Ciao! Penn State:
A Scaffolded Learning Environment
In “Technics and Architecture,” Cecil D. Elliott tells the stories of building materials and systems development, regardless of time and place, to include a variety of solutions used simultaneously. Politics and social events impact advancement as much as any need or inventive problem solving. And because work is also a human activity, the eventual improvements are only that because of the noteworthy share of failures, misjudgments and vainglorious efforts along the way. In Elliott’s words, “A building is at the same time an object, an investment, and a cultural and personal expression of beliefs. Any change in the way buildings are built or the way they look must be tested against a variety of standards, their relative importance being somewhat different for every project. This truism explains why certain technological aspects of architecture have been readily adopted and others have been long delayed. For instance, elevators were a vital factor in the economic and social changes related to the great sweep of urbanization, and therefore elevator technology was immediately accepted and quickly developed. No similar urge spurred the development of a more rational system of plumbing and waste handling” (Elliott, 1993).