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Issue 2.2

Quantification and Quality in Architecture and Design

Thrilled about his ability to understand previously unknown conditions, and in awe of the universe yet to be explored, Alexander von Humboldt (1769–1859), a Romantic-period polymath, spent the last 25 years of his life writing a multivolume series, Cosmos. The books are elegant scientific accounts of the universe based on his and others’ research and include detailed descriptions of volcanoes, climates, and plants, and their impacts on ecosystems, art, and the senses. Measurements, ascribed to those who conducted them, were crucial to Humboldt’s treatise, as he saw them as fundamental to the growth of knowledge…

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