Henry Petroski reflects on his experience of re-reading the book 'Ten Books on Architecture,' written by Vitruvius as a report to the Imperator Caesar Augustus, the founder and first ruler of the Roman Empire. Henry explains how in his previous readings of Vitruvius, he tended to skim over Chapter III of Book II, titled 'Brick,' in which a reader learns the kind of clay recommended for use in making the building blocks, during what time of year they were to be made, and how many kinds and sizes there were. Vitruvius's analysis of summer-made bricks is especially detailed and modern sounding. The summer sun bakes the surface of bricks, making it seem dry when the interior is still wet. Vitruvius is full of lessons from ancient engineering that can provide insights and lessons for design today.
Volume / Issue
Start / End Page
International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)