What did I learn from my one-year friendship with ” l’essai sur l’architecture”?
At first, I had my difficulties to really understand how these tasks should end in a friendship. Researching simple tasks like basic Infos, locations and lineages had nothing to do with building a deeper connection with a book. However, there where certain parts that really changed my mind.
Making direct contact with the book for example. Going to the library and holding an almost 300 years old book, feeling the weight of the book and just flip through the pages really made a stronger connection than just clicking through a PDF version at home. But I also had a lot of language problems during my visit, because my book is written in French. So I could not really understand what it was trying to tell me. The content of the book was therefor still uncovered, but I gathered some information about design and layout. It would have really helped to understand Laugier’s text for me to connect content and visuals.
I had the same feeling of a bonding connection in the library of libraries task, where we had to take a position with our book. Thinking about what my book would agree and disagree with a certain topic made me understand its point of view even more and formed a different kind of understanding of its topics.
I also had some problems with my friendship. For example, I did not really learn much about the content of the book itself during these tasks. That might have been because of the already mentioned language barrier, which made reading while the contact task rather difficult. Maybe it was also because my book, unlike many others, had no illustrations or pictures at all (except the Frontispiece), who could give me an idea of what the text might discuss. So to really understand what the book is about, you can only rely on the text of Lagier itself. That’s why I gathered most of my information from google researches outside the tasks, which I found a little bit disappointing, to be honest. I was lucky enough to have a book that was and is still very popular, because many of my teammates for the last task did not have any information about the book online, so understanding my book would have impossible otherwise.
In general, I learned that especially with an old book, you can get many different experiences and perspectives if you try out some of the tasks. Searcing direct contact for example and analyzing how the text is written and how big or small the pictures actually are gives a lot of information about the intention of the writer. I will definitely continue to search for direct contact, make an analysis of the layout and images, or make a fictional discussion between some books to understand older books. I don’t think I will repeat the lineage and location tasks.