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Architecture: Research an Architect

Resources in support of first-degree and graduate studio programs in architecture

Biographical Resources Online

art gallery image, portraits display

Find Books or Articles about an Architect

TIP: Use this ADVANCED SEARCH combination to retrieve maximum results in the library catalog--and in most article databases!

ANY FIELD: "Architect's first and last name"


SUBJECT: Last name, first name


AUTHOR: Last name, first name


Biographical Resources in Print

Strange but trueBelieve it or not: Many excellent resources are not yet available online! Print still provides great, proven, time-tested resources.

Biographical Facets to Research

There are many facets and variables to consider when researching an architect's life and work.

Name: Not always a straightforward fact. Use the architect's authoritative name, for best results

Examples: Asplund, Erik Gunnar; Schindler, R. M.; Moneo, José Rafael

Dates: Birth, death, milestones, active years

Locales: Cities or areas of major activity/significant works

Training: Where, when, and by whom?

Influences: These can range from "the Zeitgeist" to a favorite color--whatever's important

Associations: Teachers, mentors, students, partners, clients

Firm name(s): Business associations (and names of firms) can vary widely over the course of a career.

Major works: Indicate the architect's most iconic work, or select to illustrate career development phases.

Specializations: Particular building types? styles? preferred materials, forms, or structural systems? design tropes?

Writings: Many architects wrote prolifically about their own work and ideas. As with any autobiography, however, read skeptically. Verify from other sources!

Biography in Obituaries

Obituaries can be excellent sources for biographical information, although they are not as dependably accurate as encyclopedia or dictionary entries. Always check your facts.

TIP: Search obituaries using an architect's full name, in quotes, (ex: "alvar aalto") to discover the obits of his/her mentors, associates, students, devotees, and patrons.