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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars wonderful for aspiring architects or people with imagination!
This is such a wonderful book and with so many different applications. It is very inspiring for those who want to follow an architectural pathway or just those who want to design their dream house or just plain doodle. I was really surprised to find such an interesting tome, although I ordered it just to see if it could be applicable to my older nephew now intent on...
Published 4 months ago by rhosymynydd

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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Who is this for?
I really like many aspects of this book (and I should make it clear from the start that I write as someone who is neither an architect nor student of the discipline, just someone with an interest in the built environment AND drawing/printmaking): it contains some attractive architectural drawings; it gives examples of many classic architectural elements, and gives...
Published 4 months ago by S. J. Williams


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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Who is this for?, 7 Dec 2013
By 
S. J. Williams "stevejw2" (Leeds, West Yorkshire United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Archi-Doodle: An Architect's Activity Book (Paperback)
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I really like many aspects of this book (and I should make it clear from the start that I write as someone who is neither an architect nor student of the discipline, just someone with an interest in the built environment AND drawing/printmaking): it contains some attractive architectural drawings; it gives examples of many classic architectural elements, and gives illustrations of a number of key exemplars (so, 25 small sketches of approaches to roofing a space, wall structures, windows etc) and invites the reader to provide other examples; there are pages where examples of a design style are illustrated (eg De Stijl, Bauhaus); sections devoted to interesting approaches to functional features, such as chimneys; how buildings and their context can be 'greened' or incorporate water in their design.

Where I feel it falls badly short is that some of the problems the reader is asked to solve or consider seem absurdly overambitious given the input from the text. For example, six bridge types are illustrated on one page: opposite, is a location where a bridge is required and one is asked to design a new bridge for that location, without any reference anyway to the fact that bridge design is not subject purely to aesthetic whim! An illustration of Dubai's Palm Islands prompt the challenge 'design your own new island community'. The facade of Casa Batllo is presented and the reader is asked, with no more guidance or authorial input to 'design the external envelope of a building that resembles something in nature!' A reasonable challenge for someone with a bit of prior learning or experience, but for most readers? That challenge seems to me so scattershot in its focus as to be almost meaningless: and I can't help thinking that anyone capable of having an interesting crack at doing these things would not be someone who would consider buying this book because they would have the experience and knowledge to make the book redundant and simplistic: those who, like me, want a bit of guidance and inspiration to do anything beyond a random scribble will find it severely lacking because it doesn't tell you enough to make the task meaningful. Over and over again I found the book pretty irritating in this regard. There is little reference to a key element of architectural practice - the marrying of function, environment and aesthetics. (To parody a little, imagine an art book that said 'These are some examples of portraits: now draw someone you know'.)

I could imagine say a young teenager with an artistic or architectural bent getting pleasure from it, but not the audience suggested in the introduction, nor someone like myself with an interest in drawing and buildings.

Added to which, as another reviewer has correctly commented, the paper is pretty dreadful for sketching: similar to a colouring in book, something which, for all the book's apparent ambition, is essentially what it is.

Perhaps I'm not entering into the spirit of the text. Perhaps: but I think I was expecting something a little more engaging than a book which, despite interesting ambitions, seems to me little more than 'design a stocking filler'! I really should love this book, but I really don't.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars For the budding Architecture student, 9 Dec 2013
By 
Fletch-a-sketch "Fletch" (Wiltshire, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Archi-Doodle: An Architect's Activity Book (Paperback)
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For the budding student who is good at art and wants to be an architect come Archi-doodle, a book which covers many architect drawing styles and offers pages to `copy' or even `change and enhance' already drawn pictures.

A timely book my daughter is taking her options and wants to be an architect so what better way to encourage her with her plans for the future.

A winner for her but not possibly for everyone, though it can be used as an aid to the budding artist as well..
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars wonderful for aspiring architects or people with imagination!, 5 Dec 2013
By 
rhosymynydd "liz" (west wales) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Archi-Doodle: An Architect's Activity Book (Paperback)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
This is such a wonderful book and with so many different applications. It is very inspiring for those who want to follow an architectural pathway or just those who want to design their dream house or just plain doodle. I was really surprised to find such an interesting tome, although I ordered it just to see if it could be applicable to my older nephew now intent on commercial drawing but it was do delightful I had to keep it for myself to play with.

It does have some very good coneptual ideas and especially advises on drawing odd items like staircases and pet accommodation. Highly recommended for anyone with an architectural bent.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic book for children OR adults, 5 Dec 2013
By 
Mrs. Alison Taylor (Grantham, Lincs, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Archi-Doodle: An Architect's Activity Book (Paperback)
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I used to do a lot of drawing and sketching in my youth, and now in my fifties find I have some spare time again to take up one of my favourite hobbies. This book is great as a guide to get you sketching buildings, giving you examples to follow yourself. After a bit of practice you should be able to draw buildings without assistance.

The only criticism I would have is on the quality of the paper, which feels similar to that of cheaper colouring books. Had the paper quality been better, I would have given it five stars.
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5.0 out of 5 stars My 7 year old loves it., 23 Mar 2014
This review is from: Archi-Doodle: An Architect's Activity Book (Paperback)
My young son has an interest in architecture and as soon as I saw this I knew he'd love it. He needs a bit of help explaining what each page is asking for but he is really enjoying it. He keeps asking if he can work on it. I assume that it is aimed at adults but children with an interest will enjoy it too.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Time to Play!, 20 Feb 2014
By 
Mr. C. C. Barrett "worldismyoyster" (Suffolk, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Archi-Doodle: An Architect's Activity Book (Paperback)
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The feel of this book is great: suitably squashy and nicely weighty, it just begs the user to start sketching straightaway. The basic premise is to complete or embellish a series of line drawings by meeting a particular challenge, such as drawing a suspension bridge between two islands. The challenges do require a little previous architectural knowledge, but in no way do you need to be a qualified engineer or architect to do this - and I believe the main drive of the book is to increase a person's creativity. Some of the tasks are all about finding very pragmatic solutions, whereas others lead to much wilder, futuristic impulses. A great gift for the professional who needs to inject a bit more play into their career, or for the architectural enthusiast who wants to play at being designer.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Great for the aspiring architect, 14 Feb 2014
This review is from: Archi-Doodle: An Architect's Activity Book (Paperback)
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My 10 year old son wants to be an architect. he loves examining structures and how they are used and then coming up with his own designs for similar purposes. This book has kept his interest, though he does require help now and again as it is complicated in places.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Good for artistic children too!, 16 Jan 2014
By 
Pam Dhinsa "Book Girl" (London, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Archi-Doodle: An Architect's Activity Book (Paperback)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I got this book for my nine year old daughter who is very artistic and loves to draw. She seems to enjoy drawing and adding to the architectural drawings in this book. I was a bit hesitant about giving it to her as I thought it might be too difficult for her but she is doing really well with it.

Here is her comment on the book:
'it was very factual and interesting because you not only get to draw and design your own buildings you also find out facts such as which is the tallest building in the world'.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Releases the creative juices, 16 Jan 2014
By 
leftfooter "leftfooter" (UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Archi-Doodle: An Architect's Activity Book (Paperback)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I got this book for my young daughter, who has expressed a desire to be an architect in the future, and it has been a great success. She loves to doodle and will draw on anything at any time, creating worlds of her own. However, having looked at some of the other reviews, I can see this is not the case for all.
The author is an architect himself, and although he states that he assumes no prior knowledge in the reader, I suspect it is difficult for him to remember that some things he knows by instinct actually come from years of learning and experience.

I think it is important for any potential buyer of this book to understand what it does, and what it does not.

The format is incredibly simple to explain. Each double-page spread consists of drawings and text from the author on the left, and then a largely empty space on the right (possibly just with some landscape, the outline of a room or the foundations of a building). In brief text the author illustrates some aspect of architecture, using "classic" examples from around the world, and then challenges the reader to "create their own".

Clearly, this is focussed largely on the imaginative, creative side of architecture, and not on issues of structural integrity, construction practicality and the like. This is not a book for someone who feels constrained to draw realistic, feasible buildings. Rather it is to encourage flights of fancy.

I think this is no bad thing. In years gone by, drawing was an essential skill for architects, requiring accuracy and technical precision. These days, 99% of architecture is done using computer design, which takes care of many aspects of engineering calculation, etc. However, the need for imagination, challenging convention and creating objects of true beauty remains. This book is aimed at releasing that inspiration.

At a rough count, there are 75 double-page spreads, covering every aspect of architecture from tower blocks and bridges to stairs, windows and door-handles. Not every page will inspire you, but there is something in here for anyone interested in what makes a building "work" as a piece of art.

My only criticism would be that, although the author encourages the reader to use coloured pencils, paint, etc., the book itself is entirely black line drawings. This is probably to keep costs down, but misses the chance to show the reader how inspired use of colour can make architecture sing.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Cannot recommend too highly, wonderful and inspirational, 16 Jan 2014
By 
Jo Bennie (UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Archi-Doodle: An Architect's Activity Book (Paperback)
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Despite the intimidating title this isn't a book just for architects, it's for anyone who is interested in buildings. Our copy has been slowly and deliciously devoured by both me and my 10-year old daughter, and I've recommended it to anyone who will listen.

Archi-doodle is a landscape A4 sized 160 page book and on every page is a task with inspiration, for instance, sketches of the world's tallest buildings with space for your own, famous buildings cut in half vertically for you to complete, sneakily learning about the buildings (Taj Mahal and Eiffel Tower) as you go, bridges to complete over a canyon, road and estuary and on and on. This is simply an enchanting book, introducing thorough creative fun all the major figures and movements in world architecture, from Gaudi to Bauhaus, windows, roofs and islands to underwater cities.
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Archi-Doodle: An Architect's Activity Book
Archi-Doodle: An Architect's Activity Book by Steve Bowkett (Paperback - 14 Oct 2013)
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