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Received: Back to School

Louis I. Kahn: Conversations with Students
By Louis Kahn (Princeton Architectural Press, 1998)

The delight in this slim volume is its straight-forward simplicity: the unadulterated words of a poetic teacher. This is one title in a nine-book series that includes Mies van der Rohe, Ian McHarg, and Peter Smithson.


The Study of Architectural Design: With Special Reference to the Program of the Beaux-Arts Institute of Design
By John F. Harbeson AIA (Pencil Points Library, 1926) (Reissued by W. W. Norton & Company, 2008)

Frustrated with answering the same questions over and over from his students, Harbeson created this guide to the Beaux-Arts educational system — the dominant idea of American architectural training through the 1940s. Follow the illustrated assignments and indulge your inner classicist.


Citizen Architect: Samuel Mockbee and the Spirit of the Rural Studio
Directed by Sam Wainwright Douglas (DVD, 60 minutes, Big Beard Films, 2010)

This film revisits the familiar but still inspirational tale of Auburn University’s design/build program in impoverished Alabama — this time with new interview footage of the late architect/teacher Sam Mockbee FAIA, the program’s charismatic founder; conversations with clients; and commentary by Peter Eisenman, Cameron Sinclair, Michael Rotondi, and others. The legacy continues.


Inventing American Modernism: Joseph Hudnut, Walter Gropius, and the Bauhaus Legacy at Harvard
By Jill Pearlman (University of Virginia Press, 2007)

Pearlman presents Hudnut as an unsung hero — a pioneer of American architectural education, a public intellectual, and an awful self-promoter. Hudnut hired Gropius, Gropius soon became a rival, and the rest, as they say, is history.


101 Things I Learned in Architecture School
By Matthew Frederick (The MIT Press, 2007)

Frederick’s witty and clear reflections mix with succinct philosophy. His knack for distilling wisdom now extends to a series of professions: film, culinary arts, fashion, business, and others; browse them at 101thingsilearned.com.