Skip to main content

ARCHI-DOODLE: An Architect's Activity Book by Steve Bowkett

ARCHI-DOODLE: An Architect's Activity Book by architect and professor Steve Bowkett is an amazingly cool book that should inspire and educate anyone with an interest in buildings and building! While I know almost nothing about architecture (everything I learned comes from the picture books with architectural themes at the end of this review...) but I didn't find ARCHI-DOODLE: An Architect's Activity Book intimidating at all and I don't think that kids of a certain age and interest (the age of the child you might give this book to depends on her/his level of interest, intellect and drawing abilities, but I could imagine a kid as young as 10 going to town with this book) will either. However, I did seek out other reviews from professionals to help me write  this review. 

Knowing that ARCHI-DOODLE: An Architect's Activity Book is published by Laurence King Publishing, a London based house that publishes books for students and professionals on advertising, art, fashion & textiles, animation, graphic design, interior design, photography and product design was my first indication that this book would be of high quality, both in content and design. However, I found this review by architecture professon John Hill at A Daily Dose of Architecture confirmed for me that, while ARCHI-DOODLE: An Architect's Activity Book is a fun book to give to a kid, it's also a useful book for students of architecture and architects themselves.

Hill begins his review by saying, "One of the things I stress to my students is that process is as important as product, and in that vein I promote keeping a sketchbook. Drawing by hand is the best means of getting ideas from one's mind out into the real world, on paper, as it is. This act allows ideas to be shared, discussed, edited, and more easily recalled at a later date." Hill goes on to say that this book is as "valuable in teaching about architecture as it is about sparking the imagination." I love knowing that ARCHI-DOODLE: An Architect's Activity Book is a book that is meant to be a creative inspiration to students of architecture and students of creativity both!

A lot of thought clearly went into ARCHI-DOODLE: An Architect's Activity Book. Bowkett depicts a streetscape that he says is in need of "greening," both horticultural and  environmental. His provides examples of wind turbines, solar panels, vertical farms and greenhouses. There are also rivers and highways that need bridges, the opportunity to put a new roof on the Sydney Opera House and the chance to design a house on a cliff as well as adding on to a forest of tree houses.

The penultimate page in ARCHI-DOODLE: An Architect's Activity Book invites readers to design a city panorama that reflects your vision of the future and, once completed, give your city a name! The final page of the book? Design your award for Architect of the Year that you will be awarded upon completing ARCHI-DOODLE: An Architect's Activity Book!

Really cool picture books 
with architectural themes:

Young Frank by Frank Viva

(Yep, that's Frank Gehry, Frank Lloyd Wright and Phillip Johnson as the three little pigs setting out to build their houses!)

Source: Review Copy


Popular posts from this blog

Made by Dad: 67 Blueprints for Making Cool Stuff - Projects You Can Build For (and With) Kids! by Scott Bedford

On his personal website, Scott Bedforddescribes himself as an "Award Winning Online Creative Professional" working within the advertising and design industry. What is more interesting (and applicable here) is how hisWhat I Made website came to be. While sitting in a Starbucks with his restless young sons, trying to enjoy his latte, Bedford created something out of coffee stir sticks that ended up keeping his boys entertained, finishing his coffee in peace and sparking (re-sparking, really) his creative drive and reminding him of the "enormous joy gained from making things, even simple things, and that this joy is not the complexity or quality of the finished project but in the process of making itself. On Bedford'sWhat I Made website, he even shares Six Cool Coffee Shop Crafts for Kidsthat you can try out next time you want to enjoy your coffee and your kids are making that difficult. I've shared two below - be sure to check out the website and see the rest!


POP-UP: Everything You Need to Know to Create Your Own Pop-Up Book, paper engineering by Ruth Wickings, illustrations by Frances Castle RL: All ages

POP-UP:  Everything You Need to Know to Create Your Own Pop-Up Book with paper engineering by Ruth Wickings and illustrations by Frances Castle is THE COOLEST BOOK EVER!!!  I know that I haven't dedicated much time to pop-up books here, but they have always held a special place in my heart, and the phrase "paper engineering" is a favorite of mine. Although I didn't know what it was at the time, I did go through a paper engineering phase when I was ten or so. I would sneak off to the back of the classroom during independent work periods and go to town on the construction paper and glue and make these little free-standing dioramas. A huge fan of The Muppet Show (the original), I reconstructed the all-baby orchestra from an episode, drawing and coloring each baby and his/her instrument then gluing them onto a 3D orchestra section I had crafted out of brown construction paper.  I also made a 3D version of Snidely Whiplash throwing Nell off a cliff with Dudley Do-Right wa…

The Seeing Stick, written by Jane Yolen, illustrated by Daniela J Terrazini

The Seeing Stick is an original Chinese fairy tale written by the prolific (and prolifically award winning) Jane Yolen. First published in 1977 with illustrations by Remy Charlip (author and illustrator of the brilliantly fun picture book Fortunately and friend and muse to Brian Selznick, who asked him to pose as George Méliès while he was working on the Caldecott winning The Invention of Hugo CabretThe Seeing Stick was reissued with new illustrations by Daniela J. Terrazini in 2009. I have not seen Charlip's version, but Terrazini's is a beautiful work of art and the book itself is yet another magnificently packaged book published by Running Press, the house that brought us Steven Arntson's The Wikkeling, yet another superbly and uniquely packaged children's book with artwork by Terrazini. Interestingly, both The Wikkeling and The Seeing Stick were designed by Frances J Soo Ping Chow.

The Seeing Stick begins, "Once in the ancient walled citadel of Peking there l…