Historic documentation: a model of project based learning for architectural education Academic Article uri icon


  • The process of documenting existing environmental contexts has been a valued part of architectural education for centuries. Notebooks of sketches from Vitruvius, Villard d'Honnecourt, Leonardo Da Vinci, and Le Corbusier are but a few examples of valued design practitioners whose design process included documentation as a necessary and natural element. The value of documentation was clear while the tools for documentation remained manual. Manual manipulation of ruled instruments like rods and tapes when coupled with hand techniques of drawing, engage students directly with the historical environmental context. New technologies, however seem to disengage students from the historic fabric by virtue of their capabilities for automation, remote sensing, remote production, and redefinition of documentation. This paper examines the pedagogical value of historic documentation for design programs in light of new definitions and techniques of documentation necessitated by new technologies. Do these technologies require such multidisciplinary knowledge that students' engagement with the historic context is reduced to the point that the pedagogical value of documentation is at risk? 2004 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

published proceedings

  • Landscape and Urban Planning

author list (cited authors)

  • Warden, R., & Woodcock, D.

citation count

  • 11

complete list of authors

  • Warden, Robert||Woodcock, David

publication date

  • January 2005