Modernity has opened the way towards a grand diversity of form. However, even if architecture is a cultural phenomenon, this does not mean it is a product of fashion - it is not ephemeral enough for that. An architect just starting out is best advised to aim for the essential, or to rediscover certain time-tested certainties before transgressing them. The first part of this work explores the means of compositional architecture, followed by the interpretation of the relationships between space, light, and place. Four or five thousand years of history has shown the resilience of certain fundamental principles intrinsic to our disciple that organizes, in three dimensions, the vital space of man. In the second part, the author provides certain keys to managing the relationship between form, material and construction, keeping in mind that the need to build has never been sufficient, in itself, to design the form of the house or the city. Neither dictionary, nor encyclopedia, this work attempts to fill a gap: it proposes an introduction to architectural design and criticism, considered in the light of our time. Praised by critics and used as a book of reference in numerous schools, the first edition of this book has been translated into English, Italian, German, Korean and Chinese.