The Old Way of Seeing

The Old Way of Seeing – How Architecture Lost its Magic (and How to Get it Back)

By Jonathan Hale

A Richard Todd Book – Houghton Mifflin Co.  -  1994

“This fresh and provocative book answers a question that countless people have asked about our man-made world:  how did things get so ugly?  We have all admired the natural grace of old buildings and wondered why today it seems so hard to create their equal.  We live in a time when only a gifted and dedicated team of designers can build something approaching the beauty that 18th century carpenters could do all by themselves.  What went wrong?”  According to Hale, it was around 1830 that builders and architects began to lose their sense of surety.  He explores the social pressures that turned buildings from expressions of the human spirit and nature into structures burdened with symbols.  An excellent thought provoking book that reads well.  Hale does an excellent job of explaining The Golden Section and how it provides perfect proportions used in all art forms – especially architecture.

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