When I arrived on the Ask Alice website, I was a bit caught off guard, so I watched the replay of the first lecture, and immediately everything became clear. So I entered “civil architecture” as a keyword and architecture as the subject of the discussion. Then I decided to wander through Alice’s different brains. In the whole library of the Xenotheka, Alice offered me more than 300 entries. I went through them but I didn’t know where to look. So I decided to explore another potentially smaller brain. The library of Homer’s friends being the next entry I naturally chose that one. And what a surprise it was to find no results in this brain. On second thought, I think I found an explanation for this result. According to my knowledge of Homer’s stories, they are essentially about mythology and therefore about the life of the gods and all the beings that gravitate around them. However, Homer’s stories are not about “normal” people, so it is normal that civil architecture is not related to these stories. So it was time for me to resume my research. One of Alice’s brains caught my attention, the one of the library of Rousseau’s friends. Rousseau being a Swiss and French-speaking writer, my research might be a bit simplified by the language. 33 results appeared and will therefore serve as a basis for my research.
I came across the book: “Style in the Technical and Tectonic Arts or Practical Aesthetics”, by Gottfried Semper and written between 1860 and 1862. In this book, Gottfried explains that architectural style should be governed by historical function, cultural affinities, creative free will and the innate properties of each medium. He therefore makes an analysis of the different architectural styles throughout the world and the eras. It is natural that he talks about civil architecture. He evokes the differences that it can have with the religious or military architecture. He also notes the traces that this architecture has left in the current art.
I then stopped on the book: “Précis of the Lectures on Architecture”, written by Jean-Nicolas-Louis Durand and written between 1802 and 1805. This book goes hand in hand with another book by the same author: “Graphic Portion”. These two books were conceived by Durand as a treatise and an introductory course for future civil engineers. He focused on the practice of architecture with utilitarian and economic values while maintaining the beauty, proportionality and symbolism of classical architecture.