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Is the Universe a Hologram?Scientists Answer the Most Provocative Questions$
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Adolfo Plasencia

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780262036016

Published to MIT Press Scholarship Online: January 2018

DOI: 10.7551/mitpress/9780262036016.001.0001

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Wisdom Hewn in Ancient Stones

Wisdom Hewn in Ancient Stones

Chapter:
(p.89) 8 Wisdom Hewn in Ancient Stones
Source:
Is the Universe a Hologram?
Author(s):

John Ochsendorf

Adolfo Plasencia

Publisher:
The MIT Press
DOI:10.7551/mitpress/9780262036016.003.0008

In this dialogue, the prestigious professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering at MIT, John Oschendorf, reproaches engineering for abandoning construction techniques that had performed wonderfully for four thousand years. He regrets that digital instruments currently used by engineers and architects are incapable of explaining why amazing buildings such as the Beauvais Cathedral in France, or that of Palma de Mallorca in Spain, or the Pantheon in Rome, are so stable. For John, the history of construction is open and can provide us many ideas from the past which we can use to build new things today. One example of this is Guastavino family, who were capable of building the vaults of a thousand of the most important buildings in the United States by using traditional vault technology dating back to 14th century Valencia and which they continually sought to improve. He also explains in the dialogue why our ideology of progress is misguided.

Keywords:   Stonemasonry in Context, Misguided ideology of progress, Lower carbon dioxide emissions, Timbrel vault, Low-energy building, Guastavino vaulting, Wisdom of the past, Guggenheim effect, Lower carbon footprint

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