1st Edition

Building Meaning An Architecture Studio Primer on Design, Theory, and History

By Tamara Metz Copyright 2022
    286 Pages 270 Color Illustrations
    by Routledge

    286 Pages 270 Color Illustrations
    by Routledge

    Building Meaning: An Architecture Studio Primer on Design, Theory, and History is an essential introduction to the complex relationship between form making, historical analysis, and conceptual explorations. This book focuses on the relationship and interdependence between design, theory, and history for an innovative and holistic studio approach.

    Rather than suggest a singular narrative, this book draws from a diverse range of thinkers and designers to highlight the many interpretations of key architectural concepts, and provides readers with the context essential for developing their own approaches to any design problem.

    Building Meaning is organized to reflect the typical studio process, with stand-alone chapters that provide flexibility for use at any stage of design. The ideal book for beginning and intermediate architecture students, it gives specific methods to apply in the studio to make the most of the design process, as well as focused exercises to creatively explore each concept presented. Illustrated with more than 250 color images, it enables readers to engage and understand critically the genesis of architectural ideas and their role in our social and cultural experience.


    1. Context

    2. Inhabitation

    3. Building Organization

    4. Form

    5. Nature

    6. Tectonics and Materiality

    7. Representation

    8. Design Methodologies


    Tamara Metz, adjunct professor in the Architectural Design Department at the Massachusetts College of Art and Design in Boston, is an architectural educator with more than 20 years’ teaching experience. She previously taught both undergraduate and graduate studio courses, as well as advanced drawing and research seminars at Suffolk University, Roger Williams University, and the Boston Architectural Center. She studied architecture and philosophy as an undergraduate at the University of Virginia, and went on to earn the Masters in Architecture degree, with honors, at the Harvard Graduate School of Design. She has worked in top design offices, including (among others) those of Peter Rose + Partners and Brian Healy Architects.