by Philip C. Johnson, FAIA, The Glass House, New Canaan, CT.
Reprinted from Architectural Graphic Standards Tenth Edition.
In 1932, the same year Henry-Russell Hitchcock and I collaborated in writing The International Style, John Wiley & Sons brought out a little-known book titled Architectural Graphic Standards. Both of these books, in different ways, helped usher in the era of Modernism and contributed to my amazing journey in architecture.
Sixty-eight years later and ten editions complete, Architectural Graphic Standards, or as I like to call it, Graphic Standards, has quadrupled in size and immeasurably in depth of content, thanks to the dedicated work of its gifted editors, architects, and contributors, I even understand that it is in digital form on CD-ROM located in the back cover of this book. What's next, a Graphic Standards website?
I can't think of another book published this century that has supported, taught and delighted our profession as much as Graphic Standards. These ten editions are a chronicle of twentieth-century U.S. architectural practice standards.
Furthermore, the book is one of the most unifying and focused reference works available in the world. I have always considered my Graphic Standards as important in design as is my pencil. Every architect loves it, wears it out, and keeps it within arm's length. It is a combination of the Encyclopedia Britannica and the telephone book—or maybe it's the Whole Earth Catalog of architecture!
No architect can be without Graphic Standards, and with it every architect is empowered and equipped to practice architecture.