100 Ideas that Changed Architecture is a handy new title that offers insight into the evolution and history of the built world around us. The ideas are arranged roughly in chronological order in the form of concise illustrated essays which can be read happily from beginning to end or randomly sampled.
The author begins with the simplest elements of construction, like fireplace, floor, door and window. Then there are ideas about spatial types, from the Roman basilica which became the pattern for most Christian churches to the introduction of the corridor, a relatively recent innovation.
He explores the impact of design and drawing techniques, like computer-aided design, and also social ideas and innovations, such as universal design which provides for those with disabilities.
The book also covers philosophies that have made a big impact, for example, humanism and phenomenology. The essays are written in layman’s prose with a glossary at the back of more obscure terms.
It’s a nifty little book that will help you pepper your conversation with words like 'zeitgeist' and 'postmodernism'. How cool is that?