Monday, March 29, 2010

101 Things I Learned in Architecture School

This is a charming little book, that I recommend for anyone who is a designer. I often reflect on how the jobs of architect and game designer have so many striking similarities -- but I enjoyed learning about the differences from this book just as much as I liked noting the similarities.

Here's a few of my favorites:
#7: Suburban buildings are freestanding objects in space. Urban buildings are often shapers of space.
#18: Any design decision should be justified at least two ways.
#48: If you can't explain your ideas to your grandmother in terms that she understands, you don't know your subject well enough. (Amen!)
#77: No design system is or should be perfect.
#81: Properly gaining control of the design process tends to feel like one is losing control of the design process.
#97: Limitations encourage creativity.

Anyway, it's a fun little book, a pleasure to read, and elegantly bound, with a front cover made of raw cardboard, which is surprisingly pleasant to touch.


  1. I found this little gem at a local bookstore a few months ago - it truly was a joy to read! I really liked how he paced the book, following longer, more thoughtful tips with really short ones. One of my favorites was #51: Beauty is due more to harmonious relationships among the elements of a composition than to the elements themselves.

  2. RE #48. I explained to my grandmother that my first job was as "Assistant to the Controller" as a small company just across the highway from Universal Studios. She then reported to her blue-haired bridge buddies that her 21 year old grandson was the "Assistant Controller of Universal Studios"

  3. I like this correlation between game design and architecture, as these are both my passions ever since I can remember myself, and a mystery as to why I never studied them.
    Thanks for this post.