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The Architecture Concept Book

An inspirational guide to creative ideas, strategies and practices

James Tait

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An inspirational and insightful resource for architecture students, offering a fresh perspective and new approaches to the challenges of the 21st century


In architecture, no amount of fashion-following or flashy presentation can disguise a bad or absent idea. Strong concepts provide the foundation for long-lasting buildings that will be loved and appreciated by their users. This thoughtfully irreverent primer establishes the importance of developing and fine-tuning your concept at every stage.

• Equips young architects with the essential tools for developing creative and original concepts.

• Presents thirty-two topics across the four steps of the design process.

• Covers the entire range of design stages, from assessing the site, addressing the social, environmental and political contexts of the building, understanding the programme inside out, assembling building components and creative approaches to economizing, reuse and craftsmanship.

• Features more than 200 sketches, plans and illustrations specially produced by the author, along with photographic references and an inspirational guide to further reading.

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'Tait takes us on a complex and personal journey that reflects his own fascination with the intangible elements that create great architecture (or not)'
RIBA Journal

'An insightful primer for students and young professionals looking to formulate and develop enduring architectural design strategies... Tait offers clear guidance on how to assess, analyze, augment and assemble meaningful architectural experiences... [His] greatest strength is his ability to unpack and demystify the discussion surrounding the architectural design process. Written in a straightforward style, his book is a refreshing break from the scholarly jargon and esoteric hyperbole so common in architectural publications'
Canadian Architect

Product Information

Book Details

Format: Hardback

Edition Type: First edition

Size: 24.0 x 20.0 cm

Extent: 280 pp

Publication date: 1 March 2018

ISBN: 9780500343364

Contents List

ASSESS: Wonder • Environment • Disorder • Memory • Function • Form • Irony • Politics ANALYSE: Walk • Influence • Reclaim • Respect • Obscure • Heroize • Improve • Improvise ASSEMBLE: Floor • Wall • Structure • Roof • Door • Façade • Stair • Services AUGMENT: Review • Diagram • Optimize • Economize • Colour • Contrast • Scale • Craft

About the Author

Winner of the 2008 RIBA and RIAS Silver Medals, James Tait has since been a regular guest critic at the University of Strathclyde and led various design workshops within practice and academia. James has also exhibited his work extensively in Scotland, London and the Far East. At present, James is a studio tutor at the Mackintosh School of Architecture at the Glasgow School of Art.

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