I’ve got quite the stack of materials to go through at this point. I think I’ve navigated the forums and guides well enough to feel that I’ll have my bases covered. I’m developing a study guide (will be sure to post it as soon as it’s complete) that follows the content area online published by NCARB. It should be a good method of verifying that all of the topics are covered. That being said, I’m not sure how much time it will take to compile all of the information, but doing so should be beneficial in itself. Nate went camping with his buddies for the weekend, so with my favorite beau/distraction out of cellphone range, I have no excuse not to focus.
Now, how about a history tangent? I’ve been brushing up on the IBC and ADA, and while looking up a reference, got sidetracked reading about historical building code. I had forgotten about the Code of Hammurabi, Babylonian law enacted during the late 1700s BC, which stipulated how disputes were to be settled and liability ensured. The short of it: if you screw up, you’re screwed. This included the construction business, with laws like the following:
No. 229: “If a builder builds a house for someone, and does not construct it properly, and the house which he built falls in and kills its owner, then the builder shall be put to death.”
Gulp. Perhaps this is the ancestor to the strict life safety codes that are in place now. I suppose all contractors would have been fairly competent, or able to talk their way out of fault. Still, with that threat, I don’t think I would have gone near a profession in the building industry (not like I would have been able to as a woman anyway). It’s interesting to think about how important safe buildings are to us, regardless of time or culture. Creating a sense of place and a beautiful building has been instilled in architects as a critical component of our work. Yet I realize that when I think of magnificent structures like gothic cathedrals, palaces and state houses, or libraries and museums, the effort to make them stand safely for centuries is really just as fascinating as the design ideals they possess. I think I’m finally beginning to understand how holistic our profession is. The classes we take in school or the exams we study for that have no relation to each other at the time ultimately have the opportunity to become integrated in the professional setting. When done successfully, that’s when we see marvelous architecture.