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Reading Response Week 13 – Drawing | Media and Architecture 2012

Reading Response Week 13 – Drawing

In his piece, Mark Hewitt at one point discusses conception and its place in architectural drawing.  Architects conceive their works in different ways – some use the “Mozartian” method of forming a complete vision in their head before setting it to paper, and others develop as they draw.  He then ties this into larger questions – can an architectural drawing ever truly represent the image formed in one’s mind, and can that image in turn ever truly be recreated in reality?  It’s interesting to look at this piece, written in 1985, in comparison to James Ackerman’s piece, written in 2002.  Since it was written significantly later, Ackerman’s essay has the advantage of being able to take into account the emerging computer technology of the time, citing it as the first major advance in architectural planning since basic drawing tools were established.  This technology, advanced all the more in the ten years since he wrote this, allows architects to represent the ideas in their head more accurately than ever, as well as create legitimate structures that in past years would have been unheard of.  I couldn’t help but be reminded of the clips from David Fincher’s films I showed several weeks ago during our mini film fest, where CGI allowed him to create “shots” that would have been impossible before.  Computer technology is more and more giving artists of all kinds the ability visually convey anything they can imagine.

In the end, a drawing or computer image is still only a representation of a pre-existing or potential reality.  As we saw in examples from both the aforementioned readings, and some of the drawings from MOMA’s website, sometimes an inaccurate or even abstract image can better represent what an architect is trying to convey.  This ties in interestingly with Thomas Bredehoft’s discussion of comics.  Comic art is a medium that utilizes drawing to convey not only space and structure, but also has the unique ability to represent and manipulate time as well.  While a comic like Jimmy Corrigan can arrange images in such a way that they jump around in time and space, we are still ultimately given the impression of a solid whole.

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One Comment

  1. shannon

    Thanks, Matt, for your sixth and final post! I’m glad to see these questions regarding the “ontology of the image” re-emerging here. If I remember correctly, you addressed similar issues during our weeks on photography and Le Corbusier (who of course believed that “inaccurate” representations better captured his designs). The flexibility of drawing gives us lots of room to play with space and time.