Crossed Swords

Michael Gold, Competition Entry for Gateway to Mecca, plan and section DM 2989.8 IN SET

The People in Architecture course focused on 2D illustration in colour. It did so at all scales of design, starting from a human figure; then in stages, week by week, in designs from small to large elements, from an ornament associated with the character of the figure through a piece of furniture to a room, an apartment, a building, up to a city context. It was a means of researching architectural ideas using the then tools of paper, crayon, inks, pencils, pastels, metallic powders, spray paints, holographic and other decorated papers, aids such as a T-square, compass, curve template, ruler, spray gun, rubber, charcoal... The final drawings for the Mecca project were influenced by the ‘People’ project, whereby interiors, surfaces, ornaments, details, views, were explored via illustration using a variety of media, though admittedly in the reverse, more normal order of scales in design thinking. – Michael Gold

Jyväskylä 'Blueprint'

Alvar Aalto,  Jyvaskyla theatre plan, 1972, DM 2846.2 IN SET

For whatever reason it is produced, a blueprint solidifies a moment in the design process and further solidifies the project. It is not necessarily the final moment, and often after the blueprints have been produced they might be annotated by one or the other master, resulting in new drawings from which new blueprints are produced, but the first blueprint marks the moment at which the design becomes realisable. The two blueprints shown here are of a design for a new administrative and cultural centre for Jyväskylä, and the moment they solidify is probably the best one in the long history of the project. – Markus Lähteenmäki

Archives, or Ardor

Fontaine Fireplace

I thought of this heavy, mysterious stuff of Vedic India (but only retrieved the citation once back in New York) as I stood staring into the warm stove in the Drawing Matter archive at Shatwell farm. Now I can’t remember exactly, but there might have been some fur coverings (or lamps stitched and covered with skins) in this space, along with wooden furniture, shelves for the drawings, and some cabinets. And the black stove. The fire in the stove, lit by Niall before 8 am, is what worried me. That and the steaming hot coffee positioned precariously between a thick folder full of files on François-Joseph Belanger and Jean-Démosthène Dugourc, and the actual drawings the French architect-designers had made over two centuries ago. You see, I was alone, and worried that the place would catch fire and burn down the old farm in which the collection was now housed. And then I would have to use the coffee to put out this imaginary fire, adding an unwanted patina to drawings that had been made for a Spanish king or a French ballet dancer, the latter of whom Belanger married only after the two had been thrown in jail for being enemies of the French Revolution. – Iris Moon

Drawing Matter

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