"Good design," Francis D.K. Ching says, "often unnoticed, quietly facilitates the activities of everyday life. It is the architect's challenge to create spaces that are perfectly attuned to the activities that take place within them."
If you're interested in architecture as a career or for a field of study, there are three (3) indispensable books that break down architecture to its most fundamental meaning:
In this 400-page, softcover book, you'll find literally hundreds and hundreds of beautifully hand-drawn illustrations of international and historical structures.
Ching offers a step-by-step explanation of how theory and inspiration--what architects called, "The Design Process," are used to create structure or optimize space for habitats ("interior design"), city planning ("urbanism") or industrial design.
The book also has several chapters devoted to ancient architecture.
I tutor an Architectural Group of my local University of the Third Age and am always interested to see new ways of introducing lay people to the subject. Francis Ching's book takes an unusual approach which adds a new dimension to the methods of teaching people the principles and pleasures of architectural design.