Category: commentaries, rants & reflections

Open Letters: Harvard GSD

Open Letters: Harvard GSD

Paul Mosley

Drawing Matter has been enjoying Open Letters, published bi-weekly by Harvard University Graduate School Of Design, from the start. In part, this is because our own publishing initiative began at much at the same time – now ten years ago – and proceeds at the same pace, and with a little of the… Read More

W. R. Lethaby: The Church of Sancta Sophia, Constantinople

W. R. Lethaby: The Church of Sancta Sophia, Constantinople

Hugh Strange

This is the third text in this series where Hugh Strange visits key texts throughout W. R. Lethaby’s life. William Lethaby’s second book, The Church of Sancta Sophia, Constantinople: A Study of Byzantine Building, published in 1894, could hardly have started on its subject more emphatically, ‘Sancta Sophia is the most… Read More

Joan Littlewood’s Memos to Cedric Price

Joan Littlewood’s Memos to Cedric Price

Ana Bonet Miró

In this text, Ana Bonet Miró reflects on the memos written by Joan Littlewood addressed to her company of actors, and to Cedric Price during their collaboration on the Fun Palace project. For more on Littlewood and Price’s collaboration, listen to Ana Bonet Miró and Matthew Blunderfield in conversation for… Read More

Queensway, Hong Kong

Queensway, Hong Kong

Sony Devabhaktuni

What I knew of Hong Kong before I moved here came from film and photography. It was a dense, post-modern city that in earlier decades had been characterised by its economic success. Since the turn of the century, the city has been pummelled by shocks and anxieties. Life in Hong… Read More

Heinz Isler Model

Heinz Isler Model

John Chilton and Paul Shepherd

This text was written by Paul Shepherd. The interjections, in italic, are additions by his friend and Heinz Isler expert John Chilton. If you go down to the woods today… Since our son was away on Scout camp all weekend, my plans for Sunday involved a much-needed lie-in and an… Read More

W. R. Lethaby: The Builder’s Art and the Craftsman

W. R. Lethaby: The Builder’s Art and the Craftsman

Hugh Strange

This is the second text in this series where Hugh Strange visits key texts throughout W. R. Lethaby’s life. Dissatisfied with his first book, Architecture, Mysticism and Myth, a year later William Lethaby indicated a significant shift in thinking with the essay, ‘The Builder’s Art and the Craftsman’. The text… Read More

Stendhal’s Autobiography: La Vie de Henri Brulard

Stendhal’s Autobiography: La Vie de Henri Brulard

Christopher Woodward

Soft childish snow swirled on the sidewalk in New York. Lecture given, Christmas presents bought, two hours before the bus to Newark. Outside a bookstore a stall of paperbacks to clear, and there it is, the New York Review of Books’ paperback edition of La Vie du Henri Brulard, Stendhal’s autobiography of… Read More

Two Way Traffic: Japanese Woodblock Prints

Two Way Traffic: Japanese Woodblock Prints

Alex Faulkner

One of the great enigmas of ukiyo-e – Japanese woodblock prints of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries – is the anachronistic intrusion of Western drawing into an apparently closed world; that the sophisticated culture of Edo (now modern Tokyo) seemingly closed off its borders since the Middle Ages. The widespread… Read More

Missing Link: Strategies of a Viennese Architecture Group (1970-1980) – Review

Missing Link: Strategies of a Viennese Architecture Group (1970-1980) – Review

Erik Wegerhoff

There is a strange moment in the second room of the exhibition, where all kinds of great works are hung on the walls to admire, organised around a central display of plastic and aluminium furniture: a collage of a car hovering like the golden calf amidst a crazed crowd; a… Read More

Materia 3: Red Oxide

Materia 3: Red Oxide

Gordon Shrigley

This text is the third in a series by Gordon Shrigley titled ‘Materia’ in which the architect meditates on the physical and semiotic nature of a number of everyday construction products. The first and second texts in the series, on render and corrugated iron, can be read here. Architects are subsumed within… Read More

Robert Maxwell: The Letter, the Lost Sketchbook and the Lecture

Robert Maxwell: The Letter, the Lost Sketchbook and the Lecture

Editors

These three sketches are from a sketchbook that Robert Maxwell used while studying at the Liverpool School of Architecture in 1944. They are reproduced here to mark the publication of Robert Maxwell: the Letter, the Lost Sketchbook and the Lecture, edited by Celia Scott, which is now available through Drawing… Read More

Aldo Rossi: Dieses Ist Lange Her/ora Questo e Perduto

Aldo Rossi: Dieses Ist Lange Her/ora Questo e Perduto

Jaime Tillería Durango

Looking at This was a long time ago/now this is lost, as well as other drawings in Rossi’s unofficial collection of l’architettura assassinata, brings to mind the image of a feast. The scenes are funereal indeed, but they hold a festive aura, as if a celebration had just taken place… Read More