Given the scarcity of primary evidence, direct connections between geometry and the art and architecture of the early modern Islamic world have often been difficult to determine with historical accuracy. In From Measuring to Estimation: Definitions of Geometry and Architect-Engineer in Early Modern Ottoman Architecture, Gül Kale examines various definitions and uses of geometry in the Ottoman world through a close reading of a unique book on architecture written around 1614 by the scholar Caʿfer Efendi, a friend and associate of the Ottoman chief architect Mehmed Agha. A contextual analysis of Caʿfer's remarks on various definitions of geometry and the architect-engineer, and the connotations of these terms for early seventeenth-century readers, sheds light on the different degrees of geometrical knowledge then seen as required for sound architectural and artistic practice. Further, Kale argues that the links Caʿfer and his associates established among estimation, reason, and proportion offer insights into the role of cognitive faculties in Ottoman architectural and artistic processes.
In The Theory and Practice of Eclecticism in Eighteenth-Century European Architecture, Kristoffer Neville links an early modern method of eclectic thought to contemporary architectural theory and practice. The eclectic mode promoted the selection and combination of elements from different traditions to create new work, work ostensibly more perfect than the individual sources on which it was based. A related approach has long been acknowledged in major projects by the architects Johann Bernhard Fischer von Erlach, Nicodemus Tessin the Younger, and Balthasar Neumann, all active in the first half of the eighteenth century, but a conceptual basis for this commonality has not been recognized. Neville excavates the intellectual foundations of seventeenth- and eighteenth-century eclecticism and shows how these were absorbed into architectural theory, articulating a concept that was widely valued in the German lands during the eighteenth century.
Enlightenment-era France gave rise to the world's first deaf and blind schools: the Institute for Deaf-Mutes, founded in 1760, and the Institute for Blind Youth, founded in 1784. During the 1789 Revolution, both schools were nationalized, and disability education became the duty of the state. Housed at first in private homes and various government-expropriated properties, the two institutions eventually received renovated or rebuilt quarters in the decades after the Revolution. These projects, designed by the well-known architects Antoine-Marie Peyre and Pierre Philippon, remain overlooked in the history of modern architecture. In From Outcast to Citizen: Disability, Education, and Architecture in Postrevolutionary Paris, Sun-Young Park argues that these institutions were at the forefront of contemporary discourses on education and hygiene and were key sites for the development and testing of new ideas about citizenship and social progress in the postrevolutionary era.
Direct evidence for Le Corbusier's encounters with the writings of nineteenth-century German architect and theorist Gottfried Semper is limited to a few brief early mentions in the archival record, and connections between the two men have been mentioned only rarely by historians and others interested in Le Corbusier's work. In Untangling the Threads of Gottfried Semper's Legacy in Le Corbusier's Formative Years, José Miguel Mantilla argues that these connections merit closer attention, given Semper's stature, even in the early twentieth century, and his impact on many of those from whom Le Corbusier adapted his own ideas. Le Corbusier's ideas concerning links between artistic style and the spirit or psychology of an era, his belief in architecture's autonomy in relation to technique and use, and his conversion from the vernacular and medievalist forms emphasized by his mentor Charles L'Eplattenier to Greco-Roman classical ones all seem at least indirectly indebted to Semper's theories. Mantilla explores the connections between the men, particularly in regard to issues of artistic creation.
Not long ago, many historians believed that the first great era of German modern architecture ended abruptly with Hitler's rise to power. According to this narrative, the demise coincided with the closure of the Bauhaus in 1933 and the subsequent emigration of leading architects such as Walter Gropius and Ludwig Mies van der Rohe. Today, we know that the story is far more complicated. On the one hand, historians such as Barbara Miller Lane and Winfried Nerdinger have shown that the Nazis' views of modernism were more nuanced than was once believed, and that many German modernist designers courted and were granted government patronage under the Nazi regime. On the other hand, we still know little about the transnational architectural networks that sustained the Nazis during World War II. A case in point is the professional relationship between the Finnish architect Alvar Aalto and the German industrial builder Ernst Neufert, who worked for Albert Speer from 1938 to 1945. In Alvar Aalto, Ernst Neufert, and Architectural Standardization in Germany and Finland, 1933–45, Nader Vossoughian examines the history and genesis of that relationship, particularly its relevance to wartime debates about standardization.