If Gordon Cullen's book 'The Concise Townscape' were required reading for anyone entering an architectural education, the level of discourse on design would skyrocket. Cullen puts to words and images some of the more intangible qualities of space that nevertheless affect how we view our surroundings. It is, in my opinion, a categorization of experiences... discussing things like 'serial vision' (the progression of visual experience as one moves along a path) 'outdoor room and indoor landscape', 'looking into enclosure', 'viscosity', etc. etc. This book is more than a dictionary or thesaurus of spatial terms, however. It is primarily a book on experience- getting to the heart of how a space actually feels; how it is occupied, how it CAN be occupied, and what are the qualities that make it that way. If read for what it truly is, it renders the current fashion of architectural pornography rather silly.
And this, my friend, is where its true strength in Academia comes into play. Sexy renderings only take one so far, but your design professor has most likely read this book. Understanding Cullen's work will bring the discourse up, and move your work beyond a visual one-liner.
But that's just my opinion, and I could be wrong.