Summer Reading Watch

goodbyecasio
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#1
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#1
my brain is about to die as i'm feeling the effects of being out of education for more than two weeks. i would quite like to get things moving again.
i have also been given £80 worth of Amazon vouchers which i am planning to spend on books, so if anyone can suggest any architecture-related essentials that will save me from severe boredom, prepare me for september as well as being useful throughout the first year, it would be much appreciated.
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AesopRock
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#2
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I'm in the same kinda mood and literally just about half an hour ago I bought this:

http://www.amazon.co.uk/exec/obidos/...337624-4870312
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1/4
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Yeah perhaps a list of a few must reads before applying would be good...

keep me ocupied over the summer holidays...

Cheers
Guys
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jrhartley
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I think Christopher Alexander's - "A Pattern Language" should be on every architect's shelf. Its something that you'll find useful now and forever. I'd also recommend Herman Hertzberger's "Lessons for Students in Architecture", "A Shelter Sketchbook" (hard to get hold of but you can find it second hand on amazon) and "The Other Tradition of Modern Architecture" by Colin St. John Wilson.
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Flashmob
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(Original post by AesopRock)
I'm in the same kinda mood and literally just about half an hour ago I bought this:

http://www.amazon.co.uk/exec/obidos/...337624-4870312
I've had my eye on that for a while, i think i'l follow your lead.

I've also just added ways of seeing and the most beautiful house in the world to my basked.

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Ways-Seeing-...4360137&sr=8-1

http://www.amazon.co.uk/exec/obidos/...914444-1693262

From my school's suggested reading list.
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cc100
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Email your admissions tutor, who should give you some tips.
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jrhartley
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yes, its true that it makes sense to have read the books on the reading list (and to use the voucher to buy those books) but equally there's a lot to be said for reading stuff that your year tutor DOESN'T know about - as it means you will have different sources of inspiration. One of my bug bears about uni is that everyone reads the same magazines and gets told to read the same books = a lot of similarity between everyone's design approach = uninspiring.
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ArchiBoi
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Aesop,
Is that happiness book any good? I was considering ordering it but thought it might be a little dull..


lol if it arrives any time soon, could you tell me if it's worth buying?
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jrhartley
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its not bad. its the same as the perfect home series that you can find on avi on bittorrent and also as the speech he gave a few weeks ago that i linked to on this forum. it will take you about 2 hours to read it, its pretty succinct.
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ArchiBoi
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cheers mr. jr i'll have a skeg
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goodbyecasio
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(Original post by jrhartley)
yes, its true that it makes sense to have read the books on the reading list (and to use the voucher to buy those books) but equally there's a lot to be said for reading stuff that your year tutor DOESN'T know about - as it means you will have different sources of inspiration. One of my bug bears about uni is that everyone reads the same magazines and gets told to read the same books = a lot of similarity between everyone's design approach = uninspiring.
it's all well and good to say this, and i'm sure it will apply as we progress deeper into the degree but i think there are probably certain books that every architecture student should have come across as a starting point before trying to outdo their tutors and classmates. so jumping back to the beginning, what can i read?
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ArchiBoi
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outdo? lol madness.

If you want a generic first text try towards a new architecture by le corbusier.


but being generic or "out-doing" people isn't the mentality of good architects or good architectural students.

I do agree with JR on this issue;

If for example everyone used Corb as their inspiration, we'd have 70 villa savoye spin-offs, which are probably not very passionately completely.

Where as if everyone chose something they personally; found interesting it would be much better. Everyone would have their own unique and personal process of discovery. With everyone, weaving through there own architectural path you would get a lot more diversity in projects, and presentation.

It could; even; put an end to what we have come to recognise at the schools style; where basically every student is brainwashed or forced into designing in a similar way.

That's why we end up with "the aa style", the "bath style" , the "bartlett style" and overall it creates, about 30 odd styles within britain. Where as; if everyone was unique, we'd have thousands of different projects, styles, and presentation. Which I thinkj would be considerably more fruitful.
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jrhartley
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precisely. this isn't about trying "to get one over" on your tutor, its about trying to find something that appeals to you, as opposed to what the school rams down your throat and tells you is good. archiboi is right, most people are brainwashed into the house style, so its good to read something not on the list. i'd look at something like the Architecture Today series or The House Book which you can flick through, look at the pictures and see an architect or architect whose work speaks to you, and then go and do some more research on them - a lot of this you will be able to do on the web by looking at their online portfolio. the other books i've listed above are recommended for a theoretical introduction.
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goodbyecasio
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i think everyone's jumping the barrell a bit here - of course you want to work towards something original but everyone needs to gather a similar basic foundation of knowledge before stepping up to individuality. everyone needs to know le corbisier. it's like doing compulsory gcse's before choosing your own a-levels - you're going to need to know and read certain things just like everyone else, and i think it's a bit elitest to critisise or brush off magazines that everyone on your degree will read, sometimes it's the most obvious things that will spark off the most inventive thinking, because you manipulate it to make it your own, and i think that's what architecture is about. fair enough if you may know it all already, but you have to remember, not everyone else does.

and by trying to "find something your tutor doesn't know about" you're obviously seeking to 'outdo' them in that sense, which is how i meant it. hardly madness.
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9mm
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Have you read "Green Architecture" (with the Jean-Marie Tjibaou Cultural Centre on the frontcover) by James Wines? If not, I'd really recommend it. He talks about eco-philosophy, green history, organic architecture, urbanism etc. The works of architects such as Jean Nouvel, Renzo Piano, Peter Vetsch, Jersey Devil, Frank Lloyd Wright and Louis Sullivan are also included.
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Hispanic-Impressions
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At the moment I'm reading "Visionary Architecture: Blueprints of the Modern Imagination" by Neil Spiller and "Theories and Manifestoes of Contemporary Architecture" by Charles Jencks and Karl Kropf.
The latter is pretty.. heavy. I can only handle a couple of pages at a time, heh.
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jrhartley
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(Original post by goodbyecasio)
i think everyone's jumping the barrell a bit here - of course you want to work towards something original but everyone needs to gather a similar basic foundation of knowledge before stepping up to individuality. everyone needs to know le corbisier. it's like doing compulsory gcse's before choosing your own a-levels - you're going to need to know and read certain things just like everyone else, and i think it's a bit elitest to critisise or brush off magazines that everyone on your degree will read, sometimes it's the most obvious things that will spark off the most inventive thinking, because you manipulate it to make it your own, and i think that's what architecture is about. fair enough if you may know it all already, but you have to remember, not everyone else does.

and by trying to "find something your tutor doesn't know about" you're obviously seeking to 'outdo' them in that sense, which is how i meant it. hardly madness.
I wholeheartedly disagree. you realise this is not a science, right, so there aren't answers. What Corb wrote were his opinions, not fact. Sure, if you want to learn the names of different types of columns and greek mouldings, you can sit around and learn those, but when it comes to just getting up to speed, there aren't really set texts and anything you are told to read will just be governed by the preference / leaning of the school. so one school might tell you to reads vers une architecture, another might tell you to read "analysing architecture" by simon unwin. one isn't better than the other necessarily, and one isn't more "right" than the other - that's the whole pont. so none of this is about elitism or showing off or trying to get one up on your tutor, its about trying to bring a range of interesting opinions to the discussion and therefore make the whole process more interesting for everyone, your tutors included. if everyone just read "vers une architecture" then the range of discussion topics on your first tutorial are going to be pretty limited. variety is the spice of life, and this is particularly true in architecture. please don't think this is a case of trying to show off, its just a way to encourage diversity of opinions which, as a rule, will make your studies a lot more interesting.
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