Invitation to Architecture

I bought a book a couple months ago which was mainly about how to get normal people to learn architecture. I guess I don’t exactly fit the description because I have at least a little knowledge on buildings but regardless, I bought it so that I can start studying about architecture without paying six digits of finances for education again.

Unlike the book that I wrote about way back in January or Febraury, this book was very easy to understand. It definitely felt like an invitation as I read it. Knowledge that I didn’t have, such as the history and the general progression of architecture was explained in a manner that was easy to understand and the reasoning to these trends made it easy to follow because the history of the that era of architecture was also included.

The main theme of this book seems to revolve around Vitruvius’ and his three principles of good architecture: Firmitas (durability), Utilitas (utility/function), and Venustatis (beauty). Good architecture never has a bad balance of these three. It is an even combination. As an example, and clearly, if a building lacked in Firmitas, there probably won’t be a building. There would be failures everywhere and lives lost on a daily basis if all of our structures lacked durability. If a building looks bad, it can also just plainly be bad vibes, then no one would want to go into it.

As simple as it is put, balancing these three is an iterative process which can take weeks, months, or even years to complete for just one project. However, after reading this, I wondered whether or not it is possible to try designing a building without directly thinking about Venustatis. When the Washington Monument was being repaired, there was a petition being signed to keep the scaffolding up because so many people were impressed by it. The purpose of the scaffold is not to look good… but it inadvertently did. So what if someone were to design a building without considering the aesthetics, and solely focused on the structure and showing it? Would that produce a boring old building or something completely different than what we conventionally see today? If I ever get the chance to do something like this for my career, that would be exciting….


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