My friendship with Johann Wilhelm’s book “Architectura civilis” did not begin in the best way because I did not understand the general meaning of this exercise. I thought I would have to read an entire ancient book and then be evaluated, but luckily during the semesters the relationship with my book turned out to be interesting.
My book was in Einsiedeln, which increased my interest in it, because I was already aware of the “Warner Oechslin” library built by Mario Botta, and this visit immediately captured me. The library really fascinated me.
I then had my first encounter with “Architectura civilis”, and I discovered that the book mainly had pictures with an index describing them. Although the book was in German, I still had the chance to understand and interpret it better thanks to the illustrations, because German was ancient so those words that I didn’t understand were explained in them. I have therefore noticed how much the images remain over time, unlike languages that are always changing. Thanks to them then, I think the book has managed to have its purpose, that of helping to build almost like a teacher.
Another thing I realized with this exercise is how difficult it is to categorize books, date them and keep them in good condition. In fact the date of publication of my book was always imprecise, and when we had physical contact with them we had to be very careful with our movements, because you could see and feel that the book was old but precious.
The last exercise, where we had to relate five or six books, was interesting but also fun. Even though our books had the general theme in common, they didn’t always get along, so we made them argue, or even almost quarrel. I think that with this technique we made it stand out the idea that everyone thinks differently even on the same theme, especially remembering that they were written quite a few years later, so situations changed and techniques improved.
I hope and think that this exercise can be useful also in the future, because the library that each of us helped to create is full of information given by research not always easy to do.