History of the Modern Era in Summary Essay

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History Of the Modern Era

In summary, the four historical periods of the modern Western history all played their part in the development of the areas of project management expertise and their application to building project activities. The development of knowledge and commerce during the span of the modern era, helped to facilitate the scientific and economic development that was crucial to the supporting society, its projects, and its project leaders. This chapter has provided a basic showcase of the relationships between cultural, religious and humanity themes that dominated from the Renaissance to the Machine Age.

Many of the antecedents of the contemporary age of architecture can be traced back to the Renaissance. This period of history shaped and expanded the European worldview and had a profound impact on architectural design and the building process. This period is also closely linked to a new period of creativity and exploration in all fields and disciplines. More importantly, it was central to a more questioning and interrogative attitude in European history and initiated thinking that was to be as conduit to the prominence of science and technology.Get full Download Microsoft Word File access
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It was also as period that led to a virtual rebirth of education, learning and new ideas and concepts -- which were translated into architectural design and building styles. The influence of scientific measurement on design for example can be seen in structures during this period such as the Villa Almerico-Capran. The increase in knowledge and exploration during the period also led to an increase in trade and commerce, which in turn motivated innovative architectural ideas and methods. The discovery of the scientific method in empirical research was also to stimulate growth and development in all disciplines and also paved the way for the emphasis on rational thought that was a central gesture of the Scientific Revolution. One could also mention many other aspects of this period that contributed to advances in architecture, including the invention of modern printing by Johannes Gutenberg.

The Scientific Revolution includes the increased emphasis on reason and rationality during the 17th and 18th centuries. This was a cardinal development in European thought and was to have a profound impact on the growth of science and the scientific perspective and worldview in all fields and disciplines -- including architecture and building. Central to this period was the publication of a number of influential works on scientific theory and philosophy; for example, Isaac Newton's Principia Mathematic and the very important views and writings of Rene Descartes. These and other works advanced the view of human reason as the intellectual 'tool' by which man could understand and control nature and the world around him.

Education and learning acquired a high degree of prominence during this era and added to the view that human progress lay in the knowledge and use of scientific reason. Coupled with this was the reduction of the amount of control on society by religious institutions. This view of life and reality was to provide the scientific and intellectual foundations for the Industrial Revolution.

In terms of architecture and building, the Scientific Revolution had profound ramifications, especially in terms of the new scientifically orientated building process and possibilities. The Baroque style of architecture became popular during this period and reflected many aspects that could be linked to the ethos of the Scientific Revolution. This style also reflects the rational and humanistic trend of the period and is considered to be a point of transition from both the Medieval and Renaissance traditions. While the buildings and construction of this era attempted to transcend the norms and restrictions on the past in both a design and building context. It should also be borne in mind that inspiration and knowledge was derived from the ancient Greeks, Romans, Byzantines, Medieval European and Islamic schools, as well as the Renaissance. There are many other examples of scientific advances and developments that were to influence the era and architecture; for example, the development of modern algebra and the creation of logarithms. Especially significant was the introduction of inductive reasoning and the publication of Novum Organum (1620).

Therefore, the central thread and characteristic of this period was the faith and belief in the validity and power of human reason and science which had a profound influence on the development on disciplines such as architecture and in the design and construction of buildings like the Palace of Versailles, with its extravagant Baroque style. The advances in science and building techniques also included advances in construction technology, such as the innovative techniques in brick manufacture and laying and the practices used in the supply and the working of lime, plaster and freestone.

The Industrial Revolution which took place roughly from the mid18th century until the late 19th century is considered by many commentators to a radical turning point and era of transformation for Western civilization as well as being a major conduit of change in architecture and building. One of the reasons for this was the wide range of new technical possibilities that were an intrinsic part of the Industrial Revolution. This period of history also saw the introduction of many new production techniques that changed the building process as well as offering new possibilities for design.

The introduction of steam technology and factories not only altered the cultural and social landscape and introduced the era of the urban city, but technology also had a profound and far-reaching impact on architecture. In order to understand this impact one has to view the Industrial Revolution in terms of the large array of interconnecting variables and factors. These include the ethos of revolution and change that was spreading throughout the world, largely as a result of the rise of rationality and science that had led to questioning of the mores and norms of the past; as well as the desire to transcend prior boundaries and limitations through the knowledge and power offered by the growth of the sciences. One can clearly see this spirit of change and advancement in buildings such as the Eiffel Tower, which overcame many engineering and architectural challenges.

The Industrial Revolution provided the necessary technological background to the developments of the Machine Age. The machine Age is also seen as the precursor of our modern social, cultural and technological worldview. This era which can be seen as approximately covering the period from the end of the 19th century until the middle of the 20th century, is linked to the term 'modernism'. Modernism can be very roughly described as a period o interrogation and questioning of the direction and trajectory of modern Western civilization and culture. The Industrial Revolution and various other social revolutions as well as the First World War resulted in many thinkers, philosophers and architects questioning the norms and values of the past. The growth of humanism and science, as well as the demise of religion had prepared the ground for a revaluation of modern thinking and the contemporary reassessment of reality. This was a period in the arts that saw the experimentation with new methods and vision of reality and this was also the case with regard to architecture. During this period there was also a radical questioning of the way that society should be shaped and governed. Many of these questions and views are reflected in the architecture of the time. This is clear for example in the developed of scientific management styles was also to have a profound effect on the architecture and the building industry. The unique vision of Le Corbusier and his Unite d'Habitation in Marseille provides a prime example in this regards; as does the New Objectivity and to the architectural precepts and trends that swept through German during the early decades of the 20th Century. It is also significant to note that the New Objectivity actually included many different types of architectural styles, such as Minimalism, Expressionism, as well as Modernism.

The historical review constitutes the raw material upon which the remaining analysis will be based. The interrelationship of the four periods of modern Western history has been covered from a historical perspective, providing background information culled from literary sources on the cultural, social, economic and scientific aspects of each period. A detailed and precise collection of historical research was conducted into the management theories, architectural principles, and construction technologies for all six eras. In addition, eighteen pivotal building projects have been discussed as examples of their respective periods. It remains now to present, analyse, and interpret these data so that significant results, findings, conclusions, and recommendations can be drawn together in respect to the history of project management and contemporary understanding of project management as a discipline.




3.9. Summary

In summary, this chapter has surveyed the factors -- specifically, the project environments, the management skills, and the knowledge of application areas -- that paved the way for the creation of the various building projects constructed during the modern period. The most important of… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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