About MIT Press Ebooks
101 Things I Learned in Architecture School
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 the basics of "How to Draw a Line" to the complexities of color theory—provide a much-needed primer in architectural literacy, making concrete what too often is left nebulous or open-ended in the architecture curriculum. Each lesson utilizes a two-page format, with a brief explanation and an illustration that can range from diagrammatic to whimsical. The lesson on "How to Draw a Line" is illustrated by examples of good and bad lines; a lesson on the dangers of awkward floor level changes shows the television actor Dick Van Dyke in the midst of a pratfall; a discussion of the proportional differences between traditional and modern buildings features a drawing of a building split neatly in half between the two. Written by an architect and instructor who remembers well the fog of his own student days, 101 Things I Learned in Architecture School provides valuable guideposts for navigating the design studio and other classes in the architecture curriculum. Architecture graduates—from young designers to experienced practitioners—will turn to the book as well, for inspiration and a guide back to basics when solving a complex design problem.
About the Author
Matthew Frederick is an architect and urban designer in Cambridge,
Massachusetts. He has taught at a number of colleges and universities,
including Boston Architectural College and Wentworth Institute of
“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 daytime each 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
“101 Things de-mythologizes the jargon that obscures the real meanings of what is taught in design schools. Designers too often write in obtuse terms that make relatively simple concepts difficult to comprehend. But understanding how we perceive, experience, and interpret the spaces we inhabit should not make us feel dumb, or left out. This readable and graphically clear book is a great introduction to design terms, principles, and concepts. Anyone interested in design will learn much from this terrific book.”
—Theodore C. Landsmark, President, Boston Architectural College, President 2006-07, the Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture
“Matthew Frederick offers a wide-ranging assortment of architectural pearls of wisdom that every architecture student should understand, consider and embrace or perhaps rejectwhen first learning the daunting process of design. Encompassing both theory and practice, and illustrated with often witty drawings, 101 Things is an eclectic itemization of architectural philosophies, compositional strategies and tactics, design conventions, drawing and presentation techniques, and even tips about how to behave as an architect.”
—Roger K. Lewis, Professor Emeritus of Architecture, University of Maryland, author of Architect? A Candid Guide to the Profession
2008 Silver Award Winner, Architecture Category, Independent Publisher Book Awards.