I started my research for “La Science des Ingenieurs dans la Conduite des Travaux de Fortification et d’Architecture Civil” by Bernard Forest de Belidor in the brain Xenotheka. Interested in the results, I initially inserted the title into the explore/find field, selecting architecture as the topic of conversation. This led to an array of books, ranging from the discussion of elements of architecture to points of theory and even specififed works about architecture competitions. None of these, however, seemed to have any relation to “La Science des Ingenieurs dans la Conduite des Travaux de Fortification et d’Architecture Civil.” I thus resorted to using more specific phrases regarding the actual content of the book. Conduct of work, rules of architecture,” “engineering,” and “rules civil architecture” surprisingly all led to the same assortment of titles. Additional authors appeared when I changed the topic of conversation from architecture to engineer.
Two works that repeatedly appeared were “Twentieth Century Architecture” by David Leatherbarrow Alexander Eisenschmidt and “Elements of Architecture” by Rem Koolhaas. The first, published in 2017, discusses the influence of culture in architecture. It describes the impact of globalization on the rules architects follow in different regions of the world – how they balance tradition with an increasing desire for western elements. The second, published in 2012, illustrates the way in which planned global cities create the basis for later projects around the world. They popularize building styles and set philosophies that collueges attempt to copy. Whiles neither of these books provide the mathematical rules of individual architectural elements that Bernard Forest de Belidor describes in his “La Science des Ingenieurs dans la Conduite des Travaux de Fortification et d’Architecture Civil,” they explain the rules of architecture in a grander scheme, showing the social, economic, cultural, and sustainable rites that architects aspire to embody. This has, after all, become the modern perspective. Architecture is not meant to solely follow one directive – it must be adjusted to the local circumstances and ways of life.