Medium: sketchbook

Self-Portraits: appropriation and drawing

Self-Portraits: appropriation and drawing

By Marko Skoblar

Similar to many of Rossi’s drawings, the Urban Fragment presents us with a collection of his most cherished forms – a primordial tower, the hand of a saint and fragments of his own projects, such as the Gallaratese 2 housing complex in Milan and the Cemetery of San Cataldo. In… Read More

Superstudio: Monument Interrupted

Superstudio: Monument Interrupted

By Julian Lewis

The collages of Superstudio’s ‘Continuous Monument’ have always seemed to me like stills from an unseen film, each image framing a part of a wider scenography. Combining the collages does not make the larger reality of the monument any less elusive or fragmentary, akin to the way that remembered dreams… Read More

Dating Siza: The Malagueira ‘Cupula’

Dating Siza: The Malagueira ‘Cupula’

By Manuel Montenegro

The unbuilt half-dome (referred to by the architect as the ‘cupula’) at the Quinta da Malagueira is the subject of a protracted design process that has lasted for over four decades. At the start of 2020, Álvaro Siza sent a drawing of the half-dome to Drawing Matter accompanied by letter… Read More

The Real and Imagined Worlds of Álvaro Siza

The Real and Imagined Worlds of Álvaro Siza

By Bruno Silvestre

Inside the cover of Álvaro Siza’s sketchbooks, there is a whole world: the real and the imagined. In his personal registers of the real, Siza accepts the world as it is. He uses drawing in a playful but productive way, learns when he apprehends, absorbs when drawing. This process of… Read More

Staging Brancusi

Staging Brancusi

By Asli Çiçek and Sarah Handelman

Sarah Handelman: When we started talking about your work in scenography almost a year before, you were in the middle of designing the Brancusi exhibition, which opened last October at BOZAR in Brussels. Since then I’ve been wanting to have a conversation with you about the kinds of stages that… Read More

Álvaro Siza: Drawn Closer

Álvaro Siza: Drawn Closer

By Álvaro Siza

I began using sketchbooks in 1977, and this is the first of them. I had been asked by the new communist mayor of Évora to plan a very large social housing development – Quinta da Malagueira – as an extension of the medieval city on an abandoned agricultural estate. Until… Read More

Jaume Mayol / TEd’A Arquitectes: Drawn Closer

Jaume Mayol / TEd’A Arquitectes: Drawn Closer

By Sarah Handelman and Jaume Mayol

This drawing for a house in Mallorca joins a number of sketches we made to understand the project. Each space is made of separate elements. To understand the space you need to dive into each element, and to understand each element you need to be in the space. To draw… Read More

Animals

Animals

By James Gowan and Ellis Woodman

excerpted from The Architecture of James Gowan: Modernity and Reinvention (2008)

Plan with the form of a growling dog

Plan with the form of a growling dog

By Tony Fretton

I was drawing, endlessly it seemed, a hotel for a competition in Switzerland – fruitlessly as it turned out. I cheered myself along by seeing in the plan the face of an animal, a friendly bear, or more likely a dog. James’ ‘building with the form of a howling dog,’ which he… Read More

One Thing Leads to Another

One Thing Leads to Another

By Richard Hall

Architecture rarely results from a singular eureka moment or a spontaneous act of genius. The myth of the napkin sketch is precisely a myth. The lucidity it suggests is essential, but it is seldom instantaneous or hermetic. It comes from work. In architecture, this work is of a special kind,… Read More

BV Doshi: Drawn Closer

BV Doshi: Drawn Closer

By Balkrishna Vithaldas Doshi and Sarah Handelman

I was fifty years old when I started designing Sangath, my office in Ahmedabad. In India, when you cross fifty, suddenly – biologically, psychologically – you start to think about what in your life you have discovered. When I made the first drawings, I was thinking about many things: although… Read More

Peter Blake & Adolfo Natalini: From Mies to Mickey Mouse

Peter Blake & Adolfo Natalini: From Mies to Mickey Mouse

By Peter Blake

Sometimes, in the space between the archive and the library at Shatwell, we make nice conjunctions. Here together are Peter Blake in 1992, old and very angry, writing for Abitare about the decline of architecture in late twentieth-century America; and Adolfo Natalini in 1972, young and thrilled to have got there, sketching… Read More