A VOLUMETRIC ANALYSIS OF ARCHITECTURE & VOLUMETRICS
If you have spent five years studying the extensive degree of Architecture, you must’ve turned to him for support in his works such as Form, Space & Order, A Visual Dictionary of Architecture or Architectural Graphics. Today we talk about Francis DK Ching: the brilliant mind behind some of the best literary creations that grab the nuances in communicating and clearing the principles and elements in the field of design and architecture. Whether your college professor recommends him or not, his easy-to-follow and direct writing gain popularity among students of architecture worldwide. He is an architect, design, and graphic author, but most importantly, he is a great teacher who is keen to impart as much knowledge to the future generations as possible.
Born and raised in Honolulu, Hawaii, in 1943, Frank (as he prefers to go by) completed his Bachelors in Architecture from Notre Dame University, Indiana, in 1966. After almost a decade of professional practice during which he served as a VISTA architect in the Cleveland Design Center, he started his teaching career. He gave up training to pursue a lectureship at Ohio University in 1972, where he was offered his first teaching job by the Director of the School of Architecture, Forrest Wilson. Meeting Forrest was a crucial turning point in Ching’s life that would make him an international best-selling author. After that, he moved to the University of Washington and the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, where he spent the next twenty years teaching architectural drawing and beginning design studio. He also traveled to the East as a visiting faculty at the Tokyo Institute of Technology and The Chinese University of Hong Kong. After taking a break from active teaching, he was awarded the rank of Professor Emeritus in 2006.
The first class that Frank took at Ohio University was an Architectural Graphics course. As an enthusiastic professor with novel teaching approaches, he understood the impact of graphics in relaying information, and thus he used drawings to lecture his students. A night before the class, Frank used to draft and hand-letter notes that he photocopied for all his students. At the end of the academic year of 1974-75, Ching had compiled over 400 pages of material. These lecture notes were so concise and clear that they became immensely popular among his students at the University. He was soon approached by Forrest, who introduced these notes to his publisher in New York, Van Nostrand Reinhold. For the next three weeks, Ching worked meticulously with his tools as he drafted 128 pages of plain white bond paper with a Scripto lead pencil. The scanned pages marked Frank’s debut when they were published as Architectural Graphics in 1975. The same year his most famous publication, Architecture: Form, Space & Order, came out.