Études for Architects  book cover
1st Edition

Études for Architects

ISBN 9781138632240
Published July 9, 2018 by Routledge
270 Pages 190 Color Illustrations

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Book Description

Organized around a series of pedagogical exercises, this book provides a visual journey through a series of games architects can play as a means to design. Aimed specifically at beginner design students, learning objectives include: computational thinking and making, introduction to design as an iterative, reflective, and rigorous process, ideas of continuity and discontinuity, and understanding the bias and constraints of analog and digital tooling. The text is simple and straightforward to understand and in addition the author draws explanatory diagrams to elaborate on each exercise's description. He also includes visually compelling student work to provide insight into the possibilities of each exercise. Finally, the book includes eighteen case studies from Europe, the USA, Mexico, and Asia to inspire and inform.

Table of Contents

1. Noun and Verb  2. Making with Rules  3. Shapes Carving Shapes  4. Plane Surface Volume  5. Curves with Lines  6. Scale and Material  7. Case Studies  Bibliography

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Joseph Choma is the founder of the Design Topology Lab, an interdisciplinary design research practice. He completed his graduate studies in design and computation at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, USA. Currently, Joseph teaches within the School of Architecture at Clemson University, USA.


"This book offers a critical alternative to oppositional thinking by providing a rule-based intellectual construct through which many generative and representational media are able to converse. In a world that has already internalized computational potentials and imperatives, this book helps to demystify the apparent complexities of technical procedures by bringing a renewed focus on the conceptual."

Nader Tehrani, Dean and Professor, Irwin S. Chanin School of Architecture at The Cooper Union and Principal of NADAAA, USA.


"Études for Architects is a timely manual for simplifying complexity in geometric and parametric form/space making. Here analog and digital techniques are presented as of equal value in establishing a rule-based design process that encourages speculation and innovation. The how to and why approach is generously illustrated with exemplary student work (drawings and models) and supported by contemporary building case studies that move us from the abstract to possible realities. A must have operational guide for students, teachers, and designers for generating elegance in form."

Marlon Blackwell, FAIA, E. Fay Jones Distinguished Professor, Fay Jones School of Architecture and Design at the University of Arkansas and Principal of Marlon Blackwell Architects, USA.


"Albers grounds art and design education in ongoing experience – ‘To start out by "playing" develops courage, leads in a natural manner to an inventive way of building and furthers . . . [design] discovery.’ Choma’s études do the same with equal if not greater force for today’s design studio – with computers and, I am delighted to add, without. This is a marvelous achievement."

George Stiny Professor of Design and Computation, School of Architecture and Planning at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, USA.