Books & Merchandise

Salvadori in a Box – Single Box

The single Box serves 1 – 3 students and includes all materials needed.

$250.00 + $25 shipping & handling in the continental US
For a Salvadori in a Box set for multiple groups, please contact us at (212)-870-3970 ext. 10

Order Salvadori in a Box - Single Box product @ $250.00

Why the Wind Blows

A History of Weather and Global Warming
by Matthys Levy

In easily understandable prose and through the use of true stories of exploration, Why the Wind Blows looks at how these adventures were influenced by the weather and man’s ignorance of its consequences. The science of meteorology is gently interspersed throughout the text, so that understanding weather becomes an integral part of the stories. Concluding with the influence of modern civilization on the changing climate and its world-altering consequences, the author challenges the reader to take action now to alter the effects of global warming on future generations.

Order Why the Wind Blows product @ $14.95

Architecture and EngineeringArchitecture and Engineering

An Illustrated Teacher’s Manual on Why Buildings Stand Up
by Mario Salvadori and Michael Tempel

This manual enables teachers to explore basic architectural and engineering principles with their students. It includes 70 exciting interactive lessons, clearly presented and organized into 10 units. The first few units deal with forces, equilibrium, tension and compression. Subsequent units examine columns and beams, cables, trusses and arches. The final unit features enjoyable activities with balloons, introducing students to the use of inflated membrane roofs in modern stadiums. These activities, augmented by material from “The Art of Construction”, can be tailored to the needs of students of all ages.

While the manual is particularly well suited to the interests of math and physics students, it can also be used in conjunction with subjects such as history, geography, and the environmental sciences.

Order Architecture and Engineering product @ $25.00

art of constructionThe Art of Construction

Projects and Principles for Beginning Engineers and Architects
by Mario Salvadori

Why do buildings and bridges stand up? How do they withstand the tremendous forces of wind, earthquakes and gravity? The Art of Construction draws on examples from every period in history to explain the principles of building. Use drinking straws, tongue depressors, paper, sponges, balloons, rulers, Styrofoam, and even eggs from the kitchen for projects as simple as illustrating tension and compression and as complex as building a model Takenaka space truss. These projects and their explanations show how basic scientific principles and human ingenuity combine to create durable and engaging architecture.

Illustrated throughout with line drawings. Soft cover, 149 pages.

Ages 8 and up

Order The Art of Construction product @ $16.95

engineeing the cityEngineering the City

by Matthys Levy & Richard Panchyk

Where does garbage go? What happens when someone flushes a toilet? How is a tunnel built under water? How does a city obtain water, gas and electricity? The answer is infrastructure – the inner, sometimes invisible workings of a city. Engineering the City tells the fascinating story of infrastructure as it developed through history along with the growth of cities. Experiments, projects and construction diagrams show how these structures are built, how they work, and how they affect the environment around them. Hands on activities show how bridges, canals, trains, sewers, plumbing, and other vital structures in a city’s infrastructure work, and what they do to their environment. Soft cover, 127 pages.

Ages 9 and up

Order Engineering the City product @ $15.00

math gamesMath Games for Middle School

by Mario Salvadori

An ideal resource for parents and teachers who want to challenge their students as well as reinforce basic skills, this book reviews all the topics of the middle-school mathematics curriculum, from addition and subtraction to plane and space geometry, graphing and probability. Ideas are introduced through hands-on activities and explorations that enable students to develop important concepts, such as the value of pi, for themselves. “Math Camp” exercises at the end of each chapter provide a fun way to apply new skills, and intriguing background about the human side of mathematics is offered throughout. Soft cover, 168 pages.

Ages 11-14

Order Math Games for Middle School product @ $16.95

DSC00381 2Paper Bridges: An Illustrated Teacher’s Manual

by Mario Salvadori

Make six different bridges out of paper!

Students of all ages are fascinated by bridges. This manual gives clear instructions for constructing seven different kinds – the beam, draw, lift, stayed (two types), suspension and swing – using only tape, scissors and paper copies of the templates included. Through these enjoyable hands-on activities, students are introduced to the physical concepts of tension, compression, bending and buckling, and the mathematical concepts of length, area, volume and scale.

Ideal for grades four and up.

Order Paper Bridges product @ $20.00

Why Buildings Stand UpWhy Buildings Stand Up: The Strength of Architecture

by Mario Salvadori

Between a nomad’s tent and the Sears Tower lies a revolution in technology, materials, and structures. Why Buildings Stand Up – one of Mario Salvadori’s best-known publications – gives a clear and enthusiastic introduction to building methods from ancient times to the present day. With his readable style and great enthusiasm, Dr. Salvadori fascinates the general reader with descriptions of structural milestones, interspersed with information about basic structural theory. In the Afterword, he also addresses advances in science and technology that have had important effects on the planning and construction of buildings: improved materials, progress in antiseismic designs, and the revolutionary changes in both architectural and structural design made possible by the computer. Soft cover, 323 pages.

Order Why Buildings Stand Up product @ $17.95

Why Buildings Fall DownWhy Buildings Fall Down: How Structures Fail

by Matthys Levy and Mario Salvadori

Although modern technologies and new materials have greatly decreased the number of structural failures in today’s world, buildings still fall down. The two authors – world-renowned structural engineers – take readers on an informative journey through the history of architectural and structural disasters. Their subjects range from the destruction of the Parthenon to the earthquake damage of San Francisco and Armenia in 1989, to the collapse of the Hyatt Regency ballroom walkways in Kansas City, one of the most fatal structural disasters in American history. This book is filled with tales of designers, builders, materials and natural forces, all coming together in sometimes catastrophic (but always instructive) ways. Includes line drawings. Soft cover, 346 pages.

Order Why Buildings Fall Down product @ $14.95

Why the Earth QuakesWhy the Earth Quakes

by Matthys Levy and Mario Salvadori

With a lively text and more than one hundred illustrations, this book takes us on a fascinating trip from the Earth’s beginnings to recent developments in seismic technology. Stories of the worst natural disasters of all time – in Lisbon, San Francisco, Alaska, at Vesuvius, Krakatau and Mount St. Helen – form the background for an exploration of the nature of earthquakes and volcanoes, the prediction of their behavior, and a description of the measures we can take to protect ourselves from their destructive nature. Soft cover, 215 pages.

Ages 9 & up

Order Why the Earth Quakes product @ $13.00

Signature Mario PackSignature Mario Pack

Why Buildings Stand Up and Why Buildings Fall Down
Mario Salvadori

An excellent introduction to the work of Mario Salvadori — a history of engineering from the beginning and a primer on the reasons for structural disaster.An excellent introduction to the work of Mario Salvadori — a history of engineering from the beginning and a primer on the reasons for structural disaster. Get 15% off for buying both!

Order Signature Mario Pack product @ $27.95

Exploring Engineering Starter KitExploring Engineering Starter Kit

The Art of Construction, Simple Machines, and Engineering the City
Mario Salvadori and others

Three books introduce you to the basic principles of engineering in a fun and educational way.

Order Exploring Engineering Starter Kit product @ $35.60

Bridges Fun PackBridges Fun-Pack

Temporarily Out of Stock

Paper Bridges book and Wooden Arch kit
Mario Salvadori

Learn to build bridges using paper, and then try our wooden bridge kit.Learn to build bridges using paper, and then try our wooden bridge kit. A 15% savings.

Order Bridges Fun-Pack product @ $34.00

Teaching BundleTeaching Bundle

Architecture and Engineering and The Art of Construction
Mario Salvadori and Michael Tempel

Two books full of hands-on interactive activities that explore basic architectural and engineering principles. Architecture and Engineering includes 70 exciting interactive lessons, clearly presented and organized into 10 units. The Art of Construction explores the basic principles necessary to build all types of structures used in everyday life including bridges, skyscrapers, and other architectural gems. All projects are easily done with materials found around-the-house.

17% discount for buying the two together!

Order Teaching Bundle product @ $35.00


Wooden Arch Bridge

Temporarily Out of Stock

Now available as a stand-alone item, the wooden arch bridge is an elegant tool for teaching about the engineering of arches found in buildings and bridges in the city around us.

Order Wooden Bridge bridge @ $30.00

Salvadori Teaching KitThe Salvadori Teaching Kit

Temporarily Out of Stock

This package of materials and tools includes required items for the demonstrations and hands-on experiences described in the teacher’s manual, Architecture and Engineering. It is recommended that the kit be purchased in conjunction with the manual; a list correlating items with individual lessons is provided. The teaching kit contains many items that have been specially fabricated for these lessons, as well as familiar tools and measuring instruments, and a few inexpensive consumables:

  • 7 arch blocks
  • 1 arch support base
  • 24 small wooden cubes
  • 1 wooden triangle
  • 1 wooden barrel vault base support
  • 12 barrel vault sheets
  • 6 weights (2 oz.)
  • 2 weights (4 oz.)
  • 1 platform for weights
  • 1 foam rubber beam
  • 1 strip of masonite (2 ft.)
  • 1 strip of birch (2 ft.)
  • 2 scales
  • 100 tongue depressors with holes
  • 2 large rubber bands
  • 1 pair of long-nose pliers
  • 1 roll of wire (12 in. gauge)

  • 1 roll of fine wire
  • 1 hammer (16 oz.)
  • 2 C-clamps (1.5 in.)
  • 1 wiffle ball (cut in half)
  • 1 pair of scissors
  • 1 wooden ruler (12 in.)
  • 2 metal trays 1 piece of clothesline (16 ft.)
  • 1 ball of string
  • 1 package of straws
  • 1 bag of pipe cleaners
  • 1 bottle of glue
  • 1 bag of clay
  • 1 piece of sandpaper
  • 1 box paper fasteners
  • 2 plastic cups

Order The Salvadori Teaching Kit teaching kit @ $250.00

Vintage Salvadori

Disclaimer: Salvadori does not currently teach the lesson plans offered in this section of the store. They reflect areas of interest and are used for feedback about what teachers and educators are interested in.

Dome HomeDome Home

In building a geodesic dome for the class, we will go through three steps: 1) create the design of the geodesic dome, 2) build a scale model based on that design, and 3) using that model, build a geodesic dome large enough to hold the entire class!

Order Dome Home pdf @ $5.00

ThumbnailMind’s Eye

Your challenge is to design and build a model of a stage set for a passage selected from a book that either you or the class is reading. Imagine that your class will be performing a play based on the book or story you are reading. What things will you include in your set to give the audience a clear picture of where the scene is taking place? How will you communicate the feeling of the scene?

Order Mind's Eye pdf @ $5.00

Not One Size Fits AllNot One Size Fits All

You come across and use hundreds of products during a typical school day. These can include items within the classroom, the cafeteria, the gym, the library, etc. Are there any items that you use on a regular basis that you feel are inadequate, uncomfortable, dangerous, or just somehow unsatisfactory? Can you think of any way to modify those items to make them better? Or can you come up with an idea for an entirely new object that would fulfill the same purpose, but do it better? Be creative! Your invention can be a really cool sophisticated gadget, or a simple gizmo no one has thought of before. You can combine two items into one, like making a stapler/flashlight, or design something fully automated: what would a self-sharpening pencil look like? Or better yet, how about a homework machine?

Order Not One Size Fits All pdf @ $5.00

ThumbnailThe Stories These Walls Could Tell

Imagine that the walls of your school had eyes, ears and a mouth. If these walls could talk what would they say? Uncover a story within these walls. Write and produce a radio program that creatively expresses a story about your school building and its occupants. Bring the school building to life and write the story from the building’s point of view.

Order The Stories These Walls Could Tell pdf @ $5.00

ThumbnailVisual Poetry

Construct a visual or concrete poem that describes your concept of “home.”

Order Visual Poetry pdf @ $5.00

Form and Furniture

Measure the dimensions of your fellow group members as they are seated in their chairs. Use your measurements to design an ergonomic school chair and make a scale drawing of your design.

Order Form and Furniture pdf @ $5.00

A Lively Loaded Room

Your challenge is to think like an engineer in order to find out how much weight the floor of the classroom should be able to support without collapsing. In order to do this, you will need to estimate the actual live load of the classroom, then come up with a factor of safety to determine the design load (the actual amount of weight the floor can hold).

Order A Lively Loaded Room pdf @ $5.00

Morphing the Room

Imagine that we had the chance to make our classroom bigger. Your challenge is to draw a plan for an addition to increase the area of our classroom by 50%.

Order Morphing the Room pdf @ $5.00

Ornament Your Home

Your challenge is to create a two-dimensional symmetrical ornament for your home. Start by learning about the different types of symmetry to help you find examples of symmetrical ornamentation in your environment. Then, experiment to create a symmetric ornament of your own.

Order Ornament Your Home pdf @ $5.00

Design Writes

You have designed an ergonomic chair [in the Sit Right lesson] and want to make sure that no one copies your ideas. Your challenge is to write a patent application for your chair in which you describe the chair in detail and explain what makes it unique or innovative.

Order Design Writes pdf @ $5.00

Cut to Fit

How do you think industrial designers (people who design the objects we use everyday at home, at school, and at play) communicate their design ideas to the factories that make the products? You are going to create shop drawings for a chair and from those drawings calculate how much it would cost to make this chair from wood.

Order Cut to Fit pdf @ $5.00

Bubble your Home

You will be designing the program for your dream house and arranging it within its environment, or its “site,” using Venn diagrams. Try to incorporate as many of your favorite activities as possible into a house with no more than 4,000 square feet.

Order Bubble your Home pdf @ $5.00

Classroom Restyle

Your challenge is to research the culture of an ancient civilization and use the information to turn your classroom into a period room. You may have seen a period room in a museum – it is a room which has been reconstructed using artifacts or replicas to look like it came straight out of some historical period. The purpose of a period room is to give us a glimpse of what life might have been like for people living in the past.

Order Classroom Restyle pdf @ $5.00

East Meets West

Your challenge is to develop a plan to modify your classroom to make it a better space for working and playing using the ancient Chinese philosophy of feng shui. After learning about a particular aspect of feng shui, you will try to figure out whether your classroom has good feng shui and areas in which it could be strengthened. You will think up ways to improve the feng shui of the room, and then have a chance to actually make some of those ideas a reality.

Order East Meets West pdf @ $5.00

Invisible Dimension

Explore the classroom and the school in order to identify the specifics of the interior design that might be affecting people’s behavior.

Order Invisible Dimension pdf @ $5.00

Life on the Prairies

Imagine a place where the land and sky seem to go on forever, where not a single tree breaks the line made by the sky and horizon, where the wind blows so constantly that it can drive people crazy. Also image a place where the soil is so rich it can grow almost anything and people believe fortunes can be made if only they put their heart, soul, and blood into the land.. Imagine all this, and you’ve imagined life on the American prairies in the 19th century. In this lesson, you will investigate the geographic, social, economic and political factors that prompted the migration to the Mid-West after 1862 and made possible the emergence of sod houses. As you do this investigation, you will also examine the construction of these structures and write an essay about the everyday life in the newly formed communities.

Order Life on the Prairies pdf @ $5.00

Living Native American Style

We will be building a model of a Native American community. One group will model the physical and biological environment of the community. The rest will build structures based on their research of the housing types of the tribe that used to live in our area.

Order Living Native American Style pdf @ $5.00

My Digs

Your challenge is to select an object in your home that you want to preserve for posterity. Think of it as a message to a future archeologist. What would you like to communicate about yourself and your life in the 21st century to a civilization in the future? There’s no guarantee that archeologists from the future (let alone from another planet!) will be able to read our writing. What conclusions might they come up with based only on the objects you and your classmates choose to bury in the time capsule you design?

Order My Digs pdf @ $5.00

My School Has a Style?

Your challenge is to investigate the style of your school building within the context of its history. You will be researching architectural styles and their relationship to historical eras and will create a visual presentation of your findings so the rest of the school can learn from your efforts.

Order My School Has a Style? pdf @ $5.00

Cementing Relations

Imagine that you were going to build a tall apartment building out of concrete. Since your building would have to be strong, sturdy and durable, you would need to reinforce its concrete elements—beams, columns, slabs and walls— with steel (or “rebars”). Your challenge is to use what you know about tension and compression in beams to create the strongest concrete beam possible. Develop a hypothesis for the best placement of reinforcing wires in your beam. Then test your theory by finding out how many blows your beam can withstand before it crumbles.

Order Cementing Relations pdf @ $5.00

Electric Classroom

Your challenge is to create an electrical drawing that a construction crew could use to build a classroom annex. You know the number and placement of the outlets and circuits you need to light the room and power computers and other electrical devices. How would you communicate this information to the workers wiring the classroom? You will figure out how to indicate the locations of the outlets, fixtures and switches on a scaled isometric drawing of the room. You will also indicate where the wires should be placed. (This is a real challenge, since you can’t see the wires.)

Order Electric Classroom pdf @ $5.00

Fun With the Sun

Think about how the climate in your area changes with the seasons. There are times when it is hot outside and you want the interior of your house to be cooler than the temperature outside. There are also times when it is cold outside and you want the interior to be warmer than the temperature outside. Your challenge is to build a passive solar playhouse large enough to fit 3-4 students somewhere on the grounds of your school. Your goal is to use sunlight, shade, and wind to keep the interior temperature of the passive solar playhouse comfortable.

Order Fun With the Sun pdf @ $5.00

A Greener School

Your challenge is to select one of your school’s building systems, such as heating, cooling, lighting or plumbing or waste, and develop a plan for an energy- or resource-saving alternative or modification based on research into that system. If possible, your class will chose one plan to actually implement.

Order A Greener School pdf @ $5.00

How Green is my Roof?

You will be designing and then building a section of a “green roof” for a house. A green roof is more than a roof garden. It is a roof actually made of soil and plants as well as more traditional building materials. In that way, a green roof is both a garden and a roof.

Order How Green is my Roof? pdf @ $5.00

Sit Right

Your challenge is to design and construct a functional ergonomic chair out of cardboard. While that may sound like a difficult challenge, cardboard can be a very strong material if used correctly. In fact, there are many architects and designers who have built cardboard chairs.

Order Sit Right pdf @ $5.00

Watts in Your House

Electric companies use “watt-hour” meters to find out how much electricity is used by a household each month. But their meters can’t tell you how that electricity is used. Your challenge is to uncover that information by taking the following steps over the period of one month to measure electricity use for 6 major appliances: 1) Find out how much electricity each appliance uses (called its “wattage”) by reading the appliance’s product label and using those figures to calculate the wattage, and then 2) count up the number of hours during the month that each appliance is used. Once you have this information, you can then determine how much electricity your 6 major appliances use, how much this electricity costs, and ways your household might cut down on its electricity use and thus reduce its monthly bill.

Order Watts in Your House pdf @ $5.00

Your Body a Building

Create a visual representation that compares the systems of the body to the systems of a building. It can take the form of a poster, a model, a computer presentation, or any other form you think communicates your ideas effectively.

Order Your Body a Building pdf @ $5.00

American Dream House

Your work will be done in groups. Each group will research one style of architecture that has been used commonly in the United States and then use what it has learned to design and render a house in that same architectural style.

Order American Dream House pdf @ $5.00


Your challenge is to make an Archcyclopedia – an illustrated encyclopedia of architectural elements you find in your school. Just like in previous exercise, you will be combining images and text in your design to create a book of definitions. Along the way, you will learn about architecture, graphic design, and book-making!

Order Archcyclopedia pdf @ $5.00

Facade Facelift 1

Your challenge is to take all that you have learned about how the style outside reveals what is underneath and use it to come up with ideas that would give your school a new “face” or “façade. You will use a three-step process: 1) Assessment, or “what we now have”; 2) Design, or “what we could have”; and 3) Presentation, or “what we should have.”

Order Facade Facelift 1 pdf @ $5.00

Facade Facelift 2

You are going to create a large scale-model of your façade re-designs, decorated, adorned, colored, and otherwise built to bring to life in three dimensions the concept you drew out in two dimensions.

Order Facade Facelift 2 pdf @ $5.00

Nomadic Niche

Different nomadic people have built different types of dwellings based upon weather and available materials. The Mongolians in Asia have the “gher,” the Bedouins in the Middle East have their tents, the Somalis have the “aqal.” The type of nomadic dwelling you are probably most familiar with is the Native American tipi. Your challenge is to build a full-scale tipi that will hold half-a-dozen of your classmates.

Order Nomadic Niche pdf @ $5.00

A Sense-Able Map

Imagine that your classroom is uncharted territory and you are a team of surveyors commissioned to represent this uncharted territory to those who have never been there. Survey and record your group’s perceptions. Use all your senses. Try using one sense at a time to heighten the experience. Then communicate your perceptions to others by creating a “Sense-able” map of your classroom. Remember to use all the tools you have at your disposal to represent your ideas, including graphics, symbols, and scale, etc.

Order A Sense-Able Map pdf @ $5.00

Tall Tales

Think of a folk tale, legend or myth you know well and really like, one that you remember from childhood or that has special meaning for you. Design an entryway for this character’s house. Of course, unless the house and the door are mentioned in the tale, you probably don’t know what kind of door your character might have. But use what you know about the character to imagine what it should look like.

Order Tall Tales pdf @ $5.00

DVDDVD Series: Why Buildings Stand Up Video (Full Series) Programs 1 thru 9

In this series of videotapes, Dr. Mario Salvadori explains the fundamental principles of architectural structures through classroom demonstrations. Using commonly available materials, this master teacher and a class of 6th graders explore basic structural principles and illustrate their application to architecture in the design of buildings and skyscrapers, bridges and domes. Why Buildings Stand Up Videotapes were produced by the American Institute of Architects and New York City Community School District #10.

PROGRAM 1: Loads On Buildings Demonstrations of static and dynamic loads, and the effects of wind and earthquakes on buildings.

PROGRAM 2: Equilibrium and Materials Activities in tension, compression and bending; beams, columns, cables and arches, steel, concrete and wood.

PROGRAM 3: Bridges An exploration of framed structures, arches and truss and suspension bridges.

PROGRAM 4: Paper Structures Activities using paper to create folded plates, beams, arches and domes.

PROGRAM 5: Children and Math A panel discussion on the teaching of math with two students and two teachers.

PROGRAM 6: History of Architecture and Engineering A survey of architectural and engineering monuments from 8000 BC to the present time.

PROGRAM 7: Swing Bridges A tape on bridges with particular emphasis on swing bridges.

PROGRAM 8: Skyscrapers A tape illustrating high-rise buildings in New York City.

PROGRAM 9: Children and Structures A sequence of scenes from the course, “”Why Buildings Stand Up,”” taught by Dr. Mario Salvadori to the students of a Harlem bilingual mini-school.

Price includes shipping.

Order Why Buildings Stand Up Video (Full Series) Programs 1 thru 9 entire set @ $220.00
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