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ARCHITECTURAL THEORY

By: Annisa Nur Ramadani (08111740000050)

Architectural theory is the act of thinking, discussing, and writing about architecture.
Architectural theory is taught in all architecture schools and is practiced by the world's leading
architects. The term theory of architecture was originally simply the accepted translation of
the Latin term ratiocinatio as used by Vitruvius, a Roman architect-engineer of the 1st century
CE.

Vitruvius probably has made the most relevant remark about theory of architecture:
"Practice and theory are its parents. Practice is the frequent and continued contemplation of
the mode of executing any given work, or of the mere operation of the hands, for the
conversion of the material in the best and readiest way. Theory is the result of that reasoning
which demonstrates and explains that the material wrought has been so converted as to
answer the end proposed. Wherefore the mere practical architect is not able to assign
sufficient reasons for the forms he adopts; and the theoretic architect also fails, grasping the
shadow instead of the substance. He who is theoretic as well as practical, is therefore doubly
armed; able not only to prove the propriety of his design, but equally so to carry it into
execution."

Some forms that architecture theory takes are the lecture or dialogue, the treatise or
book, and the paper project or competition entry. Before 1750 every comprehensive treatise
or published lecture course on architecture could appropriately be described as a textbook
on architectural theory. But, after the changes associated with the Industrial Revolution, the
amount of architectural knowledge that could be acquired only by academic study increased
to the point where a complete synthesis became virtually impossible in a single volume.

But, in this century, architectural theory has existed in some form since antiquity, and
as publishing became more common, architectural theory gained an increased richness.
Books, magazines, and journals published an unprecedented number of works by architects
and critics in the 20th century. It is to be expected that the use of the internet will further the
discourse on architecture in the 21st century.
Architecture is not a purely practical discipline. Every design decision is a thought,
something that has to be decided, based on an array of values and factors, that come from
several sources. Some of those factors can be easily decoded and given an automatic,
appropriate solution, like for example, facts coming from the terrain such as the sun position,
which would dictate the best orientation of your building.

The analysis of surviving buildings provides guidance that requires great caution,
since, apart from the impossibility of determining whether or not any particular group of
buildings constitutes a reliable sample of the era, any such analyses will usually depend on
preliminary evaluations of merit and will be useless unless the extent to which the function,
the structure, and the detailing envisaged by the original builders can be correctly re-
established.

The study of Architecture will not be complete without some theories of architecture
although many architects avoid theory.