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Patterns of Thought as Contributors to Design and Construction

Medium: conference paper
Language(s): en 
Conference: Third International Congress on Construction History, Brandenburg University of Technology Cottbus, Germany , 20th-24th May 2009
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This is a speculative paper, one that attempts to suggest a new perspective on our modern construction thinking, which is far more complex than we have thought it to be until now. It does this by beginning to examine an alternative to the traditional school of scientifically based thought. There are as yet no firm conclusions, only vectors, but these demonstrate that pre-scientific, empirical ‘overlay thinking’ survived as a complement to scientific ‘model-thinking’ and influenced it. The concepts explored here are: hybrid overlay, process, association, and problem avoidance. Two nineteenth-century, German-trained builders: John Roebling and Karl Ludwig Althans serve as the prime examples, but there are surely others, also in other cultures. The further development is indicated with the introduction of the concept ‘problem avoidance’ in American examples.


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