The 17 August 1999 and 12 November 1999 earthquakes in Western Anatolia provided undesirable field evidence that most of the low story residential reinforced concrete buildings have very poor earthquake resistance. Architectural design faults negatively affect the structural behavior of buildings. In Turkey, earthquake-resistant design is considered to be exclusively within the field of responsibility of structural engineers. As a result, architects and especially students of architecture are not well informed about the effect of their design decisions on the seismic performance of the buildings. Structural damages in collapsed buildings demonstrate that most of the design faults that lead to destruction of buildings are due to architectural decisions. This paper intends to present the concept of earthquake-resistant design in a comprehensible format for the architects and builders, therefore aims to contribute to the efforts of creating a better awareness of earthquake resistant building design. (c) 2005 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.