marco frascari


By Federica Goffi

Marco Frascari, The Campanone, February 6, 2008.
Marco Frascari, The Campanone, March 8, 2008.

Architectural theorist and architect Marco Frascari defined the brouillon as a drawing meant to be recopied, times and again. This is a generative drawing, that entices reflections in time and whose value lives up to, and even beyond, a time of making. A brouillon is a counter drawing, which encapsulates the significance of a project, and from which other drawings may originate. Through the process of drawing and redrawing something a dialogue between representations, and sometimes between multiple authors over time, is ignited. Frascari’s own way of drawing | thinking through making is evidenced in a collection of 11 drawings on the theme of materia prima from the period of February 2008­–April 2010.

Marco Frascari, Esoteric Plan 1, September 8, 2009.
Marco Frascari, Esoteric Plan 2, September 8, 2009.
Marco Frascari, Esoteric Plan 3, September 8, 2009. Published in the chapter on ‘Architectural Brouillons: Work Intended to be Recopied’, in Eleven Exercises (Routledge 2011, p. 87) with the title Venatic drawing.

A contextual and sequential reading of the drawings in this series may reveal their significance as a whole, and ignite a dialogue between the representations and the reader. Frascari makes visible through this series that drawing itself is the first matter of architectural conception. How then does the thinking and making in architecture happens through architectural drawing? Frascari’s own last two books, Eleven Exercises in the Art of Architectural Drawing. Slow Food for the Architect’s Imagination (Routledge 2011), and the posthumously published Marco Frascari’s Dream House: A Theory of Imagination (Routledge 2017), address this question in an attempt at providing insight into the process of architectural imagination.

The 11 drawings shown here are hybrid hand and digital prima materia drawings made by Frascari between 6 February 2008 and 9 June 2010.

Marco Frascari, Carta Piegata 1 (Folded Paper 1), April 1, 2010.
Marco Frascari, There are two versions of this drawing in the digital archive of Frascari. One is titled The Facture, and the other, The Materia Prima, November 7, 2009. Published in the preface to the Eleven Exercises (Routledge 2011, p. 11), with the title Preparation of an Architectural Facture.
Marco Frascari, This drawing is the only that carries a title within the drawing itself: The Materia Prima of Architecture. The title of the digital file is Assemblage Drawing.
Marco Frascari, Carta Piegata 2 (Folded Paper 2), April 1, 2010.
Marco Frascari, Angelic Drawing.
Marco Frascari, Angelic Geometry, June 9, 2010. Published in the chapter on ‘The Pregnancy of Drawings’, in Eleven Exercises (Routledge 2011, p. 50).