The shoulders of giants have been all of living species' starting point since creation, where knowledge is passed on from those that have come before. Buildings of the past centuries have shaped the Architecture of today, and tomorrow. Inevitably, the study of history is particularly useful in design for multiple reasons, all in which affix to the concept that history is an insight into a moving process of life. Firstly, a critical understanding of previous architectural structures and their context is a necessary aspect of any rational decision, where past successes and failures influence fruitful design. Furthermore, history promotes new, inventive ideas and styles through the borrowing of designs, thus making our predecessors particularly influential figures. Finally, through the study of history, designers are able to maintain a sense of place and add greater depth to design intentions, ultimately giving architecture a more significant role in society. .
Architecture of the past plays an important role in current design, thus a critical understanding of these structures and their context is a necessary aspect of any rational decision, where past successes and failures produce more successful outcomes. From a young age, humans are taught to learn from their mistakes and improve upon them. This concept is a primitive theory that has been passed down to modern civilization. Vitruvius, a significant figure of the first century BC and perhaps more so in current times, explained that the ancients discovered the timeless principles as they experimented with their forms. By rejecting failures and retaining successes, they refined forms until eventually they could no longer improve their designs. (Vitruvius, trans 1960) During the Greek and Hellenistic periods of approximately the seventh and first century BC, (French, 1998) the Doric order developed gradually as carpenters experimented with different construction details, by which they worked to refine the column until it reached its' level of perfection.