To start off the main themes in the concept of the exercise are indeed interesting making a book come to life using its history and influence on other books as a mean to give it a character of its own. As well as the fascination implied for objects distanced far away from the present in terms of time and location. May it be as the book was written in a very different structure of society and political system or that it is only to be found in a specialized library and therefore celebraing the source as being a physical object. Furthermore the notion of removing the common understanding of a book being strictly a written source but discovering the interconnected consequences its publication had on history in general as well as the development of architecture is refreshing
Still some negative aspects of the current layout of the task have to be mentioned. One being the tendency to glorify these books as precious and rare objects whereas one insists that the power of books lies in the ease of copying and distributing them. As at the moment the books’ effects on history are difficult to grasp because they are being portrayed as work of art that should be kept in a museum. Additionally even if one now understands the end goal of the task it does seem to loose some of its potential as alot of the assignments were merely kept very technical. Yet the final one is supposed to be very creative and poetic in execution. In General one could have wished for more interaction with the texts and the drawings in the different books or with their authors but this way everything remained more or less abstract. Positively one can remark the ever so unique experience of engaging with a topic or a book for a long period of time was an interesting contrast to the otherwise timewise condensed teaching in other subjects, lectures and tasks. In Differentation the appreciation for a physical object and its history but not the exaggerated glorification is welcomed in these overloaded times of the internet e.g. visiting a real library with real books. Especially the last task is very interesting in concept by having to work together creatively and actually composing or maybe even recreating a conversation in terms of a modern interpretation. In conclusion one can see the huge potential of merging very traditional means with the use of modern technologies like OCR or A.I. working in neural networks to reconstruct and reinterpret history. This could have been applied in a less technocrat but more poetic and inclusive fashion. There could have been more exercises similar to the last one sourcing increased exchange bewtween the students’ work. In Addition more historical context could be given for the effects the books had and thus their relationships.