The Book Every Future Architect Should Read

Neufert, is a reference book for spatial requirements in building design and site planning. First published in 1936 by Ernst Neufert, its 39 German editions and translations into 17 languages have sold over 500,000 copies. The first English version was published in 1970 and was translated from the original German by Rudolf Herz. The book is conceived to help the initial design of buildings by providing extensive information about spatial requirements. Dealing mostly with ergonomics and with functional building layouts, thousands of drawings illustrate the text, organised according to building typologies. Weighting now slightly less than two kilograms, it has been continuously updated.

Reference from the book

Architects’ Data first appeared in English in 1970,nearly thirty-five years after Ernst Neufert published his rules for building design’—Bauentwurfslehre—based on his lectures at the Building Technical College in Weimar. He had arranged in one book or convenient reference during design work, data on the spatial needs of man in his home, his work place and his leisure ,and on his animals, tools and belongings. The book clearly met a need: in 1979 the 30th German edition appeared; it has also been published in Spanish (12editions), Italian(5), French(5), Portuguese(3), Serbo croat(3), and in Russian, Greek and Turkish; but before he present, only one edition in English, which came late on the scene. The book is available in Arabic too.

Neufert’s involvement in the standardization of architectural dimensions and building practices, for which he is best known, started in 1926, when he began teaching at the Staatliche Bauhochschule in Weimar. Here, a compulsory module for new students was Schnellentwerfen (fast design), which allowed a very limited time to develop architectural solutions to a given brief. The academic catalog from 1929 described the class: Schnellentwerfen (fast design), which allowed a very limited time to develop architectural solutions to a given brief.

The publication of Architect’s Data in 1936 was the high point of Neufert’s long, uninterrupted career. Its German title, Bauentwurfslehre, translates literally as “teachings on building design,” more forceful than the neutral Architect’s Data. The work is simultaneously a handbook, a textbook, and a reference; it is a didactic treatise rather than a mere repository of data. An equivalent of sorts, the Metric Handbook, was published in 1968 for a British readership and according to United Kingdom standards, and has sold about 100,000 copies. Possibly this was the impetus for the English-language edition of Neufert’s to me, released only in 1970. 

You can download the book from here for free

The source of the material

1- https://archive.org/details/Architectural_Standard_Ernst_Peter_Neufert_Architects_Data

2- https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Architects%27_Data

3- https://www.archdaily.com/881889/neufert-the-exceptional-pursuit-of-the-norm

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Free Architecture Online-Learning

COVID-19 has changed education forever, and this is how. Research suggests that online-learning has been shown to increase the retention of information. It takes less time which concludes that the COVID-19 pandemic has changed education forever, and changes might be here to stay. More students keen to undertake online courses on digital platforms. Some criticize that how long this adoption of online learning will continue, especially that the shift away happened suddenly. However, the statistics showed that even before the pandemic, online learning was already high growth with more than US$18.66 billion in 2019 investments in EdTech. There are my language apps, video conferencing, online learning software, and online tutorials that significantly have been surged.

While some believe that the unplanned and rapid move to online learning – with no training, insufficient bandwidth, and little preparation – will result in a poor user experience that is unconducive to sustained growth, others believe that a new hybrid model of education will emerge, with significant benefits. “I believe that the integration of information technology in education will be further accelerated and that online education will eventually become an integral component of school education,“ says Wang Tao, Vice President of Tencent Cloud and Vice President of Tencent Education.

There are some obstacles with the use of online learning. Some students struggle to get reliable internet access or the technology to participate in digital learning. Huge gaps between countries, in Switzerland, 95% of students have the access to computers to use for their learning, that number drops drastically in Indonesia with only 34% of students have access to technology and the use of computers.

For those who do have access to the right technology, there is evidence that learning online can be more effective in a number of ways. Some research shows that on average, students retain 25-60% more material when learning online compared to only 8-10% in a classroom. This is mostly due to the students being able to learn faster online; e-learning requires 40-60% less time to learn than in a traditional classroom setting because students can learn at their own pace, going back and re-reading, skipping, or accelerating through concepts as they choose

We are marching to a new era of globalization, more knowledge opportunities, and managing between working hours and education became easier. We listed (according to arch2o.com) the 20 best free online college courses on architecture, we hope you can take full advantage of them.

  1. Making Architecture at IE School of Architecture & Design
  2. Practices for Sustainable Architecture at Philadelphia University
  3. Principles for Sustainable Design at Philadelphia University
  4. Engineering: Building with Nature at TU Delft
  5. The Art of Structural Engineering: Bridges at Princeton University
  6. Principles of Designing for Humans at University of Michigan
  7. Architecture Studio: Building in Landscapes at MIT
  8. History of Chinese Architecture at Tsinghua University
  9. A Global History of Architecture at MIT
  10. Frank Lloyd Wright and the 20th Century at Open Online Academy
  11. Exploring architecture, buildings and monuments through the ages at Alison
  12. Four Facets of Contemporary Japanese Architecture: Theory at the University of Tokyo
  13. The Architectural Imagination at Harvard
  14. The Search for Vernacular Architecture of Asia at The University of Hong Kong
  15. Contemporary Architecture at Open Online Academy
  16. Modern Japanese Architecture: From Meiji Restoration to Today at Tokyo Tech
  17. Future Cities at ETH Zurich
  18. Smart Cities at ETH Zurich
  19. Designing Cities at University of Pennsylvania
  20. Quality of Life: Livability in Future Cities at ETH Zurich

Source of material: www.weforum.org, www.oecd.org/pisa/, www.arch2o.com

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Architectural Vocabulary

As architects we love to use sophisticated words, as for students of architecture, you need to learn them. Those vocabularies varied in complexity, they can be as simple as “fabric”, or complicated as “Corbusier vernacular”. They are used for description or method of understanding and thinking.

Using architectural terms by architects can lead to misunderstanding by the general public outside the industry. Architects find themselves dumping down their language to more simplified terms and familiar dialogs. However, we as architects, do enjoy exploring the notion of something and there are many comprehensive words that we hope to refresh your memory. We also hope that those terms can be used by many architects and introduced to the public for the first time.

Students are encouraged to use architectural vocabulary in their dialogues which help them to demonstrate their ideas and promote their understanding of the subject. Learning architectural vocabulary is essential during presentations of projects and discussions.

The list is very long, but we decided to list some of them as we will be consistently adding them by time.

Adjacencies – Convenient alignment of two different concepts.

Aesthetic – The appearance of something.

Ambiguity – The state of being undefined; a looseness.

Archway – An opening with a curved or pointed top.

Architectural Symmetry – Characteristic by which the two sides of a facade or architectural floor plan of a building present mirror images of one another.

Bespoke – Individual and unique.

Bracket – A projection from a vertical surface that provides structural and/or visual support for overhanging elements.

Cantilever – A long projecting element fixed at only one end, with no columns to support it.

Casement Window – A window frame that is hinged on one vertical side, and which swings open to either the inside or the outside of the building.

Catalyst – An event or object that sparks a radical change or idea.

Classical Architecture – Architecture modelled after the buildings of ancient Greece and Rome.

Colonnade – A range of columns that supports a string of continuous arches or a horizontal entablature.

Column – A supporting structural pillar.

Concept – The single most important part and driving force behind a design.

Contemporary – Current and up to date design.

Context – The existing state and history of a site.

Corbusian – Inspired / reminiscent of the French architect Le Corbusier.

Courtyard – An open space, usually open to the sky, enclosed by a building.

Curvilinear – A form that has curves.

Deconstruction – A style of architecture which describes the separation of a design into its own constituent parts.

Diagrammatic – Sophistically simple to read.  

Dimension – The length of something.

Dissonance – A lack of correlation between two ideas.

Domesticity – A description of a place’s homeliness.

Dynamic – Something which has many combined working parts.

Elevation – The outside skin of a building, room or object.

Ergonomy – How well something has been designed for use by humans.

Explores the notion – Tests and investigates the idea of something.

Exposed Rafters – Rafters that not covered.

Fabric – The skin a building or a city.

Facade – An exterior wall, or face, of a building.

Floor Plan – The arrangement of rooms in a building.

Free-flowing Floor Plan – A simple and uncomplicated floor plan in which everything just works.

Gable Roof – A roof with two slopes – front and rear– joining at a single ridge line parallel to the entrance façade.

Grain – The substance of a place.

Hierarchy – Describes and orders elements into relative importance.

Hipped Roof – A roof with four sloped sides. The sides meet at a ridge at the center of the roof.

Holistic – Demonstrating a commitment to thinking things through properly.

Homogeneous – A collection of objects demonstrating the same characteristics.

Human scale – Used to describe the space in a building.

Iconic – Visually striking …a one off.

Inspiration – A form of concept that gives a project a starting point or next step

Juxtaposition – Two opposites placed together for increased effect (old and new).

Kitsch – Design considered to be in poor taste because of excessive garishness or sentimentality.

Language – How a building is read and appears.

Legibility – The quality in which the above ‘language’ can be read.

Map out – Think about.

Masonry – Being of stone, brick, or concrete.

Massing – A simple arrangement of the to-be designed spaces.

Metaphor – A figure of speech in which a word or phrase is applied to an object or action to which it is not literally applicable.

Miesian – Inspired / reminiscent of the German-American architect Mies Van Der Rohe (a lot of glass).

Modular – Describes a (simple) construction system for a building which could be added to indefinitely.

Morphology – The study of form, shape or structure.

Motifs – An important element of a design that is often repeated.

Negative/Positive space – For exampleUsed / unused, inside / outside, serve/served

Negotiate – Find a solution to a design problem.

Nodes – The connecting point of a network, usually of roads or paths..

Organic – Natural and often curvy in appearance.

Parapet– A low wall, located at the top of any sudden drop, such as at the top of the facade of a building.

Parametric – A design principle and method created by algorithms.

Penetrate – To go into.

Permaculture – The development of agricultural ecosystems intended to be sustainable and self-sufficient.

Phenomenology – A sensory understanding of human consciousness and the objects of direct experience.

Pillar – A structural support, similar to a column.

Play with – Experiment and test a design of notion.

Projection – A side wing, tower, or window bay that protrudes from a building.

Push/Pull – To extrude and collapse forms.

Regenerate – To improve and bring back to life.

Regionalism – The theory or practice of regional rather than central systems of administration or economic, cultural, or political affiliation.

Scale – The size of something.

Section – A vertical, horizontal, or diagonal cut that results in the removal of one of the selected parts to reveal it’s the objects inner elements

Sequence – A defined order of items.

Skin – The outermost layer of the building …its external material.

Solid/Void – A special design concept that explores spaces between and within buildings.

Space – Another way of describing an exterior or interior area.

Spatial composition – How a building and its parts sit together and interact with its context.

Sustainability – A measure for how environmentally friendly a building is.

Tectonics/Architectonics – The expressive elements of a design, usually shown in how different parts are joined together.

Threshold – The boundary between two spaces, often marked by a door, change of flooring, or similar change.

Transparency/Opacity – The measure of how visible an object is through another (looking through a window into a room for example) .

Truncated – A shape with its corners chopped off.

Typology – The language and features of an object or environment.

Uniformity – The arrangement of objects that are the same or similar to one another.

Vernacular Architecture – Vernacular architecture responds to local methods of building construction, local climates, and local living needs and traditions.

Verticality – A measure of tallness and uprightness.

Source of material: archisoup.com

Math and Architecture

If you ever thought about being an architect but thought you could not handle the math, you are not alone. At parties across the land, as soon as someone finds out there is an architect in the crowd, there is a story being told about how they wanted to be an architect but since they could not draw or were not very good at math, they decided to do something else.

Do I need some math skills to draw sections and calculations? Absolutely, but none of this is magic and absolutely none of it requires trigonometry, calculus, or physics. So be easy on yourself.

I want to cover in this short article, which was originally written by Bob Borson in 2015 with lifeofanarchitect.com, how architecture and math are connected. So many people think that if you want to be an architect you have to be very good at math or drawing. In a short statement, it is not. However, in school you need to pass all your subjects to be qualified and get your degree, some architectural licensing exams require that you be good at math.

We all know that we studied different levels of mathematics in high school and college, but rarely you face that during your life as an architect. If you really think that architecture is the right choice for you, do not let math stand in your way.

The architect Lee Calisti mentioned that math should never be the factor to keep you out from architecture, in fact, you will never use complex equations like calculus in your job. However, you may need to adapt simple algebra quantities and trigonometry to deal with the array of dimensions, quantities, area, volume, and other geometric relationships. This plays into spatial thinking and patterns.

Evan Troxel, an architect, mentioned that it is good to be decent in math. For example, we are constantly adding and subtracting measurements, thicknesses, volumes, and areas. We work with spreadsheets that tally sizes of spaces and everything has to all add up. Geometry is math, right? Yes, it is. Drawing + Math = Awesome. That is one reason we’re architects and not artists.

As for architecture school, an article published on theguardian, said that different universities require different courses. More artistic subjects can prove useful, particularly where the technical drawing is involved. “There are myths around physics and maths,” says Liverpool University lecturer Emma Curtin. “We have students who’ve studied arts and humanities, math and science or design tech.”

I am here to tell you that you do not have to be great at math to be an architect.

Do I need some math skills to draw sections and calculations? Absolutely, but none of this is magic and absolutely none of it requires trigonometry, calculus, or physics. So be easy on yourself.

Source of material: lifeofanarchitect.com, theguardian.com

Drafting Equipment for Architects

A career in architecture brings a lifetime of opportunity to express your creativity and make a positive impact on the communities around you. Make sure you invest in quality equipment you can rely on throughout your career and that will stay dependable even as the architectural landscape shifts around you. Today, we list the important equipment that used to be very essential before the use of technology and computers.

What is the difference between design and drafting?

When it comes to engineering and architecture, design and drafting are a staple in those industries. Design is the initial phase of the project of any architectural endeavor which consists mostly of planning, whereas the drafting phase is the process in which the ideas come alive in the form of shapes and structures.

What are the different drafting tools?

Drafting tools are instruments that can be used for measurement and layout of drawings or to improve consistency and the speed for creating standard drawing elements.

  • Drawing tools
  • Pencil
  • Drafting board
  • T-square
  • Drafting machine
  • French Curves
  • Rulers
  • Compass
  • Templates
  • Perspective machines
  • Drawing materials
  • Drafting paper
  • Thick draft paper
  • Cloth
  • Tracing paper
  • Tracing tube
  • Inks
  • Dry transfer

What are the materials used in mechanical drafting?

The Mechanical Drawing Tools commonly used in mechanical drawings such as dividers, drawing boards, pencils, scales, triangles, and T-squares.

  • Compass Sets and Dividers
  • Drafting Tools
  • Drafting Kits
  • Drafting Scales
  • Trimmers & Cutting Tools
  • Parallel Straightedges
  • Drafting Triangles
  • Irregular Curves
  • Portable Drawing Boards

Source of material: engineersupply.com

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Keys to pass your first semester in Architecture School

You may not have studied or had the opportunity to study architecture before. It can be daunting prospect, especially for the first year.

The thought processes and projects that lie ahead of you (although very exciting) will likely present a whole new way of working and thinking, particularly in terms of the learning structure and techniques required to successfully pass them.

So here are few tips that will help you with your first semester of Architecture School

  • Design Studio class

Get to know your classmates, you will spend most of your times with them for the next five years. It creates a collaborative environment, provides a team working atmosphere to overcome difficult aspects of your project.

  • Be equipped

It is crucial, architecture is an expensive course. Make sure you have the right equipment from the pen to your laptop. There are many other drawing tools that you must prepare and should be with you all the time.

  • Be open-minded and learn from the others

Do not shut yourself from the others, learning brings back to the collaboration ethos of a studio environment and working with your peers

  • Keep your initial ideas private

Start your idea of your design privately, but once developed, share with the people around you and get them to critique and open discussion. It will help you see and highlight areas you might not seen

  • Attendance

Although architecture school can be self-directed study, extreme amount of absence will not be tolerated. You will miss valuable parts of the course and its content

  • Be active outdoor

Join a sport team or participate in other activities. Create friendships outside of architecture school. Architecture School can be an intense environment, but it will be over before you know it, make the most of it

  • Read

Reading can be a very beneficial to your self-growth, it also help with your initial ideas. Make sure you find 30 minutes of your time for reading

  • Have fun

Architecture is the most freest learning experience you would have, every new project brings a new challenge, methods and areas to learn, it’s fun

Today we just listed some of the important keys that will help you in your first year in Architecture School.

Make sure you research more about new tips and keys to be the best of you

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Comment down below on your experience as first year student in Architecture School and any other school

Do not be an architect, Unless!

You have dreams about being an architect?

You need to read the below points in order to be a successful architect. There are many tips which can help you to be a good architecture student, do not miss any of them.

You might think being an architect is very prestigious, think twice about that

Here are the common mistakes made by many architecture students:

  • Choosing the wrong field

You might think it’s cool to secure an architect job, but the fact is that you need to have passion and enjoy playing with colors, forms, and lines.

  • Wasting time

You must always insure to have the best design idea; however, wasting too much time might result in a hurried, last-minute submission of flimsy projects

  • Weak designs

Focus on complex compositions, be imaginative and innovative. Do not expect a good mark if you submit a poor and cheesy work. Producing a well-balanced design is always challenging, but it can be obtained by giving attention to you design.

  • Improvement

Turn your weakness into strengths. Practice always makes perfect, learn to use distracting mechanisms by flaunting your own strengths.

  • Development over time

It is what the examiners usually want, do not send negative signs by producing undeveloped work.

  •  Restarting your work

Many students have the habit to abandon the old work and start over. Notice that what seem “weak” to you might end up to be amazing design. Do not fall into the trap.

  • Copying others

Committing plagiarism is one of the gravest mistakes. It only shows that you are not qualified and the lack of originality and interest

  • Visual level

Architects should have an excellent, refined presentation. You should show your commitment and reflect how organized your work is.

  • Procrastination

It is one of the most common mistakes among architecture students. Many highly skillful students tend to procrastinate and delay their work, planning the process of your design is essential.

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Source of material: arch2o.com