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101 Things I Learned in Architecture School

101 Things I Learned in Architecture School

101 Things I Learned in Architecture School


Certainties for architecture students are few. The architecture curriculum is a perplexing and unruly beast, involving long hours, dense texts, and frequently obtuse instruction. If the lessons of architecture are fascinating (and they are), they are also fraught with so many exceptions and caveats that students can easily wonder if there is anything concrete to learn about architecture at all.
The nebulousness of architectural instruction is largely necessary.

Architecture is, after all, a creative fi eld, and it is understandably diffi cult for instructors of design to concretize lesson plans out of fear of imposing unnecessary limits on the creative process. The resulting open-endedness provides students a ride down many fascinating new avenues, but often with a feeling that architecture is built on quicksand rather than on solid earth.

This book aims to fi rm up the foundation of the architecture studio by providing rallying points upon which the design process may thrive. The following lessons in design, drawing, creative process, and presentation fi rst came to me as barely discernible glimmers through the fog of my own education. But in the years I have spent since as a practitioner and educator, they have become surely brighter and clearer. And the questions they address have remained the central questions of architectural education: my own students show me again and again that the questions and confusions of architecture school are near universal.

I invite you to leave this book open on the desktop as you work in the studio, to keep in your coat pocket to read on public transit, and to peruse randomly when in need of a jump-start in solving an architectural design problem. Whatever you do with the lessons that follow, be that grateful I am not around to point out the innumerable exceptions and caveats to each of them.


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