chapter  12
38 Pages

NATURAL and CONSTRUCTED

While architects design “shelters,” it may also be said that architects design “places.” While

architecture is filled with words and concepts that are foreign to the general public-terms

like “tectonics” and “contextualism”—the term “place,” not unlike “nature,” is familiar to

both designers and non-designers. However, such conventional and seemingly simple

words like “place” often disguise what is truly a complex and diverse concept.1 For example,

from Vitruvius of the first century B.C.E to Alberti of the Renaissance, architects noted

the role that regional differences in climate, topography, and construction materials played

in architectural design. Viollet-le-Duc, likewise, in the 19th century, insisted on the impor-

tance of creating an architectural style unique and suitable to the time, place, and culture.

At the beginning of the 20th century, Modernism and the International Style set out on