An inspirational and insightful resource for architecture students and professionals, offering a fresh perspective and new approaches for 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 seeks to stimulate young architects and students to think outside of what is often a rather conservative and self-perpetuating professional domain, and to be influenced by everything around them.

Organised into four central themes – Assess, Analyse, Assemble, Augment – the book explores 32 key concepts which cover wide-ranging and not always architecturally centered subjects. These range from such notions as disorder, function, irony and memory, to basic architectural components such as the wall, roof, stair and services, to social phenomena such as influence and respect. The entire range of design stages are covered, 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. The aim of The Architecture Concept Book is to create more thoughtful architects for the Digital Age.

Each theme is accompanied by sketches, plans and illustrations specially produced by the author, along with photographic references and an inspirational guide to further reading. In a compact format, the words and pictures come together to create a reference source to which students and young professionals will return again and again.

The author’s experience as a young teacher and practitioner gives him keen insight into what the next generation of students wants to learn. In The Architecture Concept Book, Tait proposes ways of formulating and developing strategies that will make our buildings better, shape our spaces and further the architect’s influence in the creation of architecture by learning from the wider world, challenging existing practices, and elevating the concept above all else. As he declares in his introduction: ‘We must always think before we design. We must always have a reason to build.’