When we were first given the task friends with an old book I wasn’t very sure about what the use of this exercise should be. Having just started studying Architecture I was still very new to the whole topic of Architecture and didn’t really know what things you actually had to learn in order to become an architect. Designing spaces in the studio, sure that seems like an Architecture thing but visiting a library to read a 500 year old book about columns (or rather just looking at the drawings because of my incapability understanding Italian)? I didn’t think so then…
Today, still being quite new to the topic of Architecture and not having achieved anything in the subject yet with many years of studying still to come, I still might not be the most reliable person to judge the relevance of doing this exercise. Though I must say that I don’t really understand why we are doing this. Of course there are benefits and things I learnt but I am not sure if they are worth the effort. I do like the idea of every individual student doing research on their personal topic, but does it really have to be books that don’t really have any relevance in todays world? (I apologize for my narrow view, maybe these books really do have more relevance than what I am capable of understanding.) My friend was the 7th book on architecture by Sebastiano Serlio. A book about fortifications. It sure is a part of history but personally it would have been enough for me just to know that books like this exist. Having to research details on where the book is located, when it was published or film myself going through the pages for twenty minutes doesn’t really teach me anything.
The last two exercises when we scanned the text of a passage in our books which then created libraries were fairly interesting though. It is quite impressive how much information can be drawn out of these books by computers without us having to read it. One could say that these books really do have a character with which we can become friends with.
To conclude I must say that I don’t really see the relevance of every part of this exercise. Tough there are some interesting things to it too.