Task 3 – Topographia Gallilae in the Alice search engine.
Using Alice’s architecture library brain when searching for the terms „france 1665 architecture“ the search engine delivered some useful results. In his book „the architectural capriccio“, the author Lucien Steil describes how the works of the french painter Nicolas Poussin (1594 – 1665) drew his attention to the matter of architecture. This shows how in the period around the 1650s and the 1660s when Martin Zeiller wrote his book “Topographia Galliae, vol. 1“, there was a general interest in architecture in various disciplins. While Zeiller used documentaion in form of text and drawings for expressing his interest in architecture Poussin used his own approach which was painting. I chose this book because it displays how this general interest in architecture in france aropund the 1660s ultimately lead to university professor Lucien Steil’s interest in architecture which then developed to him writing an extremely precise analysis of an specific niche topic in architetcure. To me this series of event shows how much influence even little things can have.
Another search of mine using Alice’s Xenofeminism, Coco and Rem Library brain and the term „french architecture“ led to interesting results. The one that immediately caught my attention was the essay „A Cyborg Manifesto“ by Donna Haraway. The essay was published in the „Socialist Review“ in 1985. The reason I chose this essay as the second reference for the old book I am friends with is the fact that it displays the infinite dimensions of architectural topics. The essay itself is not about architecture nor does it use any architecural concepts. Despite this the topic it evolves around is heavily influenced by how architecture is used to create our surroundings. Haraway’s theory argues beyond any human or technical concepts and urges to neglect any given concepts of human, animals and machines as mutually exclusive characterizations. This argumentation uses the world we live in thus the world architects have built as scenery and precondition. Following this concept, architects play a huge role in influencing and predetermining the way we as society see each other and accept or reject binary concepts of human or machine respectively human or animal. In my opinion this responsibilty of architects is something that doesn’t get enough attention in the way architecture is taught in universities around the globe. Too often do aspiring architects see the world they are supposed to create architecture in as already finished and predetermined even though they are the ones who have the power to determine their surroundings and the context themselves.