Architectural Judgment Based on History, Part 1
Architectural judgment is signicantly shaped by versions of architectural history and by their underlying theoretical or philosophical content. Architects deploy conclusions derived from such contents in order to justify preferred forms and trends, or by contrast, in order to repudiate disapproved forms and trends. When architects justify their work based on traditions and their conventions (precedents), they use the kind of historical justication in which architectural history is considered as a receptacle of exemplars, an accumulation of lessons from which they learn how others approached similar problems. Exemplars are chosen paradigmatically2 depending on their previous success, and new buildings are made by combining judicially selected parts of previous buildings. Judgment based on history, in this case, depends primarily on the success of architectural composition in the sense of imitatio and inventio, of combining and re-combining pre-existing forms. Judgment pertains to measuring the individual architect’s work in relation to the established rational use of conventions from which architects learn and to which they contribute.