displayed in chronological sequence
...have the plan, section, and elevation data all at the same scale[?] ...a collection of building plans, etc. displayed chronologically (not by country, type, style, or architect)--just by date (and at the same scale). the same type of chronological ordering for Quondam's entire collection.
...a history/museum of architecture displayed in chronological sequence...

hmmm; curious
I see a real problem in your view in that you see diversity as an academic fad as well as something that I am latching on to because I want to see change happen. What I'm doing is trying to come to an understanding of the practice and manifestation of architecture as it exists today, and part of how I'm doing that is to look at trends both recent and older. I am interested in diversity actually because I have over the last few years become very interested in non-Western architectures. Additionally, I have been compiling a strict chronology of architecture on a complete global scale. Without the usual Western categorization of architectural history, it is very enlightening to collectively see exactly what architectures and styles were executed on this planet at any given time. For example, notice what Gothic cathedrals and what Hindu temples were built at the same time, or the temporal relation between Mayan and Romanesque architectures. Even regionally, look at the incredible diversity of architecture built within all of Europe between 1517 and 1636 when viewing on a year by year basis.

2003.09.01 11:05
Re: Evolutionary theory and architecture very much got, and explained far better than I could, what I was trying to get at regarding Alex's "Evolutionary theory and architecture" proposal. A. may indeed be right about there being a lack in architectural history when it comes to explaining shifts from style to style (and this interests me greatly), but I'm not convinced so far that evolutionary theory (which ever one that may be) is the best(?) way to explain shifts from style to style.
Up until (more or less) the "International Style", architectures where very much linked to geography/locale and the politics(/religion) that comes with geography [--and here Norberg-Schulz's Meaning In Western Architecture offers good explanation]. Of course, European colonialism can be seen as an "internationalization" (or is it "globalization"?) of European/Western architecture precursing the "International Style," as well as the beginning of the eradication of many indigenous architectural styles throughout the world. Is this history best explained as evolutionary? Is the shift from Mayan architecture to Baroque architecture in Mexico, for example, something evolutionary? Not exactly survival of the fittest; more like survival of the one's with the guns and the greed, and, oh yes, the holy mission to spread the Christian faith.
Personally, I sometimes wonder whether Mayan architecture may have sometime/somehow played an influencing/inspiring role in terms of (particularly) Spanish Renaissance and Baroque architecture.

2003.09.28 13:39
29 September, the end of reenactment season
24 September 1814: the death of J-B-L-G Seroux d'Agincourt.
I have cursorily known of Seroux d'Agincourt since purchasing a bound edition of his 70-odd architectural engravings for $50. at a Philadelphia used book store in 1984, and in 1988 I became more aware of Seroux's work via Anthony Vidler's "The Decline and Fall of Architecture: Style and Epoch in Gibbon and Seroux d'Agincourt" in The Writing of the Walls. Here I found out that the engravings I have are from a much larger work (in French, whose title translates The History of Art Through Its Monuments From Its Decline in the Fourth Century to Its Renewal in the Sixteenth). Seroux makes reference to this work as itself (like) a museum (of architecture, sculpture and art), and several of Seroux's engraved plates were on display during Quondam's first two years online. While Seroux's architecture engravings (in Quondam's collection) are very engaging, they are also frustrating (for me) because each individual drawing is numbered, but no text was included with the engravings (as purchased). About a month ago I found that Seroux's entire work was translated into English in 1843, and that a copy of this edition is within Temple University's Paley Library, albeit in the behind-locked-doors limited circulation collection. It turns out that 'limited circulation' means borrowing privileges for two weeks instead of four week. It took me the better part of a week to electronically transcribe Seroux's text, and it turns out that the engravings present a history of architecture depicted in more or less strict chronological order, thus manifesting (something like) a vast evolutionary chart that diagrams whole buildings, as well as building parts like arches, walls, columns, capitals, and bases, and domes. It didn't take me long to see that Seroux's method would be favorably enhanced via HTML.

2003.09.28 16:55
Re: Quite a reenactor!!!
I see the possibility of Seroux's work being enhanced via HTML in that throughout the text that accompanies each engraved plate there are references from an image or set of images on one engraved plate to other images on another or even several other engraved plates--hyperlinkage could be of benefit here. Moreover, I found that aspects/details of many buildings are distributed throughout the whole set of engravings. For example, a plan of a church may be displayed with other church plans of the same era, but a column from this church is depicted on another engraving that presents a vast variety of columns all arranged in chronological order. The same disbursement goes for details of arches, walls, and domes. In redoing the work utilizing HTML, not only can the work be recreated as originally published albeit with hyperlinks, but whole new 'plates' of drawings can be composed where (for the first time) all aspects of an individual building are displayed together, and these new displays can then be further worked via hyperlinks into the historical outline Seroux already established. I'd also like to add some new text to the Histoire.
Interestingly enough, the drawings (by many top-notch French architectural apprentices that Seroux hired) on which the engravings are based are now at the Vatican Library. And, according to Vidler, the original drawings far surpass the engraved drawings, mostly because the engraved drawings are much reduced from the original size.
My favorite 'discovery' to come out of this exercise so far is learning about the Basilica of St. Stefano, Bologna, thirteenth century, a religious compound where the Court of Pilate and the Church of the Holy Sepulcher, Jerusalem were/are specifically reenacted.

2004.07.01 14:57
Modern Trajectory
Why not compose a modern trajectory based on individual buildings/designs and events (such as building expositions, publications, schools, symposiums, etc.) entwined with historical events, instead of dealing with architects themselves as a datum?
Is the course on architecture or is it on architects?
A Venturi and Rauch building of the 1960s, for example, is not the same as a Venturi, Scott Brown & Associates building of now-a-days. The same goes for Gehry's career trajectory. An early Mies building is not the same as a late Mies building (although most late Mies buildings are just like each other). Note what building design Kahn was working on while Wright was designing Beth Sholom Synagogue.
A chronological trajectory of buildings/designs will be much more informative than a more or less speculative list of what architect may have succeeded or followed what other architect.

intermediate 'to do' list
Start incorporating chronological lists of the architectural designs at Quondam. No single list will be complete in and of itself, nor will any single list be making a specific point, but as the lists multiply, their combined information is the point of the exercise. I could start with dating all the architecture within Seroux.

chronological architectural history
I really liked the contrasts within the 18th century...
Don't forget the University Prints pdf.

2007.07.18 08:35
on aesthetics
The fractured standard is just that, fractured. There is no universal, and indeed there never really was. Just look at what was going on (somewhat globally) in the early 1730s. There is no real universal standard, rather standards were then (and still are?) relative to place.

2007.07.18 09:37
on aesthetics
I'm not exactly sure how "any definition of place is going to be arbitrary."
There is a somewhat unquestioned methodology to architectural history, which categorizes types of architectures by period (time) and location (place). And this is mostly a Western European standard. Yet architectural history is rarely written where it demonstrates how types of architectures actually overlap when architecture is culled from all over the globe at any given time.
If you're not arbitary about place and simply say the globe, and then look to see what types of architecture were being done (on the globe) at any given time, you'll see just how diverse architecture always was. Interestingly, this is how we judge the present (and conclude that standards are fractured), but it's not how the past is/has been judged.
I agree that architecture for the most part is arbitrary in the sense that most architecture reflects a set of specific decisions (arbitration), but only a small percentage of architecture is outright whimsical. Personally, it's refreshing to see just how diverse architecture has always been.
Otherwise, the real modus operandi of aesthetics is "what is the cash value?"

2008.09.28 16:35
On Formalism and Reenactment
Place the following items in chronological order from oldest to youngest.
a. something original
b. reenactment
c. meme
d. tautology
e. all of the above as something original

2011.01.24 21:18
what is our current architectural style called
Architecture style is no longer defined by space, rather by time.
"Their house is the epitome of 2002 style."
"Design me something early 1840s. I'm feeling immediate-post-Schinkel lately."
"In the year 2525, when architecture is finally alive..."

2011.01.25 12:25
what is our current architectural style called
The more true question is: What are our current architectural styles called?
There has never been just one style globally active at any given time. There are many diverse styles of architecture active today. Even within just a single year there are diverse styles active. For example,
1927   1930   1942   1956   1959   1964   1972   1983   1993   1996   2001  
and that's just a very thin slice of any yearly cross-section.
I wonder if a worthwhile studio project might be to design a hypothetical '1963' building, for example, which would be a hybrid of a half dozen or so buildings that were actually dsigned or built in 1963.
Perhaps if there is a current Zeitgeist, it's one of individual (consumer) choice.

2011.01.25 16:19
what is our current architectural style called
The groupings simply came about by sorting the digital images I've accumulated over the years into a strict chronological order. More often than not I was surprised by what buildings are closely coeval. Certainly not the way I was used to seeing 'history'.
Is the result of Zeitgeist indeed now best described as collage?

2014.01.25 10:00
Sam Lubell examines the U.S.'s trouble keeping top design talent
Architectural history has a very interesting and very diverse timeline when you strictly follow chronological order. Take a look at just a small sampling of the architectural diversity of the 20th century in chronological order, for example, 1924, 1926, 1932, 1939. The notion that one architectural style/attitude dominates or is better than another (coexisting) style or is best suited to its time is really only artificial historiography. The real fact is that architectural history (on a strictly chronological and global scale) is extremely diverse and always has been. Thus, it's fairly certain that the 21st century is going to turn out being extremely diverse architecturally as well, and it might just help for all architects and historians to just generally realize that fact.



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