Medium: photograph

Philip Johnson on Mies (1974)

Philip Johnson on Mies (1974)

By Philip Johnson

The Berlin Building Exposition of 1931 was the largest of its kind ever to be held. With Teutonic thoroughness every material, every method, every theory that had to do with building was shown in the Exposition. The result of this thoroughness, plus an extraordinary lack of funds for proper presentation,… Read More

Mies: The Horizon

Mies: The Horizon

By Robin Evans

Perusing the slides I had taken of the reconstructed pavilion, I found it difficult to decide which way up they went — an artefact of photography, no doubt. Then I changed my mind. It was not an artefact of photography, but a property of the pavilion itself, a property of… Read More

In the Archive

In the Archive

By Edouard Cabay, Richard Hall and Emma Rutherford

In the Archive recreates the experience of a visit to the Drawing Matter collection at Shatwell Farm in Somerset, UK. Each episode begins by inviting a visitor (or visitors) to select a small number of drawings from the collection and to write a reflective text – at times written on… Read More

Language & the Doorn Manifesto

Language & the Doorn Manifesto

By Peter Smithson

The following audio clips are extracts from an interview with Peter Smithson conducted in 1997 for the Architects’ Lives oral history project run by National Life Stories. To listen to the full interview, click here. On language Peter Smithson on the change from the use of French to English as the predominant language of… Read More

Take One: James Gowan and Sandra Lousada on the Leicester Engineering Building

Take One: James Gowan and Sandra Lousada on the Leicester Engineering Building

Take One is a collaboration between Drawing Matter and the Architects’ Lives oral history project run by National Life Stories. Each episode pairs a drawing or visual element with a short audio extract, showing the image alongside the voice of its creator or an informed commentator. The audio extracts are taken from life… Read More

La Casa Della Falsita

La Casa Della Falsita

By Peter Wilson

The 1982 ‘Casa Della Falsita’ exhibition was decidedly under the English architectural radar. Held in Munich at the Focus Furniture Gallery, the inspiration for the show was the result of a squabble with municipality, after the shop owner, Peter Pfeiffer, was denied planning permission to build a spiral staircase between… Read More

Espelho Álvaro

Espelho Álvaro

By Mário Botta

This mirror was among the objects, sketches and photographs at his great exhibition at Padiglione di Arte Contemporanea. Siza was in a corner of the hall with some friends. More than a thousand guests from the Milano-bene (well-to-do Milanese) had come for a vernissage with fur coats, television spotlights, beautiful women, men… Read More

Surface-oriented

Surface-oriented

By Rosa Nussbaum

My desk is a bit like an island: it could just as well be in some other country as here. —Italo Calvino The here in question is a narrow room occupying the top floor of a three-storey house on the southern fringe of Montparnasse. Heavily laden bookshelves and strategically placed objets extend along the… Read More

Six Architects on their Dream Desks

Six Architects on their Dream Desks

By Roz Barr, Biba Dow, Elizabeth Hatz, Stephanie Macdonald, Helen Thomas and Emma Letizia Jones

Drawing Matter recently acquired this design for a table, below. Although the work’s last sale in 1972 attributed the drawing to Thomas Chippendale, we are (perhaps wishfully) hoping that it might be an architect’s own design for desk. The sheet set off a flurry of chatter about the platonic spaces… Read More

Adolphe Appia: ‘Luminous – Very Luminous’

Adolphe Appia: ‘Luminous – Very Luminous’

By Ross Anderson

I. In a melancholy mood, the Swiss scenographer Adolphe Appia sat down at his drawing table in the little bed-sit he was renting in Geneva and took up his pencil and a little hardbound notebook to write down his ‘notes personelles / 1905’: ‘At my age, that of forty-three, I… Read More

Harvey Wiley Corbett on Architectural Models of Cardboard

Harvey Wiley Corbett on Architectural Models of Cardboard

Between April and August 1922 the American journal Pencil Points printed a four-part series by the architect Harvey Wiley Corbett on architectural models that were made of cardboard. According to Corbett, cardboard was a medium for modern times, providing an economical and labour-saving way for the architect to produce models for study… Read More

Dara Birnbaum: Domestication and the Permutation of Interruption

Dara Birnbaum: Domestication and the Permutation of Interruption

By Dara Birnbaum

My first experience with video art happened by chance. After obtaining an architecture degree from Carnegie-Mellon University, in Pittsburgh, I joined Lawrence Halprin & Associates, an architectural firm in San Francisco that specialised in the planning of urban spaces and then conveying, through varying means of visual communication, such ideas… Read More