AUBURN – We recognize them, study them and long to visit them – iconic structures such as the Great Pyramids, Notre Dame and the Colosseum. They remain marvels in the modern day even though many were built during centuries or millenniums past. And while much is known about the structures themselves, what exactly do we know about who built them and how they were constructed?
These were the questions that Linda Ruth’s “Deconstructing Construction” class at Auburn University sought to answer. Made up of 17 senior-level undergraduate building science students and one graduate student, the class centered around a whirlwind study-abroad trip this summer to western Europe and Egypt to visit 17 construction marvels. But Ruth’s students weren’t just casual observers. Their mission was to study each structure in depth and collectively produce a textbook about the history of construction.