General 9. October 2017

When an engineer designs a machine, a bridge, or a regulator, each line in his drawings is the result of a great accumulation of laws and principles from a dozen different mechanical sciences. He designs the machine to withstand a certain amount of strain and to do a particular job. In both these aspects he must consider and apply all that he has been taught in such fields as physics, dynamics, structural mechanics, and the resistance of materials, and must put into each line a whole library of expertise.    Similarly, when an architect designs a town or a building, every line is determined by the application of the same complex set of mechanical laws, with the addition of a whole collection of other sciences whose provinces are less well defined: the sciences that concern man in his environment and society. These sciences-sociology, economics, climatology, theory of architecture, aesthetics, and the study of culture in general-are no less important to the architect than are the mechanical sciences, for they are directly concerned with man, and it is for man that architecture exists.

Hassan Fathy about the complex requirements of  the architect’s profession and their weighting within (in: Natural Energy and Vernacular Architecture)