Alphabet as a pretext. Representation and architecture starting from J.D. Steingruber

Francesco Maggio, Stefano Brusaporci

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


Johann David Steingruber (1702-87) realized in 1773 the “Architectural Alphabet” (original title “Architektonisches Alphabeth bestehend aus 30 Rissen”), that is a compendium of imaginary buildings with plans shaped according to all the letters of the alphabet. Moving from the analysis of the tables, aim of the paper is to present a reflection on these drawings, both according to their own historical and aesthetical graphical characteristics, and in relation to Steingruber personality. The Alphabet does not present buildings that may be realized, but he develop a sort of “architectural grapheme” to underline a style and a way to think and reflect on the architecture. It is finger exercise, aiming to demonstrate the designer ability. The figure of a refined designer appears, whose work relates to the Late-Baroque culture, when the XVII century tradition interrelates with the rising of the age of Enlightenment.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 2nd International and Interdisciplinary conference on Image and Imagination
Number of pages16
Publication statusPublished - 2020

Publication series


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Control and Systems Engineering
  • General Computer Science

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