Map of Rome: Alberti’s computed reality

This study examines Leon Battista Alberti’s topographical survey of the city of Rome recorded in his book Descriptio vrbis Romæ, published around 1450.

An early form of computer aided drawing where technology in its rational framework maps out a comprehensible grid (by the movement and coordination of the “horizon” and “spoke”) over a rather complex reality. It then synthesizes with a pre-constructed logic (embedded in the instructions and charts from the Descriptio vrbis Romæ) to facilitate the realization of a dynamic visual structure— a structure that the even the drafter himself/herself could be unaware of its is outcome in detail.

Mark L.

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