9/01/2012

Drawing, Drawing, Drawing and Architecture

And the Venice Architecture Biennale 2012 is now open. Urban-Think Tank, Grafton Architects, and the Japanese Pavilion are awarded while, Cino Zucchi, and the Polish, Russian, and U.S. Pavilions received special mentions. I let the Biennale aside until… November 23rd. I will attend one of these sessions that the Spontaneous Interventions curatorial team organized for U.S. Pavilion: Session #7: Cittàdino: What is the city without citizens? This lecture will be directed by Jordan Geiger, Joyce Hwang and Mark Shepard of the University of Buffalo, State University of New York, Buffalo.

Related Post:
The Architecture Post in conversation with Jordan Geiger

I am planning to interview some of the participants of this seminar, at the very least. I, then, will visit most of the pavilions. I hope to see more workshops or other projects similar to those of the U.S. Pavilion. But I will go back on the Biennale later on (in November).

Then, still concerning the Spontaneous Interventions Project, a debate articulated into four topics:

  1. Are we fighting with or against 'The Man'?
  2. Is tweeting for action enough?
  3. But how do you fund it?
  4. Who is community, anyway?
I posted some comments on two of these four topics. Be free to go, read, and participate, if you want. Another but similar project is led by the Philip Johnson Glass House Conversation, with this question: In your experience, what strategy is most valuable: spontaneous intervention or critical compliance? why?
I opted for 'spontaneous intervention', though a definition of 'spontaneous intervention' is seriously needed. The conversation is led by Molly Heintz, contributing editor, The Architects Newspaper. Note that, if you want to participate (and it's free and online): only 3 days left…
As you can see, collaboration, community appear to be central to some pavilions. The US Pavilion aside, the U.K. Pavilion explores this topic of collaboration with this Re-thinking Neighborhood Planning: From consultation to collaboration. I will visit projects in the U.K. Pavilion such as this short piece Roundhouse Foundation by BLDG Blog and Smout Allen, Center for Land Interpretation, the Housing Crisis, etc., but also the Russian Pavilion and its i-city, the Chilean, Poland, and French Pavilions.

Now let's the Biennale aside…
Spatial Blooms, proto-formal drawing from the project Spatial Blooms [2009] | © Perry Kulper
Originally appeared on dpr-barcelona

What is drawing in architecture? The recent issue of French little publication Cosa Mentale is devoted to drawing ('dessiner' in French meaning literally 'drawing' in English). Drawing as the architect's primary tool of ideas. And this issue explores the importance of drawing practices in the architect's work while discussing drawing in art — Cy Twombly, Edgar Degas.
PoroFont, 2012 ı Digital Print | © Alisa Andrasek.
Originally appeared on Storefront for Art and Architecture

Needless to say that drawing is a tool not only for creative ideation as well as for a control and authorship of the project.

Little Publication: Cosa Mentale ı issue 9 ı Dessiner (Drawing), Cycle III, 2012


However, in this network era, new tools are transforming, in depth, drawing practices — parametric modeling, computational design, Building Information Management (BIM), digital design.
Storefront: (de)Border Threshold (Cultural Coyote), 2012 ı Digital collage | © Teddy Cruz
Originally appeared on Storefront for Art and Architecture

Yet, Cosa Mentale does not tackle this shift. However while concentrating on the simple but essential act of drawing in the architect's work, this issue 'Dessiner' touches upon this shift.
Little Publication: Cosa Mentale ı issue 9 ı Dessiner (Drawing) ı Cycle III, 2012

Let's quote an example: In the interesting conversation between Patrick Giromini and Brunetto de Batté named Monde Extra-Ordinaire (literally Extra-ordinary world), Brunetto de Batté mentioned, albeit partly, architect's growing interest for real-time computational design.
Storefront is a Livingroom in the galaxy!!, 2012 ı Pen, felt-tip pen and markers on paper | © Andrés Jaque
Originally appeared on Storefront for Art and Architecture

The new generation of architects seem to rather use digital drawing (computational design). My personal view is: the question is not if one tool is more valid than another, but rather how the role of sketching — digital or not — contributes to the evolutionary phase of a project and reflect upon architects' work. The emergence of digital drawing, then, is critical to understanding of recent paradigm shifts — computational design, parametric, morphogenesis, protocell… — of architecture.
Wine's 2003 drawing for the Residence Antilia, a private residential tower, which sits on top of a hillside overlooking Mumbai | © James Wines
Originally appeared on Blueprint

I have been told that architecture such as social networks, seems to absorb a new rhythm… speed, real-time process while 'traditional' (I acknowledge that 'traditional' may confuse some of my readers) drawing requires time, patience, and a certain relation with space. Perhaps… But the most important point, as I mentioned above, is less the competition or debate between 'traditional' drawing and computer-used drawing than how this shift reflects the architects' work and thought.
+/- 868 SF, 2012 ı Ink on watercolor paper | © Interboro Partners
Originally appeared on Storefront for Art and Architecture

Aesthetics/Anesthetics at the Storefront for Art and Architecture showed a series of architects' drawings, including: Alisa Andrasek, Teddy Cruz, Perry Kulper, Sam Jacob/FAT, MOSJimenez Lai, Interboro Partners, among others. This September, Zaha Hadid's exhibition, featuring paintings, furnitures, installations, will travel in Madrid, at the Ivorypress Space Gallery. The exhibition is announced to feature a series of paintings among many others and images of Hadid's participation at the Venice Architecture Biennale.
EUR New Congress Centre in Rome, 1999 ı Painting | © Massimiliano Fuksas
Originally appeared on Fuksas:Building, Actar, 2012

It is interesting to see what role drawing plays in architects, designers, engineers' work. As  industrial designer, creative director and illustrator Craighton Berman said to Stephen Killion for MAS Context:

At its best, sketching is a medium for collaborators to work together and to talk through. Bringing an idea into a tangible physicality is a great way to bring everyone up to the same level of understanding about a project. A sketch is universally accessible in that it is a lo-fidelity form of representation. It is a raw and honest form of communication. One that is not perfect, and I think that is what makes it so approachable.
Storefront back of house, 2012 ı Ink on paper | Jimenez Lai
Originally appeared on Storefront for Art and Architecture

Indeed, an example: Steven Holl whose drawing is playing a central role in his design process. We go on with:
Drift, Screen Capture No.33, 2012 ı C-print on polished plexi | © MOS
Originally appeared on Storefront for Art and Architecture

For the architect, drawing is a work tool, a form of learning, assimilation, communication and transformation: it's a method used in the design process. The architect also has other tools available but nothing can take the place of drawing without leading to negative consequences. The ideation of an organized space and the calculated approach taken to the existing situation and what one hopes to achieve there are all filtered through the intuitions that drawing feeds instantaneously into the most logical and agreed upon constructions, thereby nourishing them. Every gesture that we make — including drawing — is charged with history, unconscious memory, and incommensurable and unknown wisdom. Drawing should be practised so that our every gesture, and everything else, does not become atrophied. [Abstract of a text written by Alvaro Siza in 1987, and now published in the Jannone Gallery catalogue. Originally appeared in Abitare*]
660 Storefronts, 2012 ı Digital print | © Sam Jacob
Originally appeared on Storefront for Art and Architecture

In the recent issue of the Italian publication San Rocco, named Fuck Concepts! Context!, Ilaria Boeddu writes:

The initial drawings of an architectural project are similar to the sketches of a painter or sculptor, a fact that would justify placing architecture among the autographic art [**]. [Ilaria Boeddu | Concepts and Contexts: An Analytical Point of View || Fuck Concepts! Contexts! ı San Rocco, p.53]
These recent publications and exhibitions on drawing in architecture put on the raw light the essential phase of the architect's work from drawing to digital drawing. In other cases, such as the field itself, a part of the architect's instrument is in mutation. To understand this slight shift, one must admit that as architecture is facing with a paradigm shift from a representation of classical architecture, to an essentialist representation of positivist and functionalist principles and of the production mechanisms of industrial societies, to… a new practice with blurring contours — post-client architecture, soft architecture, parametric architecture, etc. As, in the real-time perspective of the digital era, a new design methodology evolves, this shift requires inevitably a shift in the architect's instrument and methods. With computer, digital tools. And obviously, digital tools will confuse those who have a deep relationship with 'traditional' tools.
Tower of Babel ı Drawing | Du Zhenjun
Originally appeared on Socks Studio

However, it is difficult to admit whether or not digital drawing will transform architect's practice as deeply as we think it will. Drawing — be it digital or not — still defines ideation, investigation, expression, and content in the architect's work. Now, perhaps, computational drawing will influence digital decision — defenders of digital drawing will add that computational design allows more freely for speculative proposals, facilitates architect's task in face of varying constraints — more rapidly than 'traditional' drawing.


[*] Cosa Mentale includes Portuguese and French versions of Siza's text in the issue 9 of the journal, pp. xxi
[**] I include the note to this sentence: But actually, when in some cases the plan is made directly through digital signs, this type of identity is perhaps destined to fail, giving lots of room to notational forms | Ilaria Boeddu, || San Rocco, 2012

Source:
Cosa Mentale, issue 9, Dessiner, July 2012
Alvaro Siza. Drawings and Thoughts | Abitare
Alvaro Siza, Architect: Drawings, Models, Photographs | Elsa Longhauser, Jean-Louis Cohen
Fuksas: Building | Ramon Prat (ed.) || Actar, 2012
Du Zhenjun: Tower of Babel | Fosco Lucarelli || Socks Studio
Perry Kulper | Revisited || dpr-barcelona
drawings by Steven Holl at MoMA new york || designboom®
Beyond Boundaries, Art and Design by Zaha Hadid at Ivorypress Space || dezeen
Zaha Hadid
Aesthetics/Anesthetics | Storefront for Art and Architecture
James Wines: Drawing and Architecture | Blueprint

Concepts and Contexts: An Analytical Point of View | Ilaria Boeddu ı Fuck Concepts! Contexts! || San Rocco


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