I find «Ask Alice» a really interesting concept. Since Xenotheka is a huge collection of books a search machine like ask Alice is essential to utilize and navigate this body of books.
To better understand Alice and maximize its potential I first looked at the provided YouTube tutorials explaining how Alice works. Afterwords I asked myself what the book I am friends with (Bernardino Radi, Vari disegni de architettura ornati de porte) was really about. Like I already described in previous texts, the book is a illustration book about ornate entrances witch was made during the 17. Century. I picked a few keywords to communicate with Alice and started using Alice.
As a Topic of conversation, I used “architecture” as I found it fitting since entrances are architectural Elements. I first searched for Bernado Radi, who is the author of the book but surprisingly under “find” there weren’t any results. Afterwards just out of curiosity I tried to search for the whole title of the book and also couldn’t find any results. In reaction to my failed searches I started searching by keywords as it was explained in the tutorials. As a keyword I used “ornate doors” and there were eight findings. In second place there was a interesting appearing finding. The book is called “Baroque and Rococo Architecture and Decoration” by Anthony Blunt. As a second keyword I used “ornaments” since the ornamentation of entrances was typical for the 17th century. When searching I was confronted with 523 result. As the first suggestion “Ten Books on Architecture 1999” by Vitruvius was listed. I found it interesting to connect this assignment with the lecture “History and theory of Architecture”, so I chose this book.
The book “Baroque and Rococo Architecture and Decoration” is a study about art, design and architecture, beginning from Baroque architecture in the beginning of the 17th century and ranging through to Rococo. It is a book with a lot of illustations which is a parallel to Bernado Radi’s book. Another parallel is that it is about the same time in history. For the book “Vari disegni de architettura ornati de porte” the 17th century was present time and for the book “Baroque and Rococo Architecture and Decoration” it was already history, but it contains photos of buildings of the 17th century.
The second book “Ten Books on Architecture 1999” by Vitruvius is about architecture in general from the view of a universal genius from antiquity. It is the only book that was the delivered from Antiquity. Ornaments play a big role in the book since they already were a important part of architecture in Antiquity. In the 17th century the ornaments became important again and architects looked to Vitruvius works as a guideline and inspiration. Which means that those entrances pictured in the book “Vari disegni de architettura ornati de porte” were probably inspired by the works of Vitruvius.