In the good old days when life (and transportation) was slower there was a much greater emphasis on the inclusion of detail in architectural design than exists today. On the exterior this detail was often inextricably linked with light and shadow – creating patterns and textures that helped give buildings a lively face – something of a life of their own. Today we flash by most of our buildings with little scrutiny – and with correspondingly little need for well articulated facades – unless, of course, you slow down enough to actually look (!).
Architects used to study buildings in situ by drawing them – drawing the light and shadow. This took some time and forced one to actually see (and understand) what they were looking at (!). Today's architects can take a few moments and capture numerous photographic images with little critical seeing or understanding (besides, there's always Photoshop). Times have changed and our man-made world is becoming increasingly less appealing.