ANDREA SIMITCH is the Director of the Bachelor of Architecture program in the Department of Architecture at Cornell University. She teaches courses in architectural design, architectural representation and furniture design. She has also served as associate dean of AAP from 2002-03 and as Director of Undergraduate Studies from 2007-08. VALWARKE is an associate professor at Cornell University's Department of Architecture, where he has been a department chair, a director of graduate studies, and is currently the coordinator of the first year B.Arch. program. He has authored numerous essays on architectural design and theory and has co-authored (with Thom Mayne) the book Morphosis. He is a partner in Simitch + Warke Architecture. He received his BArch from Cornell University in 1976 and his MArch from Harvard University in 1978.
"Architects Simitch and Warke (both, Cornell Univ.) offer an approachable, visual guidebook and reference to the basics of the discipline, equating learning the foundational principles of the architectural process to learning a new language. The language itself comprises 26 building blocks ? ? basic principles that inform the integrity of timeless design. The authors identify these principles as "vital fundamentals." Although the authors have limited themselves to 26 elements in a nod to the alphabet, this volume does not belabor the analogy. It is erudite, insightful, and highly illustrated, reflecting the complexity and beauty of architectural language. As the introduction states, architecture is best considered comparable to "poetic language," and the authors deliver by honing difficult ideas to their essentials. In this volume for both students and professionals, each chapter is succinct and thought provoking. Summing Up: *** Highly recommended." - Choice