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Think Before You Build

By annie shum | April 2, 2011

Timeless insight: “Think Before You Build”- architecture is about thinking. Slate’s new post on “Have computers made architects less disciplined?”

Think Before You Build
Have computers made architects less disciplined?

Witold Rybczynski considers architecture before computers:

Rigor was equally a part of the Renaissance architect’s working method. This period not only lacked Xeroxes and blueprint machines; it even lacked pencils. All drawings, including rough sketches, were done in ink. A finished architectural drawing required two steps. First, a stylus was used to impress an outline on thick, hand-laid paper. (There was no tracing paper.) Once the barely perceptible ghost drawing was complete, it was inked in. No wonder that Renaissance architectural treatises often seem cerebral; architects spent a lot of time thinking before they started drawing.

Take away message:

“This is not a question of turning back the clock but, rather, of slowing it down—and recognizing that rigor of thought is as much a part of design as making shapes.”

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