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Reading Architecture: Archi-Doodle reviews

Read the reviews written by students about Archi-Doodle, winner of the students' choice age 14+ category, as part of RIBA's Reading Architecture programme.

Reading Architecture is a literacy project designed to help RIBA understand what architecture books we should be recommending to children, young people and teachers. During the summer term of 2021 over 650 students from 27 schools across England were asked to read and review a set of architecture books.

Read the reviews of Archi-Doodle by Steve Bowkett, the winner of the students' choice category for ages 14 and up.

Michael, age 13, Denefield School

  • Illustration and design: 4
  • Content: 5
  • Overall: 5

"My first impressions of this book were that it looked interesting and appealing because I like drawing and architecture. As I flicked through the book I could see many fascinating pictures and interactive activities which allowed you to be as creative as you wanted. I could spend many hours of free time on this. It has the right amount of context and is altogether a great experience. I would recommend this to anyone who likes drawing or architecture."

Students from St James' Catholic High School put ideas to paper.

Sophie, age 15, Netherhall School

  • Illustration and design: 5
  • Content: 4.5
  • Overall: 4.5

"This book was actually really helpful. The moment I opened it I really wanted to start drawing. It's really interesting and it gives some really good tips, but it does expect you to have some modelling materials and some existing skills, so it is useful to improve your skills.

I found the exercises throughout interesting and fun to do. Most didn't give you direct instructions and forced you to use your imagination.

The front cover is a little plain, so it's not the first book I picked up, but the layout inside is very clean and makes it easy to read. I found it really interesting, so I read through it all.

I would highly recommend it to anyone considering architecture."

Elizabeth, age 15, Netherhall School

  • Illustration and design: 4
  • Content: 5
  • Overall: 4

"My first impression of this book was that it appeared quite childish and made for a younger audience, but as I began to flick through the pages it seemed more suitable to a wider variety of ages. I didn't really like the cover much as I don't think it shows what the book is about.

I like how each page is quite simplistic, allowing the user to be as creative as they want. I liked the descriptions on the beginning of each page/activity and the instructions are easy to follow. I like how the illustrator has made all the images fit in (all line drawings) whilst still making them interesting. Finally, I really like how they have used architecture from all over the world with many different styles.

To conclude, I think this book is suitable for any age, but particularly ones in secondary education or with an interest in architecture."

Krishil, age 15, Rushey Mead Academy

  • Illustration and design: 5
  • Content: 4
  • Overall: 4

"My first impression of this book was that it is pretty self-explanatory and easy to understand. I felt the book was very useful as it has a wide range of design ideas and many pictures to help avoid design fixation. It was pretty easy to read as there wasn't a lot of information and the basic ideas were explored. I would recommend it for someone my age and I would say this book is more suitable for students in secondary school."

D.D., age 15, Rushey Mead Academy

  • Illustration and design: 5
  • Content: 3
  • Overall: 4

"The front cover is clear and stands out, so I would pick it out from a shelf if I saw it. Furthermore, the content is straight to the point and clear which encouraged me to carry on reading - also the language isn't very complex.

The drawing examples are helpful as they are a model so you can be guided by them whilst trying to do something similar. I also like that the drawings provided are simple and can be followed by students my age.

One thing that I would suggest make this book better is a little more information and content be provided to better understand the different aspects of the buildings.

I would strongly recommend anyone my age or older to consider reading it, as it can help them learn to draw. Someone a little younger than me could also find it interesting as there isn't much complex language."

Learn more about Reading Architecture as part of RIBA's National Schools Programme.

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