July 23, 2013 4:48 PM   Subscribe

Francis Ching is professor emeritus of architecture at the University of Washington who keeps a blog of his city-focused sketches. Discussion varies from thinking about construction and layout to materials and focus when drawing scenes.
posted by Blazecock Pileon (11 comments total) 53 users marked this as a favorite
Francis Ching is professor emeritus of architecture at the University of Washington

That statement is so incredibly understating his influence that it's almost ridiculous. He did this book. Almost every architect in America has a copy of it or has looked at it. He also did this book, which is almost as common.

His blog looks like a continuation of what he's been known for for decades - thank you for sharing.
posted by LionIndex at 5:14 PM on July 23, 2013 [7 favorites]

He's also the author of the incredible Visual Dictionary of Architecture.

Cool post, I never thought to look for him on the web.
posted by OmieWise at 5:18 PM on July 23, 2013 [1 favorite]

To add to the list of signs of his influence, the (in)famous font Tekton is based on his architectural lettering. He's a hero of mine.
posted by dylanjames at 5:31 PM on July 23, 2013 [1 favorite]

Yeah I was wondering if this was THE Francis D. K. Ching, whose books I continue to own and reference. I never thought to look for more content from him online. Thank you for posting this.
posted by Hicksu at 5:48 PM on July 23, 2013

This is fantastic, thank you so much for posting it!
posted by 1000monkeys at 6:01 PM on July 23, 2013

There probably wasn't a time during all five years of my B. Arch when I didn't have at least one of his books open on my desk. One of my favorites was Sketches from Japan, and now you're telling me that there is a whole blog of the same stuff?

Thanks for this.
posted by daniel striped tiger at 6:50 PM on July 23, 2013

Holy shit. In the UW architecture library there's a book from the 70's with little booklets of studies on the aesthetics of every neighborhood in Seattle. I recognize his sketching style from that - had no idea at the time that he was a prof at UW though.
posted by victory_laser at 7:39 PM on July 23, 2013

One thing about Ching was that reading his books sort of corrupted me. My third year in school, we had Architectural Theory, which I thought would be the sort of class that use Form, Space, and Order as a textbook. Like, if you want a building to do this, design it so that it does that; or what effects certain design moves would have on people using the building - basically the language of architectural design. Instead we got all post-structuralist garbage and other stuff written by architects, who as a general rule, are not good writers. This was our textbook, and mostly seemed full of post-hoc hoity-toity defenses by architects of what they did. Even worse was that it was written by our professor, and we were taking the class before the book was actually published, so every week we had to go to the library and make 30 photocopies of the drivel we were supposed to read for the next class. The lectures by the professor were basically her reading the intros she'd written to the writings by other architects.
posted by LionIndex at 9:28 PM on July 23, 2013

The visual thinking category gives you a Frank Ching crash course. Does anybody know of any extant Frank Ching buildings?
posted by bukvich at 7:54 AM on July 24, 2013

raise your hand if your copy of Building Construction Illustrated is well worn with coffee stains and plenty of bookmarks
posted by cristinacristinacristina at 9:34 AM on July 24, 2013 [1 favorite]

Mine had pages fall out and I had to get a new edition that wasn't the totally hand-done one. I was heartbroken.
posted by LionIndex at 11:05 AM on July 24, 2013

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