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in architecture, an arbitrary unit of measurement adopted to coordinate the dimensions of parts of a building or complex. In the architecture of different peoples different quantities have been used as the module, depending on the type of construction and building design. The module of a structure may be one of its basic measurements (the diameter of the dome or the length of the bay in the vaulted medieval structures of Europe and Central Asia), the size of an individual structural element (the diameter of a column and the width of a triglyph in ancient architecture employing the classical orders), or the dimensions of a building material (the length of a brick or log). Measures of length (such as the foot, sazhen’ (2.134 m), and meter) are also used directly as modules, forming a linear module.
Arising out of technical necessity, the module became a device in architectural composition to place in harmony the dimensions of a structure and its parts (for example, the golden section in ancient architecture and the modulor of Le Corbusier). The use of modules, however, never resulted in the mechanical computation of all quantities: in the search for expressive correlations, architects made commensurate corrections that took into account optical illusions. In the architecture of the second half of the 20th century, with the development of prefabricated industrial construction, linear modules became particularly important as a means of organizing the planning and design of buildings and of unifying and standardizing them.
The primary module of 10 cm, larger derivative modules (30, 60, 120, 150, 300, and 600 cm) and fractional modules, together with the rules of application, constitute a module system. They have been established by Soviet, foreign, and international norms and standards.
REFERENCESKhazanov, D. B. “Modul’ v arkhitekture.” In the collection Voprosy teorii arkhitekturnoi kompozitsii, [issue] 2. Moscow, 1958.
Arkhitektura zhilogo kompleksa. Moscow, 1969.
D. B. KHAZANOV
(in electronics), a functionally complete subassembly of electronic apparatus that is designed as an independent item. A distinction is made among planar, three-dimensional, and planar-three-dimensional types according to design, and between transistor and tube types according to the type of electronic devices.
Modules are most frequently assembled on printed-circuit boards. The technology of production of modules permits a high degree of automation, which ensures highly reliable operation. Modules may be adjusted and checked separately, thus making possible repair by replacement, without additional adjustment. The use of modules (the functional-subassembly method of design) shortens the development time, reduces design and production costs, and simplifies maintenance and modernization.
REFERENCEGusev, V. P. Tekhnologiia radioapparatostroeniia. Moscow, 1972.
Modules are usually compiled seperately (in compiled languages) and provide an abstraction or information hiding mechanism so that a module's implementation can be changed without requiring any change to other modules. In this respect they are similar to objects in an object-oriented language, though a module may contain many procedures and/or functions which would correspond to many objects.
A module often has its own name space for identifiers so the same identifier may be used to mean different things in different modules.