Using “Ask Alice” for the first time, I struggled a bit with finding the best way to search for books that connected with “Lucidum prospectivae Speculum” from Paul Heineken. Firstly, I typed in the title of the book with “architecture” as the topic of conversation and the “Xenotheka Library” as Alice’s brain but only got 3 results that didn’t really match.
So, I changed my strategy and reflected on what I already learned about “Lucidum prospectivae Speculum” and thought about which keywords could bring me to similar books. What I was searching for were books with a lot of illustrations that dealt with the topic of perspective.
Accordingly, I typed in more general words: perspective, architecture, geometry, drawings, and ornaments. I noticed that if you only write one of those keywords, there are way too many results. The same happens when you explore instead of find. Therefore, I used a minimum of 2 keywords together and pressed “Find”. These researches were successful, and Alice gave me about 100 results in which I found interesting books.
One of those is “The Projective Cast – Architecture and Its Three Geometrics” by the author Robin Evans. It was published in 1994 at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
As I digitally flipped through it, I noticed a lot of illustrations that reminded me of Heinekens drawings. Robin Evans in effect analyzed many drawings from numerous artists according to their geometry and perspective. This book is all about the relationship between architecture and geometry and how it affects the way of drawing and imagination.
The second book I discovered through my research with Alice is “Eighteenth Century Architecture” by Van Eck. It is about the development of architecture from 1680 to 1820.
It is similar to “Lucidum prospectivae Speculum” because it gives a view of the architecture in those times while working with illustrations of columns, perspectives on buildings and ornaments. However, Van Eck still works more with text.
I believe that the aim of both books is the same: to teach different perspectives and visions of architecture in the eighteenth century. Something that was probably not as evident as today.
Despite my struggle in the beginning, my research with Alice was quite successful and I slowly became more acquainted with it.