As this year is coming to an end, so is my friendship with my beloved old friend. It has been a year of up and downs, but mostly downs to be honest. I think this is because of the book itself and the language barrier, that almost never could be crossed (my book was written in Latin). I really think if I’d had another book I would have enjoyed getting to know it. I realize that it is almost impossible to find a book that is interesting enough for every student. But let me reflect on every task separately.
When I first heard about the exercise, I was pretty excited, because I thought I’d get to read some architectural theory book about historical views and opinions. And this already draws me to a first overall conclusion of the exercise: I have learned and even experienced in some sort of way how our or my understanding and view of architecture differs and at the same time comes from a historical point of view regarding architecture. So I think that in that aspect I learned more about the way architecture evolves than about historical architectural theory (what I thought I would learn).
The second assignment was the one I liked the most but at the same time it was the most annoying assignment. It was the one I liked the most because I found it really interesting to see the old book lying before me as a witness to an old way of thinking about the architecture (and in some ways about the world). That was the point where I really wanted to understand what the text said. But again, those are old wounds :’-( . The annoying part was the organizing and actually going there to visit my old friend. To be honest, I feel it cost me more energy to go there than what I think I earned from the visit.
The third assignment was okay, it didn’t take me a lot of time and I found it interesting having to do research and search the internet. The fourth assignment was also an interesting one to me, but almost only because of the paragraph we had to write. In regard of my frustrating first encounter with the book (in the sense that I wasn’t able to understand almost anything) I took it as a challenge to unlock as much of the book as possible and I found that analyzing the structure is a great way to do that.
So in summary, I’d say that I personally would have enjoyed the exercise way more, if it had been an understandable book about for example beauty in architecture or something similar. But I also think that if that had been the case, I would not have learned or understood in some sense the way different views and schools of architecture are part of a tradition of architecture, connected over time.