Preface to the Third Edition
1 From Cave to Skyscraper
2 Building a Tent
3 What Is a Beam?
4 What Do We Build Structures With?
5 The Floor of Your Room
6 A Steel Frame … Made Out of Paper
7 The Part of the Building You Don’t See
8 What Tornadoes, Earthquakes, and Changes in Temperature Can Do
9 How To Fight Tornadoes and Earthquakes
10 Ropes and Cables
11 Sticks and Stones
12 Strings and Sticks
13 Shape and Strength
14 Barrels, Dishes, Butterflies, Bicycle Wheels, and Eggs
15 Balloons … and Back to the Tent
PREFACE TO THE THIRD EDITION
THE LAWS GOVERNING the construction of structures do not change with the passing
of years or centuries; they are basic laws of nature. Yet I find it necessary to add a preface
to this third edition of my book because of the experience I have acquired over the last
fifteen years in the schools of New York City and other parts of the United States.
After teaching architectural structures at Princeton and Columbia Universities for many
years, I introduced in 1975 a special school program to excite greater interest in
mathematics and science in young students. Many thousands of youngsters in junior high
and high schools have been exposed to the program since then, and the study of
architecture and structure has attracted them to subjects they previously considered
obnoxious. Our program has stimulated them to stay in school and to perform well in a
wide range of subjects. The Art of Construction is one of the tools we use to present our
program to grade school students. I feel it is worthwhile for parents and teachers to realize
that a simple book on architecture may help solve one of the problems that concerns
educators all over the country.
Finally, I must add that although The Art of Construction was written for youngsters, it
seems to be of great interest to older “youngsters” as well, among them some of the
architects I serve as a professional structural engineer. The third edition of this book has
been brought up to date on the few data that have changed with time and may be read as
an original work.