How Architects Write (Paperback) book cover

How Architects Write

By Tom Spector, Rebecca Damron

© 2013 – Routledge

208 pages

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pub: 2012-08-09
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About the Book

This is the first writing reference book for designers. Whether you're an architect, landscape architect, interior designers, or an industrial designer How Architects Write shows you the interdependence of writing and design. Authors Tom Spector and Rebecca Damron present typical writing assignments and explain principles of effective writing by including examples of good form and illustrating common pitfalls.

The book includes resources for how to write a designer’s manifesto, statements of design intent, criticism, thesis, proposals, review statements, research reports, specifications, field reports, client communications, post-occupancy evaluations, and e-mailed meeting agendas so that you can navigate your career from school to the profession.


"Drawings are clearly the primary medium of communication by architects, but skill in using the written word is often essential to explain, justify, or persuade. How Architects Write illustrates different styles of writing for specific circumstances and, while there are books for architects on 'letter writing', 'report writing,' or 'thesis writing', no other single volume encompasses such a variety of examples with so thoughtful a commentary."

Sebastian Macmillan, Department of Architecture, University of Cambridge, UK

"How Architects Write is both a practical yet surprisingly poetic compliment to the way architects think. The relation in the mind between thinking in words and thinking in images is both subtle and elusive. Picture a red rose – the imagination can recall the color and the delicate complexity in the layering of petals, but only words can convey and give precision to the variable affect the rose has on the senses. And this is what an effective use of words can give to the creative process of the architect. It is the only critical means of defining and enhancing intention."

Alan Balfour, School of Architecture, Georgia Institute of Technology, USA

"It's hoped that the entire architectural community will welcome How Architects Write as a valuable textbook that has arrived in the nick of time."

Gordon S. Grice, NY Journal of Books

"It is an all encompassing book and first of its kind in this field."

Kunal Rakshit, Dept. of Architecture, Jadavpur University

Table of Contents

1. How (and Why) Architects Write 2. Design Journals 3. History Term Papers 4. Project Descriptions 5. Research Reports and Analyses 6. Business Documents 7. Statements of Design Philosophy and Manifestos 8. Theses

About the Authors

Tom Spector is a practicing architect and a professor at the Oklahoma State University School of Architecture.

Rebecca Damron is an assistant professor of English and director of the Writing Center at Oklahoma State University.

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
ARCHITECTURE / Design, Drafting, Drawing & Presentation
ARCHITECTURE / Study & Teaching
ARCHITECTURE / Professional Practice
ART / General
ART / Criticism & Theory
ART / Study & Teaching
DESIGN / General
DESIGN / Graphic Arts / General
DESIGN / History & Criticism
DESIGN / Industrial
DESIGN / Interior Decorating
DESIGN / Product
DESIGN / Reference