For many interior design and architecture students and professionals, books by Francis D. Ching have proven to be extremely useful resources. His Design Drawing and Building Construction Illustrated are often required or recommended reading material for design students.
Ching's illustrations, descriptions and discussions on the topic of drawing basics in Design Drawing
reflect an ease and simplicity that certainly gave me confidence in my own sketches and drawings, and his coverage of building construction provides a common sense and practical overview of building technology, emphasizing that one must be familiar with construction practices before one can actually design something that would be feasible or buildable.
One of the first books required as part of my four-year interior design studies at Cornell was Ching's Building Construction Illustrated which emphasized the important relationships between construction, technology, and design.
Ching's books have been updated over the years to reflect changes and advances in sustainable practices, building technology, building code, and in CAD software applications. A number of Ching's books are available with a companion CD-ROM which adds three dimensional demonstrations and applications of the material covered in the books. The timelessness of his drawings and written content keep the material fresh and relevant.
Other Ching classics, Architecture: Form, Space and Order and A Visual Dictionary of Architecture present invaluable written and visual information regarding the vocabulary and elements of architecture and design. These books offer budding architecture and design students, as well as practicing professionals, a review of the fundamental principles of architecture, and describe the relationships between components of building, architecture, and design.
The books I've listed are but a few of his works.
Francis Ching is currently Professor Emeritus at the University of Washington's Department of Architecture. He earned his Bachelor of Architecture at the University of Notre Dame in 1966, and began his teaching career in 1972 at Ohio University. Mr. Ching has taught at the University of Washington for the past 20 years, teaching design studio and drawing courses. Here's his profile