Now it’s time to say goodbye to my book. I’m not unhappy about that fact. However, I very much liked the idea of getting to know an old book, I think it’s the first time for me to ever have such an old book in my hands. The second task, where we had to “meet our old friend in person” was the most interesting to me. I did spend much more time with my book than I had to, since the drawings were very interesting to me. Touching such an old book felt a bit mystical, the old paper felt hard and soft at the same time, it’s weird to describe it with words. Also just being aware of the fact, that 400 years ago somebody spent years and put much effort in this book, was great.
During those tasks I realized, that there are many great old books and ideas within them, which are still accurate today. For example, the idea about the primitive hut by Laugier still strikes me. Architecture in its purest form, following its real function. No Ornaments needed, purpose as the leading creative idea, nobility achieved through simplicity. This idea I will take with for my career as an architect.
But unfortunately, there were also some problems with my book(s). Since my first book, Architectura by Gabriel Kramer (1604) was written in Old German, I couldn’t understand a single sentence (except the title, for which I had about half an hour to translate). Basically, I had the drawings, but didn’t have Kramer’s thoughts on them, which is a pitty. I guess that would have made a big difference in its understanding for me. The ancient language and lettering used, lead to another big problem.
Obviously, the OCR didn’t work on my book, so I received another book for the last task, the most interesting task at all! Unfortunately, it was my “new old friend”, which I didn’t know very well at that time, who came into the dialogue with the other old friends. But still I found it interesting, to start to think like a book, to become the book, to become my old friend. The idea of having a discussion now, with a roughly 270-year-old mindset is quite nice. A 270-year-old going on interrail.
At last I want to say, that some ideas of Laugier are timeless. As mentioned above, some of the theory is still up to date today. The often used term “form follows function” is not so different from what I found about Laugier’s opinion on wikipedia;
“…idea of noble and formal architecture was found in what was necessary for architecture, not in its ornamentation but in its true underlying fundamentals. Laugier argued for the simplicity of architecture, that architecture must return to its origins…”