Foreword Reviews

The Future Architect's Tool Kit

“Design is problem solving and creativity mixed together,” Barbara Beck observes, a unique combination of art and science that will appeal to any kid who is often to be found with a pencil in hand. As a sequel to The Future Architect’s Handbook, The Future Architect’s Tool Kit is not just a book but a complete hands-on course in architecture. It opens by explaining the different drawings that are essential when designing a house: the site plan and elevation show the external view, while the floor plan (one per story) and section view give the internal perspective. Aaron, the fictional protagonist of the previous work, returns as the creator of these sample drawings.

Beck encourages her protégés to consider the physical setting of their proposed property—things like trees and hills—and to keep in mind local building codes and the required setback from the property line. She also points out how individual families’ needs will determine the qualities of a house, like its number of rooms and any space set aside for specialist hobbies.

The first half of the book provides the theoretical groundwork for every budding “master builder” (the literal meaning of the Greek architektón) to follow, while the remainder gives clear, step-by-step guidance to creating first a two-dimensional set of architectural drawings and then a three-dimensional cardboard model using the pencil, eraser, graph paper, and scale included in the tool kit.

Before leaving eager designers to it, Beck offers a list of potential clients. It’s a shame these scenarios are silly—a sorcerer, dolphin, and so on—and thus at odds with the rational approach and assumed skills of the rest of the book. Still, with its detailed sketches and bonus goodies, this is an impressive set of supplies to gift to the young artist in your life.

Reviewed by Rebecca Foster

Disclosure: This article is not an endorsement, but a review. The author of this book provided free copies of the book to have their book reviewed by a professional reviewer. No fee was paid by the author for this review. Foreword Reviews only recommends books that we love. Foreword Magazine, Inc. is disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.

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