To start my research with AliceAsk I chose to try starting with some topics from my book. I entered architecture as a topic, the library Xenotheca as Alice’s brain, and I chose to enter keywords such as modern architecture foundations, stable building, safe building,… Then I tried to enter the name of Jean Martin, who translated the work from Latin into French. Unfortunately, the results were not what I had hoped for, at which point I perhaps realized that I had to start with something simpler.
So I decided to enter the name of the author of my work, Leon Baptiste Albert, very banally. As the topic of my research, I again entered architecture and as Alice’s brain I again chose the Xenotheca library. The result was interesting, as it led me to find one of his books (De rae aedificatoria, Leon Battista Alberti), which deals with themes that the book that was the subject of my research also refers to, or rather, summarizes his thoughts on construction techniques in more precise schemes and rules.
After continuing my research I found a book that had something in common with mine. In fact, the author of my book, as the title also says, deals with architecture and the art of good construction, and he is indeed famous for finding very innovative methods for his time. In the book he deals with topics such as the construction of buildings that are ‘insulated’, and therefore can keep warm or cold inside the house depending on the season, or some solution against the entry of insects. In this case, the book I found through the AskAlice search tool and by entering as topic Renaissance, as Alice’s brain the Xenotheca library and finally by typing innovative methods, is called Encyclopedia of consumption and waste (Zimring). This book criticizes the fact that in the period of industrialism there was great competition for whoever could make the most innovation, and thus the most discoveries for mass production to produce steel rails for railway lines or make his fortune in the oil industry (“…who were aggressively innovative and competitive, … who developed new methods to mass produce steel rails for railway lines,… who made his fortune in the oil industry…”). Here too, as Leon Baptist Albert made his discoveries based on the needs of the society of the time and the geo-political development of the time, in this second book we find the will to innovate more and more to enable development.
In order to find the third book related to mine, I chose to look for a theme that is part of my book and of the author himself. Indeed, together with Brunelleschi, Leon Baptist Albert is considered the founder of Renaissance architecture. In order to develop, there had to be a departure from the ancient models. In fact, Albert considered the models of antiquity as something to be inspired by, but not to be replicated. In Rethinking the High Renaissance (Burke), the concept of ‘reusable antiquity’ is taken up, rather than imitable (“the imitation of antique orders was less important than invention”), as confirmed by Brunelleschi’s and Alberti’s innovations that were possible thanks to the deviation from ‘ancient rules’.