For my first try at working with Alice and the Xenotheka library I immediately choose “architecture” as the topic of conversation. At first, I was not quite sure, what keywords to type into the research engine. Then I figured, why not to start with the title of my book “Exercitationes Vitruvianae primae”. To be honest, I did not expect any findings, but to my surprise, five results popped up. Alice showed me three books with the according passages.
The first recommended book is called “History of Architectural Theory”. It is written by Hanno-Walter Kruft and published in the year 1994. The focus of the book is the Western architectural theory. Kruft analyses the studies starting from Vitruvius up until present architectural theorists. It’s importance for not only architects, but also students, historians and so on is indisputable.
«On adam’s house in paradise» is the name of the second book on the list. The author’s name is Joseph Rykwert. Beside Alice I also googled the book and searched for further information. I could only find a second edition with the subtitle “The Idea of the Primitive Hut in Architectural History”. The publication date is December 29th 1981. Rykwert discusses every generation of architectural theoreticians back again to Vitruvius. While keeping it light, he still gets the emphasis on every individual generation through. With the newer edition original illustrations and a few new ones come together.
And finally, the last book Alice proposed is called “Vitruvius Writing the Body of Architecture”. It was published 2003 and different to the other texts, this one was written by a woman named Indra Kagis McEwen. In contrast to other theorists who have examined and analyzed Vitruvius text literally, McEwen took a deeper look into the meaning and significance of the work, especially in connection to the time back then.