101 Things I Learned in Architecture School book

The book 101 Things I Learned in Architecture School by Matthew Frederick is a great little read and it even endears yourself to Architects.

On the job site Architects from my point of view as a green contractor are not liked that much. They get in our way. A green builder is a very educated builder and my experience is that we know more about the field than the architect. Most of the time we wish they would stop wasting the client’s money and just leave us alone.

This book reminds you that a good architect is amazing. They know history, art, sociology, physics, physiology, materiality, symbolism, political process, and many other things. And they can put it into material form in a harmonious way.

I always wanted to be a builder. When I was ten years old planning what I wanted to be when I grew up I wanted to build structures.

But then life happened and I found photography, travel and writing. So I never got the education to be an architect or engineer. Yet I was good at building and often supported my art and travel through construction.

It wasn’t until my late thirties that I came back to my early passion and skill to become a full time green builder. I’m glad it took me this long, otherwise I would have never seen the world and had all the amazing experiences I’ve had. It makes me a richer green builder.

But always in the back of my mind I admire the path of the architect since I could have easily gone that way.

This book is a good reminder of the power of architecture and it is an insight into the education they go through.

Through the author’s little quotes and comments you see the unfolding of how an architect sees the world and buildings.

And often these are insights about not just buildings but life. His sparse pages with a few comments and a well executed illustration reads more like a book of Zen proverbs than excerpts from Architecture school:

Limitations Encourage Creativity
Just Do Something
Three Levels of Knowing: Simplicity, Complexity and the ideal level Informed Simplicity
Less is More
Less is Bore
Frame a View, don’t Merely Exhibit it
Architecture is the Thoughtful Making of Space
We Move Through Negative Spaces and Dwell in Positive Spaces

And my favorite: Architects are Late Bloomers

So are green builders :)

About the author: Gennaro Brooks-Church

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