New Book | Geometrical Objects

Posted in books by Editor on August 31, 2014

From Susan Klaiber’s blog (14 August 2014) . . .

What began as a small session at the Society of Architectural Historians 2005 Annual Meeting in Vancouver, and then developed into a very collegial two-day conference in Oxford in 2007, has now been published by Springer in both hardcover and e-book formats.

Anthony Gerbino, ed., Geometrical Objects: Architecture and the Mathematical Sciences, 1400–1800 Archimedes 38 (Cham: Springer, 2014), 318 pages, ISBN: 978-3319059976, $180.

9783319059976_p0_v2_s600This volume explores the mathematical character of architectural practice in diverse pre- and early modern contexts. It takes an explicitly interdisciplinary approach, which unites scholarship in early modern architecture with recent work in the history of science, in particular, on the role of practice in the scientific revolution. As a contribution to architectural history, the volume contextualizes design and construction in terms of contemporary mathematical knowledge, attendant forms of mathematical practice, and relevant social distinctions between the mathematical professions. As a contribution to the history of science, the volume presents a series of micro-historical studies that highlight issues of process, materiality, and knowledge production in specific, situated, practical contexts. Our approach sees the designer’s studio, the stone-yard, the drawing floor, and construction site not merely as places where the architectural object takes shape, but where mathematical knowledge itself is deployed, exchanged, and amplified among various participants in the building process.​

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Introduction by Anthony Gerbino

Part I: Foundations
Bernard Cache, ‘Proportion and Continuous Variation in Vitruvius’s De Architectura’

Part II: Mathematics and Material Culture in Italian Renaissance Architecture
Francesco Benelli, ‘The Palazzo Del Podestà in Bologna: Precision and Tolerance in a Building all’Antica
Ann C. Huppert, ‘Practical Mathematics in the Drawings of Baldassarre Peruzzi and Antonio da Sangallo the Younger’
David Friedman, ‘Geometric Survey and Urban Design: A Project for the Rome of Paul IV (1555–1559)’

Part III: The Baroque Institutional Context
Susan Klaiber, ‘Architecture and Mathematics in Early Modern Religious Orders’
Kirsti Andersen, ‘The Master of Painted Architecture: Andrea Pozzo, S. J. and His Treatise on Perspective’

Part IV: Narratives for the Birth of Structural Mechanics
Jacques Heyman, ‘Geometry, Mechanics, and Analysis in Architecture’
Pascal Dubourg Glatigny, ‘Epistemological Obstacles to the Analysis of Structures: Giovanni Bottari’s Aversion to a Mathematical Assessment of Saint-Peter’s Dome (1743)’
Filippo Camerota, ‘Scientific Concepts of Beauty in Architecture: Vitruvius Meets Descartes, Galileo, and Newton’

Part V: Architecture and Mathematical Practice in the Enlightenment
Jeanne Kisacky, ‘Breathing Room: Calculating an Architecture of Air’
David Yeomans, Jason M. Kelly, and Frank Salmon, ‘James “Athenian” Stuart and the Geometry of Setting Out’


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