Type has been an instrumental concept for architectural education since the nineteenth century. Devised as a spatial schema, it is a tool of design and a source of knowledge. It fosters technical expertise about architecture, based on formal and functional criteria. Yet, it also considers every instance as a cultural datum. This paper makes an historic overview of typological studies, in order to assert their relevance as a pedagogic method. The teachings of Jean-Nicolas Louis Durand at École Polytechnique in Paris, Aldo Rossi at IUAV in Venice, and Christ Gantenbein at ETH Zurich are discussed under this light. Typological studies can be viewed as a “degree zero of architecture,” or its fundamentals. It is necessary to return to them, as a means to address the current state of architectural education.

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