As I first started to work with Ask Alice I was quite overwhelmed by the many possibilities the search engine provides. I soon realized that I had to use “find” and not “explore” to get matching results and to reduce the number of answers “Ask Alice” was giving me. As in the beginning of my process I was just typing in random words and I was not completely sure about what I was looking for in the results, I realized that I had to become clear about my intentions. What subjects did I want to learn more about? To figure that out I started to think about my book and what I had learned about it so far.
Our book les dix livres d’architecture is the French translation of Vitruvius’ ten books on architecture. To me the most interesting thing about the work is the importance it has had for centuries now. Despite our working methods have changed drastically and we have more possibilities nowadays, the books still are very true and have a big impact on our understanding of architecture. Thinking about this I decided to try to find two books which dedicate themselves to architecture changing with time, or more precisely the changing working methods.
My first interesting discovery is a book called Architecture Culture and it is written by Joan Ockman. I found it by in the Xenotheka Library, with “architecture” as the topic of conversation and searching for “working methods”. As I clicked on “find”, Ask Alice responded with 211 results to my search. On one hand way too many to look them all through but on the other hand a big range to choose for me. Architecture Cultureseemed to be an interesting work because it builds the bridge from changing methods to political movements, different cultures, ideologies and so on.
As I find these relations very fascinating, for my next Ask Alice search I still used “architecture” as the topic of conversation but changed the search term to “political movements”. Clicking on “find” again, Ask Alice gave me 380 results. As my second book I chose the second result that came up: Twentieth Century Architecture, written by Leatherbarrow Eisenschmidt. The book is concentrating on modern city architecture, or more precisely, modern architecture’s position in society. Actually, a book I would really like to read one day when I have the time. Now, what has this book to do with my original book les dix livres d’architecture? I believe, that to write such successful work, Vitruvius had to be very aware of everything that was surrounding him, including political movements and changes.