Time to read: 9 minutes
The earliest archaeological findings include -among others- clay tablets with architectural drawings and as soon as people started living in bigger settlements, their buildings became gradually more complicated and architecture developed. These days architecture has become a highly specialized and digitalized profession, but it wasn’t always like that. How did we get to where we are right now?
What’s in this article
- The first real architects
- Later civilizations
- Medieval architecture
- Early modern architecture
- From clay tablets and paper drawings to 3D designs
So when exactly did the first professional architects emerge in world history? This is something that science and archaeology aren’t completely sure about, however, it’s without a question that even the most ancient civilizations left impressive buildings that must have required a lot of planning in advance and some type of architectural master plan (perhaps an ancient blueprint scratched into a rock). An example of these ancient architectural achievements is Stonehenge in Southwest-England, built about 5,000 years ago.
As is the case with ancient civilizations, a lot of evidence is lost in the shrouds of mystery and we simply don’t know for sure how or who built Stonehenge. What we do know, however, is that the ancient Mesopotamians used architectural drawings on clay tablets. The oldest known architectural ground plan is the statue of Gudea from 2200 B.C. In this statue, that shows a seated figure with an architectural ground plan in his lap, it becomes clear that these people (living in present-day Iraq) had an advanced way of creating architecture.
So one could say that the Mesopotamians are the first real architects. Or more correctly: the first scientifically confirmed architects. Most likely, architecture is as old as mankind itself!
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After the Mesopotamians, things went pretty quick on the architecture front. As you might know, civilizations are always influencing each other with innovative ideas or blatantly stealing from each other. We all know the ancient Egyptians with their massive pyramids, only to be replaced by the Greeks with their temples and the Romans building amphitheaters, roads and the first real cities all over Europe.
Many architectural drawings from these times have been kept and the profession of an architect was one that served a very important purpose. Almost all buildings that were designed by architects in these days were for religious, military or political purposes, and so the architects of those days enjoyed a life of high status.
This trend continued until the Renaissance: great architecture was only for the rich and powerful. The most important buildings from the Medieval period in Europe are churches that were literally built as high as possible to get closer to heaven. This desire resulted in many new features such as rib vaults, gargoyles and flying buttresses to divide the immense weight of cathedral roofs. Across Europe, many impressive cathedrals, castles and palaces can be found that are true architectural masterpieces.
During the last 500 years, architectural innovations and styles followed each other up rapidly. From revivals of Roman periods (classicism and Neoclassicism) all the way to styles that were never seen before, such as Art Deco and Art Nouveau. Another great difference is that architecture wasn’t only for the rich and powerful anymore, but whole new cities had to be planned out. Population expansion asked for innovative solutions, and the first city blocks were designed. In The New World, that was most evident, and complete cities were drawn with a ruler and pencil. In the early 20th century the first skyscrapers were designed in Manhattan, Chicago and other worldwide cities.
For most of architectural history, drawings and plans had to be made in 2D on a medium, being papyrus or clay tablets in the most ancient days to paper blueprints not so long ago. Everything changed drastically when the first digital drawing programs came on the market: first in 2D, after that in 3D. Quickly a great number of architects adopted these new techniques and nowadays it’s safe to say that the vast majority of architects worldwide use 3D drawing technology to create new designs. 3D drawing software such as Revit, SketchUp or ARCHICAD is immensely popular.
Showing your 3D designs online to your clients
This revolution has been ongoing, and rightfully so. Creating a 3D drawing is simply a much quicker and easier process than drawing in the traditional way. One of the newest developments is making your 3D drawing available online. Xuver is a platform that shows you the future of architecture by taking your 3D drawing file and turning it into an interactive 3D model that is available inside your own browser. You can now simply invite your clients inside the model and walk through it in 3D.
Xuver begins where 3D drawing programs end: by taking your clients for a viewing inside a model. Everyone invited walks around inside the drawing with their own 3D figure (the avatar) and is able to view and discuss the model as if it were a real-life drawing. And this can all be done within moments and completely online, so your clients can literally be anywhere in the world! If you want to know how Xuver can improve your architecture firm, you should definitely download our free E-book.
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