Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “101 Things I Learned in Architecture School” as Want to Read:
101 Things I Learned in Architecture School
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

101 Things I Learned in Architecture School

(101 Things I Learned)

4.07  ·  Rating details ·  4,522 ratings  ·  266 reviews
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.

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 thi
Hardcover, 212 pages
Published August 31st 2007 by MIT Press (first published December 31st 2006)
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about 101 Things I Learned in Architecture School, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about 101 Things I Learned in Architecture School

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 4.07  · 
Rating details
 ·  4,522 ratings  ·  266 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of 101 Things I Learned in Architecture School
Nov 12, 2009 rated it it was amazing
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
Aug 11, 2013 rated it it was amazing
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.
Nov 29, 2019 rated it really liked it
Another book designed for architects but containing useful ideas for designers of every discipline.

It contains 101 concise concepts you can absorb and bring to your own work. Ideas like how being able to improve your creative process can be more valuable that the actual output of a specific project, or how that the beauty of a composition is more about the harmony of the elements than the specific elements themselves.
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
Mohammed Rasheen
Jun 08, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This book was introduced to me by a senior professor on his facebook wall during my second year of college,i ignored it then but later after couple of years i got to go through it, and at once i was impressed by the total idea of this book. This is indeed 101 most fundamental things one is supposed to learn from an architectural school, but sadly i feel the priority set in university syllabuses in my country failed to promote such fundamentals, so i would recommend this book to every budding arc ...more
Wei Cho
Jan 26, 2012 rated it it was amazing
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
Brad VanAuken
Feb 19, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: architecture
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
Patrick Sherriff
Sep 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: art
What a great book, suitable for any arts student. My proper review (with pics of pages) is here: ...more
Nov 18, 2017 added it
This book was recommended as professional reading for game design. It was an enjoyable read and touched on some closely related subjects, but I would place it, personally, in my second order of game design reading, and not in the first order with books like The Design of Everyday Things. I think that for anyone practicing level or environmental design, this book would be more fundamentally useful as a quick line into architecture itself. For game design in general, I found the lessons to be inte ...more
Zoha Trabelsi
101 Things I Learned in Architecture School 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! <3I am an architecture student, and thi ...more
Feb 17, 2011 rated it it was amazing
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. ...more
Hana Al Maktoum
Oct 03, 2018 rated it really liked it
I took so many screen-shots for my students. A simple yet informative book.
Connor Wilson
My Dad: "I'm AIA, LEED certified and I've been practicing for 30 years."
Me: "But have you read this??"
Jul 29, 2011 rated it liked it
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
Huda AbuKhoti
Jun 24, 2012 rated it it was amazing
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.
Mohammed Alsoufi
Feb 27, 2011 rated it it was amazing
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 ...more
انشراح شبلاق
Jul 18, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: architecture
It's a very useful book, not just for beginners but also for those who need to be constantly reminded with this stuff. ...more
Nov 24, 2018 rated it really liked it
I know nothing about architecture so I liked this book because the ideas were new to me, e.g.:

Draw a line with emphasis at the beginning and end, overlap lines slightly where they meet to keep corners from looking rounded -- don't erase guide lines.

We move through negative spaces and dwell in positive spaces

PARTI central idea or concept of building

most architectural forms can be described as additive (assembled from indiv pieces), subtractive (carved from a whole form), shaped or abstract

May 18, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I wish I had this book with me when i was an architecture student , it gives an amazing , simple and direct to the point advices , it's actually useful for practitioners too , specially when they are stuck in a problem or lost in the process , and at the end of the book it gives the best pep sentence ( most architects do not hit there professional stride until around age 50 ) ... so there is always hope .. ...more
Apr 03, 2020 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
more convenient for beginners.
Alina Kashitsyna
Oct 25, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Minimalistic (in all the meanings), clear, structured and very very useful!
Feb 14, 2021 rated it really liked it
A book about architecture? Yeah but... many of the lessons in this book apply to art of any kind. Definitely read this if you create anything at all... music, writings, paintings, sculptures...
Vasja Volin
May 29, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Concise, creative, and something to refer to over the coming years. Highly recommended.
True Lin
Sep 25, 2017 rated it really liked it
Not all about architecture, it's about life. ...more
Adam Wiggins
Oct 06, 2011 rated it liked it
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
Ahn Mur
Jun 13, 2014 rated it really liked it
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
Naslha Espinal
Jan 16, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: owned, architecture
More than a year has pass since I finished college, and in all that time I focused on catching up on my reading for pleasure, and put any architecture related books on hold as a way of detoxing after my thesis. So, when I picked up this book something in me clicked, to the point that I just couldn't put it down.

Overall, excellent read for architecture students and graduates alike. Great way of going back to basics when needed.
Nov 11, 2012 rated it really liked it
I read this book after visiting Taliesin (Frank Lloyd Wright home in Wisconsin) 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! ...more
Aya Yusuf
Jul 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I found this book terrific even though I'm not an architecture but more like an art fan and an artist .. it helped me a lot in understanding the process of designing.. a simple book that can be helpful to anyone who's interesting in this field ...more
Apr 14, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: art-and-design
A wonderful, sensible, inspiring little book for anyone designing anything...or anyone interested in buildings.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »

Readers also enjoyed

  • Architecture: Form, Space, & Order
  • Towards a New Architecture
  • Thinking Architecture
  • The Image of the City
  • Architects' Data
  • Modern Architecture: A Critical History
  • A Visual Dictionary of Architecture
  • A Pattern Language: Towns, Buildings, Construction
  • Atmospheres: Architectural Environments. Surrounding Objects
  • The Architecture of Happiness
  • Building Construction Illustrated
  • Experiencing Architecture
  • S, M, L, XL
  • Complexity and Contradiction in Architecture
  • The Eyes of the Skin: Architecture and the Senses
  • The Ten Books on Architecture
  • Life Between Buildings: Using Public Space
  • Cities for People
See similar books…

Other books in the series

101 Things I Learned (1 - 10 of 23 books)
  • 101 Things I Learned in Fashion School
  • 101 Things I Learned in Engineering School
  • 101 Things I Learned in Business School
  • 101 Things I Learned in Culinary School
  • 101 Things I Learned in Film School
  • 101 Things I Learned in Law School
  • 101 Things I Learned in Urban Design School
  • 101 Things I Learned in Advertising School
  • 101 Things I Learned in Engineering School
  • 101 Things I Learned in Advertising School

News & Interviews

  As dedicated readers already know, some of the best and most innovative stories on the shelves come from the constantly evolving realm of...
14 likes · 5 comments
“Design a flight of stairs for the day a nervous bride
descends them. Shape a window to frame a view of a
specific tree on a perfect day in autumn.”
“An architect knows something about everything. An engineer knows everything about one thing.” 6 likes
More quotes…