What Adults Don’t Know About Architecture

What Adults Don’t Know About Architecture
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This insightful title explores children’s relationship with and understanding of architecture and its impact on their world. Children are rarely introduced properly to architecture, but there are in fact few subjects more important—because the quality of the architecture that surrounds us has such an impact on our mood and sense of well-being. The bitter truth is that in modern times we’ve built a world that’s far too often ugly or charmless—and we’ve done so because very few people ever feel they have the right to comment on what gets built around them. This is a chance for the next generation to develop the tools to talk about architecture with confidence, knowledge, and passion. It tells us about what a satisfying building is, what makes a street enticing (or not), why some cities are charming and others repel us—and how we might build going forward in a way that will reliably delight and uplift us. This engaging guide is designed to help children (and their favorite adults) to understand how buildings work and how we might create the better looking world we all crave and deserve.


Группа авторов. What Adults Don’t Know About Architecture


You’re an architect!

Without quite knowing it, you have designed buildings: you’re an architect!

In other words, you realise that some places are much nicer than others

We want to understand how to get more good architecture into the world

Why is architecture important?

We think that what a place looks like matters a lot

We shape our buildings and afterwards our buildings shape us. How buildings are like people

Imagine a world in which more buildings speak to us about the nicest things. Why are so many places ugly?

We think we can’t say what beauty is

What is beauty?

Classical architecture followed a recipe, just like one you’d find in a cookbook

People could build lots and lots of buildings that would all match up

An astonishing number of places ended up looking chaotic, muddled and unfriendly

We’re in trouble because we have stopped making very beautiful buildings and places

The recipe for good architecture

Explaining why you like what you like

You have to go from a feeling to an explanation

What did they do here that makes this place nice? What’s the recipe?

We want you to build a beautiful city — not a pretend one, a real one!

The hard (and most important) part is understanding what is best to build

Make your city interesting

It’s helpful to think about why we don’t like both the boring and the chaotic places

You need to have a strong, simple pattern with plenty of variation in the details. Become a team manager

What made them such a great team was the way they played together

The manager gets the players to work well together as a team

In architecture, good ‘teams’ work together to create beautiful places

Make things the right size

The idea of size can help us to describe what we like and don’t like in architecture

Being on a human scale means that spaces and buildings feel like they were designed to fit in with our bodies

There’s nothing wrong with buildings being big. What matters is why they are big

Beauty is important

If you want to make a building big, make sure it has something genuinely lovely and significant to say

Use nice materials

The lesson here is that there is not one particular kind of material that’s automatically better than another

Develop a local style

Is it bad if everywhere looks the same?

Each building tells a story about who lives there and what they care about

People like buildings to look like they remember the past — but also look ready for the future. Make the city lively

This way of living makes us feel isolated and a lot of people get lonely

A lively, compact city

We thought we wanted suburbs but what we really wanted was liveliness

Make all functional buildings beautiful

Beauty might be the key to saving the planet. Repetition is good

A recipe is the best way of confidently making attractive streets and cities

Find places you really like and ask yourself: What’s the recipe here?

Why are houses so expensive?

Is it really buildings that people object to?

The problem is our ideas

Architecture and democracy

We think the idea of democracy could help us to build much nicer cities

Architects want to build things that excite other architects

Make buildings and cities that most people like and to make lots and lots of them

Image References

Отрывок из книги

An Introduction to Architecture

You’re an architect!


Become a team manager

Make things the right size


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