The Art and Science of Reading, Note-Taking, and Architecture


Hatched by Shalom

Apr 06, 2024

3 min read


The Art and Science of Reading, Note-Taking, and Architecture


Reading is a fundamental skill that allows us to acquire knowledge and expand our understanding of the world. However, the truth about reading is that if we don't take notes effectively, we are likely to forget almost everything we read. In this article, we will explore the importance of note-taking, the benefits of creating research templates, and delve into the fascinating world of architecture through the lens of Denys Lasdun's iconic National Theatre.

The Power of Note-Taking:

Note-taking is not just about jotting down random thoughts or copying information word for word. It is a strategic process that helps us engage with the material, retain information, and synthesize ideas. By actively summarizing and rewriting content in our own words, we are more likely to internalize and remember key concepts.

Insight #4: Create Research Templates:

As we dive deeper into various subjects, we often find ourselves collecting similar types of information repeatedly. To streamline our note-taking process, we can create research templates. These templates act as a structure for organizing and categorizing our notes, making it easier for us to review and reference the information later. By creating templates for different content types, we can save time and create a more efficient system for note-taking.

Denys Lasdun and the National Theatre:

Denys Lasdun, the renowned architect behind the National Theatre in Britain, is considered an elder statesman of Modernism. His creation has been a subject of controversy and admiration. However, some critics, like Frank Dunlop, the Director of the Edinburgh Festival, have raised concerns about the scale and impact of the building. Dunlop argues that an architect should prioritize the human experience over the dominance of the structure itself. He believes that the arrangement of the audience and their relationship to the performers should be the focal point in a theater.

Lasdun's Inspiration from Le Corbusier:

At the age of 21, Denys Lasdun read Le Corbusier's influential book, "Vers une Architecture." This book, published in 1923, celebrates the works of the machine age and draws parallels between the forms of Classical architecture and the geometry of modern technology. Lasdun was inspired by the confident aesthetic of engineers and believed that architects should learn from them to create mass-production houses. He embraced the idea that a house should be seen as a machine for living.

Connecting the Threads:

While seemingly unrelated, the topics of note-taking and architecture share a common thread - the importance of structure and organization. Just as note-taking helps us retain and understand information, architectural design principles guide the creation of spaces that are functional and harmonious. Both disciplines require careful planning, attention to detail, and a desire to create something meaningful.

Actionable Advice:

  • 1. Develop a personalized note-taking system: Experiment with different methods, such as the Cornell method or mind mapping, to find a note-taking style that works best for you. Remember to actively engage with the material and summarize key points in your own words.
  • 2. Explore different architectural styles: Take the time to visit architectural landmarks in your city or explore different styles through books and online resources. By studying architecture, you can gain a deeper appreciation for the thought and intention behind the design of spaces.
  • 3. Apply principles of organization to your daily life: Whether it's organizing your workspace or creating a schedule, incorporating principles of structure and organization into your daily routine can improve productivity and reduce stress. Take inspiration from the meticulous planning and attention to detail that architects employ in their designs.


Reading and note-taking are essential skills that can enhance our learning and understanding of the world. By approaching note-taking strategically and creating research templates, we can optimize our learning process and improve information retention. Additionally, exploring the world of architecture allows us to appreciate the artistry and functionality of well-designed spaces. By incorporating the principles of organization and structure from both disciplines into our daily lives, we can lead more fulfilling and productive lives.

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