irfan darian
I thought this book was going to be one of those atypical 101 lists of things that one can common sense-sically come out with even with a basic understanding of architecture. But boy was I wrong. Even though the lists were sometimes short and cryptic in nature, it is indeed insightful and interesting to note some of the aspects that have been deemed important enough to in the list. What is interesting too is the idea that a significant majority of those in the lists are also conceptually applica...more
This one is more for architecture students than anyone else. The main problem is that if you haven't gone through architecture school, the often contradictory and terse advice in this book won't make much sense. It ends up being a series of motivational posters of a boat if you don't have the background in some kind of design field. But for those who are designers, this is a great thing to flip open and remind ourselves of the years of training we have.
Huda AbuKhoti
Great read for all Architecture students.

I related to the things mentioned and I agree with most of it. I can reread this over and over again and enjoy it; quite simple and written in a lighthearted way... Makes me love my major even more.
Yasmine Ahmed
يااهلا وسهلا بقسم عماره جامعه الفيوم :D
الحمد لله ع كل حااال

الكتاب لذيذ اووي وبسيط اعتقد يعني بس عشان كان بالانجلش مكنش سهل اوي بالنسبالي بس مع ذلك استمتعت بيه واكتشفت اد ااااايه احنا مابنتعلمش ولاااا اي حاجه ولله الحمد
انشراح شبلاق
It's a very useful book, not just for beginners but also for those who need to be constantly reminded with this stuff.
Zoha Trabelsi

It's not long, or an extensive textbook. It's really an interesting helpful book full of amazing tips! a quick read and quite literal. It isn't as "in-depth" as other architecture books.


What's a "parti?" What is "postmodernism"? What do positive and negative space have to do with anything? Those and a lot more and more, plus some well chosen quotes give you a lot to think about and build upon! I loved every page! <3

I am an architecture student, and this book is a reference to keep my mind in...more
Adam Wiggins
A quick-to-read whirlwind tour of some of the principles of architecture. A smattering:

* Negative and positive spaces and circulation. People move through negative space and dwell in positive spaces.
* "parti" is a word for the big idea that holds together a design, much like an author's thesis.
* Architects work holistically, touching on everything but being an expert in nothing. (Engineers, by contrast, are a deep expert on one particular thing.)
* "Fabric" buildings (ordinary residences and comm...more
A) Parts of this seem relevant w/r/t design even outside of an architectural process. What this means is that I wish I had been told several of these things when first starting "art" school.

B) I am considering applying to architecture schools/programs next year and I am trying to read in order to get a grip on whether or not it is actually something I want to do. Content here implies that it probably is.

C) I think I might actually like a copy as a reference, there are some obvious things in here...more
I read this book after visiting Taliesin (Frank Lloyd Wright home in Wisconsin).....my favorite--".....If you can't explain your ideas to your grandmother in terms that she understands, you don't know your subject well enough.....". That applies to more than just architecture!
Lauretta Cocke
This was a great break-time book. Makes you re-think about all those things you didn't realize you already forgot from those first years. Also makes sure to remind you not to take yourself too seriously.
Mohammed Alsoufi
I wish I have read this book after the 1st or 2nd year in Architecture, but it's never too late to read it or re read it
A wonderful, sensible, inspiring little book for anyone designing anything...or anyone interested in buildings.
humorous in simple sketch to explain the idea but its nail .Its a worth advice in a simple presentation.
An essential. I got it as a gift back in high school when I decided I wanted to pursue architecture, and it was a treasure then, even before starting school and knowing what was what. Now, studying in an architectural program, I've gotten an entirely different value out of it. I'm able to relate to the advice and learn from it on a new level. I expect I'll continue to make use of it in different ways in years to come. It's simple, it's clever, it's quick; it's an easy book to pick up for five mi...more
Jun 18, 2013 Frank rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommended to Frank by: Rinus Ormeling
When starting this book, I wasn't sure if I had laid my hands on an ironic or a serious take on architecture lessons. The dry tone with which the author tells me how to draw a line, he had to be kidding me! But from the following lessons, I could tell that he was not.
It is a very concise attempt to capture the basics for a practicing architect. And while I'm not working as, only with architects, I found out that there's something for everyone in these lessons. Whether you're a designer, a writer...more
Peggy Bonnington
I really have enjoyed reading this little book, a treasure to look at as well as digest. It is designed in a clean and attractive format, set forth with each of the 101 items concisely presented on a page opposite its own simple but effective illustration of the design point stated. I only allowed myself to read a few at a time so as to be able to really study and consider the points taken before going on to new ones. I found most of the suggestions to be good design ideas which could be transla...more
I saw this book in the Chicago Architectural Society store and was interested enough in it but I wasn't up for spending the money on something I would only likely read once. When it showed up on a cart of books I was sorting the very next day at the library, well I took that as a sign.

I know nothing about architecture but I love to read general level books in a variety of subjects, hoping I guess to pick up some random knowledge. I quickly saw that this book would cross over into my other intere...more
Wow, il primo (e unico) libro che ho letto in inglese nel 2013!

101 Things I Learned in Architecture School è una raccolta di 101 consigli, che derivano dall'esperienza dell'autore come architetto, urbanista e professore di architettura in varie facoltà americane. Alcuni arrivati alla fine del corso, come nel mio caso, sono banali e scontati, altri molto più utili, altri ancora sono citazioni che ti lasciano pensare. Forse il prezzo del libro non è proporzionale alla sua utilità (credo di averlo...more
Abd al wahhab
the book is valuable for new and beginner designers presented in a very simple and attractive way .

and the book itself helds a great idea , that every student in the faculty of architecture should be able/or should write his own " 101 things i learned in Architecture school " .

Sofie Sk
so so so helpful. easy to understand and you can see the author's quirkiness through it all as he tells you a seemingly simple story of everything you'll potentially learn in an architectural school. I honestly would recommend this book to absolutely any new-bee interested in this world!
Rajit Malhotra
This book is a great introduction to architecture, but I feel many general designers & artists would already know most of the points such as less is more, beauty is enhanced by the connection between different parts of the whole, etc. There are a couple of particular aspects of architecture that I never thought about (though it seems like common sense) as a non-architecture student:

- Every architect should have a parti, or big idea, behind each piece he or she puts together that ties togethe...more
Having seen this book compared to "Pattern Language", I really wanted to read it and I was greatly disappointed. This is a good book and I can see why people, especially architecture students, like it as Matthew Frederick condenses design principles into simple but clear lessons (i.e. 101 things) often with a light hearted twist. However, this is not a great book like "Pattern Language". As a home owner, "Pattern Language" is a book that I have often used in the design of my gardens, home decora...more
Areej Al-sayari
Very useful book! Straight to the point. It explains the very basics every architecture or interior design students need to be familiar with. It covers all the necessary aspects of architecture. Totally recommended.
Todd Webb
A great little reference book if you are thinking about building a home, designing an office space, or even changing a landscape. It's a list of principles with a few sentences about each one.
From strictly an architect's perspective, this is a perfect quick read before going to school. As a designer, it's still very useful in various aspects.
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