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4.7 out of 5 stars
47
4.7 out of 5 stars


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on 20 May 2017
Artistic granddaughter requested this and was delighted with it.
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on 28 April 2017
A great doodle book for any young budding Architects out there.
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Format: Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( 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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on 15 October 2016
This book does a very hard task, it broaches a complex subject matter in a way that everyone can share delight in. From my 6 year old creating his own bridge, or recreating the right hand side of the Eiffel Tower. To informative and piecemeal learning of design professionals, or a thinking out of the box for education staff. Small exercises lead to great rewards in this well designed, impeccably thought out. I see these being a multiple buy, throughout the coming years. Thank you to the creators. Thank you very much.
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VINE VOICEon 9 December 2013
Format: Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
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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Every since I can remember, my daughter has insisted she wants to be an architect. Although this will undoubtedly change, I am always pleased to come across anything which will not only keep her occupied, but also enthuse her interest.

This is a large, paperback book, which is suitable for any age really – from children to adults. It has some great activities – for example, there is a picture of the Eiffel Tower which is half completed and you need to finish it, or you can design a space city, improve a street scene which needs some greenery or come up with an original entrance to a building.

The pictures are black and white, very detailed and certainly require some technical ability. My daughter is nine and has adored exploring this book. I would say it has the most appeal for older children with an interest in design and would recommend it for 8+ at the youngest. Great fun though and very inspiring.
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VINE VOICEon 5 December 2013
Format: Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
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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VINE VOICEon 5 January 2014
Format: Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
This book is about design. The book first talks about the basic tools for drawing you may wish for, and the techniques used to create effects. Then you are invited to start having a go. From designing a skyscraper, different roof types and copying famous buildings (the Eiffel tower is harder than you'd think!), and bridge design, there are also invitations to design an underwater city, city on a different planet, as well as buildings in various locations. The initial background is done for you, this is about adding into the existing location. Along the way, the book introduces famous architects and styles, such as bauhaus or surrealism.

This is the kind of book which is generally fun. We have shared it with the family, so everyone has had a go with something. And if you are a fan of programmes like, "Grand Designs", this would appeal - its your chance to have a go! I also loved the way it included loads of ideas, even for pet houses. So if you want a small project to have a go at putting your design into action.... I particularly liked the cat home built on the side of the radiator....

I would highly recommend this. Its fun.
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Format: Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
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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on 13 May 2016
Bought this for my eight year old son who is interested in architecture, engineering and structures. Each page gives a great starting point for ideas on things to draw and design as well as educating him on architectural styles and famous architects. We have only had it a few days and he has already completed half the book.
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