Relevance of Renaissance architectural theories today : together.

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Jadresin-Milic, Renata
Pretty, Annabel
Conference Contribution - Paper in Published Proceedings
Ngā Upoko Tukutuku (Māori subject headings)
Renaissance architecture
spatial concepts
visual awareness
architecture and space
ANZSRC Field of Research Code (2020)
Jadresin Milic, R., & Pretty, A. (2018). Relevance of Renaissance Architectural Theories Today: Together. In Césaap; Claire Brunet (Ed.), Cumulus Conference Proceedings Paris 2018 – To get there: designing together , Vol. Cumulus Conference Proceedings Series 03/2018 Paris (pp. 144-161). Retrieved from
This paper will strive to identify and analyse the multiplicity of threaded knots which lurk under the surface of a mythologised Renaissance as characterised by monolithic classicism and untangling this to create a shared understanding or language. The first lens which makes Renaissance theoretical discussions relevant today is that of the establishment of general surveying: Since the Renaissance, architects have been methodically developing the discipline of surveying to understand their present-day paradigm. They sought the “Knowledge” to solve contemporary problems albeit that many of these are derived from personal aesthetic and architectural interests: Palladio intensively surveyed classical Roman temples to learn from them, to understand the Greeks knowledge of the visual representation as recorded by the eye to remediate it such that it is perceived as being correctly proportioned. The many theoretical statements as espoused in their treatises indicate that often as not they did not believe in the idea that an architect or an artist should work with the notion of pursuing an ideal progress in architecture. A sincere belief in the constant trans ¬ formation of the structure, its architectural elements and details, was independent of the previous ideas. People naturally have been learning from each other since time immemorial, in the past and the present together: correcting old mistakes and making new ones for next generations to resolve that which connects them with the Renaissance paradigm. The second lens which makes Renaissance theoretical discussions relevant today is that of the fundamental mechanism of representation of a building via the notion of “drawing”: the discovery of perspective and different visual examinations (orthographic drawings and / or axonometric). This new awareness of a geometrical nature of visual experience, and capability to mechanically reproduce images, is one which during the discourse of the Fifteen and Sixteenth Century resulted from the new awareness of the nature of visual experience. In that sense, Renaissance theoretical debates are very actual and relevant to contemporary architectural issues. Today’s interests of architects turn towards visual awareness in architecture, and, as a result of an influx of the digital revolution, discovering new tools for exploring spatial characteristics of architecture has become the primary preoccupation of the profession: Together?
Cumulus International Association of Universities and Colleges of Art, Design and Media. Aalto University, School of Arts, Design and Architecture
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