ancient ruins

8.6-8.7 Ancient ruins in the Yukatan inform us about European cathedrals

8.7.Mexico-2-detail-a ancient ruins Highlights Relevant to Sustainable Design:

See the influence of your immediate world.

Traveling around the world has provided perspective and the ability to compare and contrast elements that embody sustainability but are often far apart in distance, origin, and initial intent. As I explored the Mayan ruins, I quickly noticed that the architecture was lower and squatter than the verticality of the European cathedrals and church spires. I also noticed that there were not any forests with the same type of tall deciduous trees as in Europe. As I continued to explore the dense jungle of foliage of the Yucatan Peninsula, I found that the leaves were often either directly overhead or very close overhead. In one of the ancient ruins, I found a doorway that reminded me of the opening along the jungle paths.

This sketch illustrates the parallel shape of the opening between the foliage and the architecture. By contrast, the experience of walking in fall or winter in the woods of a deciduous forest is diametrically different due to the verticality.

My experiences as a child hiking and exploring with my brother and parents helped provide the “good” looking skills that I describe in the chapter “Power of Observation.” Most people would not connect the dots between foliage and architecture or think to compare a Mayan ruin to a European cathedral. This small example of critical thinking is about questioning the origin of something that many may take for granted. I was looking at what inspired people to build as a why versus a what.

(See more on this topic at 8.8.Mexico-2-detail-b)

8.6.Mexico-2-Horizontal-with-Figure – Mayan ancient ruins

The figure outline in this image is for scale to illustrate the size of the fold-out field drawing. The descriptions of certain key elements and insights are included with the accompanying drawings in this section.

Author and illustrator: Charlie Szoradi is an architect, inventor, and the CEO of Independence LED Lighting. He writes about many other topics related to ancient ruins through his extensive travels around the world.

If you have found this posting online, it is an excerpt from Mr. Szoradi’s book Learn from Looking that served as the inspiring seed content for this drawing share resource. For additional drawings and insights on architectural inspiration and ancient ruins s, we hope that you enjoy exploring You can search via general terms such as sustainability as well as narrower terms such as ancient ruins, deciduous trees, and European cathedrals.


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