Web Bridges


How to read
a bridge


as art


Bridging the




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The form of a book consist of chapters, paragraphs, sentences, phrases, words and letters.
We can think of these as a series of 'levels' within the whole book.
At the bottom level we have letters which make up words at the second level. In turn, words make up sentences at the third level, which make up paragraphs and so on up to the whole book

The suitability of the form of each level depends on the purpose of that form.

Authors write to communicate ideas - let's call them 'messages'.
A well constructed book has many messages because it communicates at every level i.e. there are messages in each chapter, each paragraph down to each word.
The meaning of the messages at each level effectively 'emerge' from everything below that level.

We can see this by starting with letters and words. The meaning of a word derives from the arrangement of its letters.
Then the meaning of a sentence derives from the arrangement of the words. The meaning of a paragrah derives from the arrangement of the sentences and so on.
So the meaning of a whole book derives from every level below i.e. the words, sentences, paragraphs and chapters.
The letters can't be random - they have to make sense by forming words we know. Likewise the words can't be random they have to follow grammatical rules.
The letters and words are different for different languages. English and Chinese languages have different letters. English and French languages have different rules of grammar.

Also if we think about different types of book then we know that different types of books deliver different kinds of messages.
For example fictional romantic novels tell stories about life and relationships. Thrillers are adventure stories and so on. Non- fiction books inform about some aspect of life such as travel or science - even bridges!

So just as a book delivers a message or series of messages and meanings at different levels so a bridge delivers a series of functions at various levels and these functions have different meanings.

Off to the right you can see some various levels of detail in the pictures of a Swiss Rope Bridge.
Just as the form of a book must be right at each level to deliver its message then so must the form of a bridge at each level be right to deliver all the functions required.

Of course there isn't just one 'right' type of book - one of the joys of reading stems from the variety and richness of structure and content. Some books are better than others.
So it is with bridges

The net result of all this is that just as you can read the messages at the various levels of a book so you can read the functions of the various levels of a bridge.
Of course to enjoy a book you must know the language in which it is written.

So it is with bridges.

You can enjoy a bridge more if you know something of the language in which it is written.

So on the next page we'll look in more detail at these levels of bridge forms.

Swiss Rope Swing Bridge
Whole Bridge: Overview

Swiss Rope Swing Bridge
Chapter: Suspension System

Swiss Rope Swing Bridge
Paragraph: Deck Unit

Swiss Rope Swing Bridge
Sentence: Connection detail

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