Architecture: The Study of Humanity
"Architecture is the most universal of all the arts. It is also the most expressive of all the arts, expressive not only of the artist, but of whole peoples and their times.
Furthermore it is the one art which touches everybody."
and be displayed.
Architecture as History
To know and understand buildings is to know and understand men.
1. Study the Most Important Buildings of Your Current Time Period
2. Study the Most Important Features of Your Current Time Period
4. Discuss the Architecture Involved in Significant Events
5. Study Artifacts and Buildings Individually
Architecture as Art
"The artist has indispensable lessons to give us, whether he convey them through the brush of the painter, the vast parables of the architect, or through such another cathedral built of sound..."
1. Do "Picture Studies" and "Picture Talks" With Images of Buildings
2. Make Building Models as Handicrafts
3. Study Design and Its Connection to Architecture
4. Discuss the Elements of Buildings and Eras That Are Aesthetic in Purpose
Architecture as Science
1. Study Technique, Design, Technologies, Physics
2. Follow Development of Architectural Science and Advancement Over Time
3. Compare Modern Methods w/ Ancient Ones
4. Examine Specific Materials and Their Evolution and Use (example: concrete)
6. Examine Specific Structures and Their Physics
Whether you choose to combine Architecture with History, Science, or Art or whether you give it a place of its own, you can structure all lessons in this format:
2. Narrate (oral, building, or drawing)
3. Examine (photos, models, etc)
4. Timeline (History Charts or Discussion)
How We Do Architecture Lessons
My family gives Architecture a place of its own, combining elements of Art, History, and Science in
1-2 lessons each week, dividing our lessons into:
1. Architecture Study (History and Art)
2. Practical Architecture (Science)
Each term we study Architecture related to our History time period. We have studied Pyramids for Egypt, Log Cabins for the Westward Expansion, Cathedrals and Castles for the Middle Ages, Indigenous Homes for Early America, the many structures of Ancient Greece, the library of Congress, and much more.
For two terms we read and narrate a book; these narrations include building models (with lego, clay, etc), drawing plans and diagrams, and orally narrating.
We love the books by David Macaulay and read one every time there's one available for our current time period. We also love the Fast Forward Series and books by Bobbie Kalman.
We spread each book out over a term, reading two each year.
For our last term each year, we do Picture Studies and Picture Talks of the structures and artifacts of our time period, using the Stuff They Left Behind Portfolios.
Every other week, we study the Science of Architecture by applying its various elements to practice exercises and activities.
For lessons, we use Architecture for Kids, which guides children through a variety of activities to explore architecture's elements and understand them contextually and through a scientific lens. After repeating this book a few times, we will (as a family) move on to Architecture for Teens.
Each boy also looks at Architecture as a career in one term of their Career Studies, and one of them pursues it as an Occupation of his own. For this, we love the Architect Academy and Architecture Scribble Book from Usborne.
Other Resources We Love/Use/Plan to Use:
Archidoodle: The Architect's Activity Book
The Future Architect's Handbook and The Future Architect's Tool Kit
Sketch Like an Architect
Draw 50 Buildings and Other Structures
Dover Architecture Coloring Books
The Story of Buildings
Architecture: A Visual History
Dover Architecture Series
Architecture Shown to the Children
Architecture: Five Thousand Years of Building (out of print-watch for used copies)
Architecture of the World Series (for older students/reference)
Great Buildings Collection Website