Author: Paul Benavente | Stella Maris Architecture | November 21, 2018

Illustrations: © 2018 Madison Brake |

The previous article explained the four underlying principles that define our natural and artificial environment.  These principles revolve around the general  inquiry we ask when considering an object: "WHY?"  Why is an object such a way or why did it change into such a way?  This question of why is an inquiry of cause and there are four of them: Material, Formal, Efficient, and Final. 

Let us now begin to understand how these causal principles exist in the artificial environment in the objects we create within the architecture and construction professions.

To begin this journey, let us enter the workshop of a woodworking craftsman and consider the working of these principles in his making of the most elemental object of the constructed world: the tool; specifically a specialized type of hammer known as the Joiner's Mallet.

What are the underlying fundamental principles of the making of this Joiner's Mallet?

Click here to read how the Four Causes answer this question.


T H E   U N D E R L Y I N G    P R I N C I P L E S   O F   A R C H I T E C T U R E 

1350 E NASA PARKWAY SUITE 202  •  HOUSTON, TEXAS 77058  •  P. 281.286.3476  •

​​T  H  E      F  O  U  R      C  A  U  S  E  S      E  X  P  L  A  I  N  I  N  G      T  H  E      M  A  K  I  N  G      O  F     A     T  O  O  L 

Author: Paul Benavente | © Stella Maris Architecture | March 31, 2019

Illustrations: © 2019 Madison Brake |

Western civilization rests on the labors of the thinking of men of which the world is rarely gifted.  Aristotle, St. Thomas Aquinas, and others of like mind penetrated into the fabric of existence by asking the question: "Why?"

​​     “We think we do not have knowledge of a thing until we have grasped its why, that is to say, its cause.”  
Aristotle, Physics, Bk II 194 b 17-20

To know the cause of a thing is to know the thing.  These gifted thinkers surmised four causes.  We ask why in four ways to know and understand something.  This third article in a series will now apply this wisdom to the understanding and conceptualization of architecture. By way of demonstration, we will penetrate into the understanding and conceptualization of Andrea Palladio's Villa Emo that we may gain the underlying principles of architecture into our minds and practice.

An edited version is published in the Spring Issue of Palladiana, page 8, and may be read here.

The full version is being prepared for publication and purchase soon.



T H E     F O U R     C A U S E S     E X E M P L I F I E D    I N    P A L L A D I O ' S     V I L L A     E M O  

Author: Paul Benavente | Stella Maris Architecture | October 1, 2018

Illustrations: © 2018 Madison Brake |

Many of us are either in the business of making things or hiring someone to make something for us.  We may qualify ourselves as artisans in this way and the breadth of this qualification encompasses virtually every occupation in the architecture and construction industry from the carpenter customizing cabinetry to the college professor shaping future architects to the urban planner laying out our neighborhoods and cities.  

But what are the underlying fundamental principles of this making? 

Click here to read the first of a series of articles devoted to this topic.