What Adults Don’t Know About Architecture: Inspiring Young Minds to Build a More Beautiful World by The School of Life


What Adults Don’t Know About Architecture: Inspiring Young Minds to Build a More Beautiful World by The School of Life. The School of Life, 9781912891306, 2021

Format:  Hardcover 

Rating:  1-5 (5 is an excellent or a Starred review) 3

 What did you like about the book? This is almost like getting a certificate in architectural planning! Readers will go through a rough outline of the process that architects go through as they are building and constructing. In the very beginning the reader learns what it is like to be an architect. The beginning chapters also cover more morality type questions such as what is beauty and allow the readers to understand how an architect would categorize something as beautiful or not. Specifically, readers learn that oftentimes the things that normal people would gravitate towards in terms of buildings are usually the types of things an architect would not normally categorize as beautiful. The second set of chapters in the book covers how cities are actually constructed. In these chapters we even learn what makes cities interesting and not boring or chaotic. It is great to learn that in some of the most interesting cities there is much strategizing on the architectural side on what types of buildings need to go where. The last set of chapters were particularly my favorite. One of the main topics discussed in the last chapters is how architecture and democracy are linked. There were some general comments that most architects are not democratic about their plans. However, what if architects and firms listened to community members’ opinions about buildings and the cityscapes they should build? I often wonder as I drive through my city whose opinions were considered when putting in a new building or starting a new development. It seems like these decisions are often made in isolation of community members. A little democracy in architecture might be a great added bonus. The pictures in the book are real photographs of cities, places and different types of buildings. I do wish they were full sized photos so that readers could see more of the details in the photos. 

Anything you did not like about the book? This is not the intended purpose of the book however, it would have been great to include some mini projects that readers could do to incorporate all the information they learned about architecture. 

To whom would you recommend this book? This book is great for a reader who is looking to expand their knowledge about architecture. Therefore, the reader should have at least a basic knowledge of architecture. It would be great for readers age 12 and older. 

Who should buy this book? Middle schools and high schools 

Where would you shelve it? 720

 Should we (librarians) put this on the top of our “to read” piles? No

 Reviewer’s Name, Library (or school), City: Rose Metayer, Boston Latin School, Boston MA

Date of review: 06/29/2021

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