‘Psychology For Architects’ by David Canter

Tuesday 21st November § Leave a comment

It’s been a while since the last book review. Time for some psychology. I don’t know how widely published this volume is. I imagine it might be the kind of book only to be found in very specialist libraries. It’s part of the ‘Architectural Science Series’ if that’s any help.

Instead of the (in my limited experience) approach of other books covering this subject which tend to draw out specific examples of design, which are then labeled ‘good’ or ‘bad’, this book tries to teach you approaches to tackle psychological problems, which is good in theory, but involves some heavy thinking.

I found this was a really hard read. I had to take multiple goes at the middle section to get past ‘Underlying Dimensions’. there’s the wretched feeling that I’m almost not quite getting the big picture. Made me feel stupid, but I’m sure that in this case the book didn’t help.

One of the nice things that I liked about it was the way D. Canter kept referencing back to real-world studies, which I found refreshing. It makes such a difference to feel that there is some real science behind the jargon.

A hard read, and I’m not sure if I’ve learnt anything practical to draw into the studio. I feel that this is a book that might be best re-reading, by which point I might be getting somewhere, but don’t think I can face the tedium.

1.5/5 Stars

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