10x Your Memory Power
Figure 338 is the same drawing figure as 337, but is finished for another craftsman to make. Its dimensions are given and it is labelled to make it clearer to read. It is also dimensioned in millimetres which has the advantage of avoiding the use of fractions of an inch. Once the common sizes are memorized and immediately related to a specific length, width or thickness, it becomes a most convenient system to use.
Although many plans are dimensioned using the English system (feet and inches), the metric system is slowly replacing it as the preferred method. In the metric system, units are based on the standard meter, which is then subdivided by tenths to arrive at decimeters, centimeters, and millimeters. This system is simple to use, as the decimal can simply be moved to the right or left to change from one unit to another. There are no fractions to memorize or convert when adding. In architectural drawings, the meter or millimeter is used more than the decimeter or centimeter.
Have retained their traditional meaning from one generation to the next. In Kakadu, elder persons teach the message of the landscape to younger people by walking in the territory and memorizing the meaning of its different elements in songs. From 1972 and 1978, sacred, ritual and ceremonial sites can be legally protected in Western and Northern Australia (Cleere, 1989 81). Another example of cultural landscape is an area of Swedish Lapland which was included on the World Heritage List in 1996, thus giving an international recognition to the intangible heritage of the Saame people, a heritage that had been associated with the Arctic landscape for generations.
The routes followed by visitors as they walk from their cars towards the stadium should be well provided with kiosks where food, beverages, programmes and perhaps even tickets may be bought well before the entrance gates are reached. Such decentralized sales points in the car parking area help reduce congestion at the entrance gates they should be of an eye-catching design to ensure that they are noticed. Such kiosks, if well-designed, can add to the leisure atmosphere and even serve as 'markers' to help people memorize where their cars are parked.
Good graphical representations can reduce the amount of effort required to solve problems simply by acting as external memory. Our short-term or working memory holds the information we are currently using. When we need to remember a lot of things to perform a task, we may attempt to over-fill our short-term memory and then we find ourselves forgetting things that are relevant to the task (Johnson, 1998). External representations reduce the amount that needs to be remembered. One of the engineers interviewed by Schrage summed this up 'My brain was too small I needed external versions to see what was going on' (2000 xvii).
Is this an innocuous step Well, once added, these displays are usually employed for the main user interface as well, replacing direct tuning dials with a more generic menu structure with lists that may change depending on which stations are available, and thus cannot be memorized. The result can be radios that have become less easy to use for visually impaired people. While it is important not to overstate this irony the provocative website BlindKiss.com, of which more in a later chapter, lists Ten Things Not to Say to a Blind Person, including Radio must be really important to you the irony stands.
Obviously, a great deal of information about trees, particularly those in a given location, can be memorized. Those not often used are difficult to remember, however, and so it is well to accumulate a complete file of tree photographs and sketches for use in delineating buildings in areas outside your normal theater of operations.
That smell is extremely evocative is evidenced by neuroscience. The olfactory system has close anatomical affinity with the limbic system and hippocampus, 'areas of the brain that have long been known to be involved in emotion and place memory, respectively.'31 Olfactory information is therefore easily stored in long-term memory and has strong connections to emotional memory. Smell can remind us sharply of a precise moment a very long way back. Perhaps the smell of an old relative or the whiff of perfume that enveloped you in one of your early kisses. A classic example linking smell with memory occurs in A la Recherche du Temps Perdu (Remembrance of Things Past) by Marcel Proust. Early on in the first book ('Swann's Way'), the protagonist Charles Swann finds that the smell from a small piece of madeleine cake soaked in tea triggers a raft of memories from his childhood.
Let us now go through the way in which he glosses each section. 'Let him be educated.' Vitruvius gives an extraordinary reason why the architect should be educated, which I have no doubt was true for the author, and in a curious way may be quite true of architects, or some architects, at the moment. Architects should be educated on the grounds that they should be able to write treatises such that they will be remembered. There is not the slightest suggestion in Vitruvius' work that an architect would be remembered for his building. It is not even clear that, in Vitruvius' mind, there is an architect to a building, in the sense that we would say that it is designed by a specific person. But, according to Vitruvius, if you wish to be remembered as an architect you should be able to write an eloquent treatise which guarantees your memory. As always in antiquity, to be remembered is perhaps one of the strongest motives.
It would be helpful indeed if this great vocabulary could be memorized, but few of us can manage such feats. Instead, the average renderer studies the basic qualities and proportions of elements, such as trees, that are used most often, and if possible, takes pictures of each site and renders from those, adding or removing foliage as required. Finally, the renderer draws upon the work of the photographer and usually keeps a file of pictures nearby for inspiration.
Throughout the remainder of this text, material symbols are presented as they appear in plan and elevation views. Many symbols are designed to approximate the actual appearance of material. This is especially true on elevation drawings, as shown in Figure 8.6. Because of the complexity and space required, many symbols do not have any graphic relationship to the items they represent. These must be memorized if drawings are to be consistently interpreted. When material symbols are similar, always look for a notation, different view, detail, or specification for information about the material.
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