“ Gott ist im Detail ”
that’s “God is in the Detail”, is a sentence attributed to the German architect Ludwig Mies van der Rohe. The designer of the Seagram Building in New York, the Crown Hall at the IIT in Chicago and the Neue Nationalgalerie in Berlin had very clear the importance of small scale — I visited a couple of years ago the latter building and, by the original drawings exposed, one could see that Mies had thought of different versions of the Galerie, whose sizes differed as a function of the module and details adopted —.
In our era of Architectural Design Rendering-based , seems to be important only to show the simulation of the building built, and less important to design “how” that building can be constructed.
Ironically, in the age of the Genetic Engineering, the designers prefer to spend time above the simulacrum of their works, leaving the creation of the genetic code to the engineers, if not the builders. Yet, as the DNA already contains all the features of the organism developed, so the architectural details expresses in themself the potentialities and limits of the final manufact, thus a designer who wants to have control over his work, can’t outsource this to other people.
The fact is that, to think and draw an architectural detail is often more difficult than to think and design a project to scale 1:100. Indeed, the detail is itself a small project, where you can either cheat or to avoid facing the problem of “how does these things to stay together?“