The drawings that accompany the project case studies and many of the articles are disappointing. Some of this probably reflects their origins in individual books that, despite belonging to Birkhauser’s Design Manual series, were themselves designed and published as independent volumes.
Most of these drawings appear without graphic scales (numerical identification, such as “1:500,” is effectively useless), and in general, the text accompanying the drawings is minimally descriptive. Because the drawings are downloadable in PDF format, it is possible to convert them into vector format drawing files such as DWG or AI to make them available for the production of analytical diagrams, 3-D modeling, and other activities particularly applicable to architecture students. However, if these drawings were downloadable as scalable vector format files with graphic scales as additional backup, they would be even more broadly useful.
There is no consistency in the types of drawings that document each case study: some appear without site plans; some are represented three-dimensionally in perspectives, axonometrics, or isometrics; and some are explained conceptually in diagrams. There is a similar lack of consistency in the graphic language of the drawings; in some cases, elements seen in section are identified by a heavy profile line, in other cases through black poché.
More problematic, though, is the fact that the drawings cannot be used directly as the basis of searches; in this sense, they are relegated to a secondary role as supplements to the text-based search engine of the database. It would have been a distinct contribution if typological conditions of plan, section, massing, or design concepts could have been consistently documented and made available as tools of investigation.