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Description - Architectural Representation and the Perspective Hinge by Alberto Perez-Gomez

The relationship between the architectural representation and its intended product - a building - has undergone a profound transformation over the centuries. Before the age of modern technology, the systematically predictive role of architectural drawing so taken for granted today was less dominant in the evolution from architectural idea to built work. The age of computer-aided design has brought with it a stricter standard of fidelity. However, contemporary architecture need not simply accept the inevitability of a technological imperative. This book demonstrates that representation is never a neutral tool or mere picture of a future building. Writing from inside the discipline of architecture, rather than from the more common extrapolations from the history of painting and philosophy, Alberto Perez-Gomez and Louise Pelletier focus on the implications of the tool of perspective (and the hegemony of vision) for architectural representation. Their primary thesis is that tools of representation have a direct influence on the conceptual development of projects and generation of forms, and that there are alternatives to the reductive working methods of most contemporary practice. The book examines textual evidence across a broad historical period, concentrating on the relationship between drawing and architectural space in the period from the 7th to the 20th century. To understand and evaluate the place of vision in the Western architectural tradition, the book includes a general introduction to optics in antiquity and the Middle Ages and addresses the question of the evolution of linear perspective. This is not, however, a general history of perspective. The book discusses such issues as optical correction and the nature of architectural drawing in selected treatises, revealing the complexity and potential contradiction inherent in any linear history of representation. The authors' ultimate aim is to probe the possibilities of the constructed world - that is, architecture - as a poetic translation, rather than prosaic transcription, of its representations.

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Book Details

ISBN: 9780262661133
ISBN-10: 0262661136
Format: Paperback
(229mm x 178mm x 25mm)
Pages: 526
Imprint: MIT Press
Publisher: MIT Press Ltd
Publish Date: 25-Aug-2000
Country of Publication: United States

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Author Biography - Alberto Perez-Gomez

Alberto Perez-Gomez is Saidye Rosner Bronfman Professor of the History of Architecture at McGill University. He is the author of Architecture and the Crisis of Modern Science (MIT Press, 1983) and (with Louise Pelletier) Architecural Representation and the Perspective Hinge (MIT Press, 1997).

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