Helen Thomas remarked that as you travel the world looking at recent buildings you start seeing the software. Does she mean the software used to produce the buildings, from the first sketch plan to the final production drawings, or does she mean the photorealist lifestyle images used to market them? There are, of course, precedents for using the functional and the picturesque to inform the dominant drawing modes of the architectural profession: very nineteenth century and particularly British. But other models abound, and variants.
The 2016 summer school focused on drawing as a way of making sense of real sites through sketching – Stourhead, Bath and Shatwell. The exercise of drawing these locations (in situ and back in the studio), without a design brief, proved absorbing. As did looking with intent at various drawings by architects represented in the Drawing Matter collection. This page represents a summer workshop on drawing as a thinking process. How do drawings structure architectural thought?
I drew today and I drew it over again and I re-drew it. I went around the site and then I walked all the way from south to north and then I walked from north to the centre of the site. Then I wandered in between the buildings and drew spaces. Then I reevaluated what I drew. – Hallam Tucker / Leafing through some of the sketchbooks, one feels very close to the consciousnesses of the people who made them, and after the week one has the feeling, in a way, of having spent time with these people too. – Bernard Brennan / Talking about the sketches was for me a very intense and at the same time a very important part. By speaking about the drawing itself, one is obliged to look at what one has actually drawn. – Joris Birla / … after a few days I discovered that drawing could be a way of discussing certain details or observations. – Amandine Ischer / The fact that we changed scene from Shatwell farm to Stourhead and Bath have made me think about the similarities between different kind of situations. – Gustaf Hedberg / … having informal access to sketchbooks from distinguished architects and artists allowed us to think beyond the grandiose ‘finished’ scheme and allowed us to think more about the working process. It was interesting to see what role drawing played in this process and in what way these early drawings influenced the character of the built work. – Sam Little / A brave inconsistency of paper left on either side. A demonstration of control over the paper. Getting out of the comfort zone. Questioning our automatisms. Perhaps giving the material and placing a higher status than the drawing itself. Introducing intentionality. Differentiating the intention from ability. – Kimberley Berney