The Drawing Prize Blog
The Drawing Prize Blog
To coincide with co-curating the Prize, Make’s editorial team has launched a series of posts about drawing on their blog featured here. Contributors include curators, writers and architects interested in the role of drawing in presenting ideas.
The Bartlett School of Architecture’s sell-out 2016 conference, ‘Drawing Futures’, proved that obituaries for the role of hand-drawing in architecture practice have been premature. We talk to the conference chairs and editors of its eponymously titled book about drawing’s many lives.
Read the full blog post by Dominic Lutyens here
‘Disappearing Here’ is an exhibition currently on display at the RIBA. The subject is ‘perspective’ and it is curated by Sam Jacob with whom I chatted about this show. I started the conversation, in Paxmanesque style, by asking whether he really believes Panofsky’s assertion that perspective was only possible ‘when a new religious conception of a singular, divine omnipresence meant that the infinite and so the vanishing point, could be imagined’ (to quote the exhibition catalogue). This is something which my tutors at Cambridge (all keen Panofskian) pushed down my throat but I could never quite believe. Sam answered by saying that the exact truth of this is not as important as Panofsky’s realisation that perspective is not merely a way of drawing but is a form of representation which has a cultural and political content.
Read the full blog post by Francis Terry here
In my hallway hangs a watercolour drawing of the Roman city of Chester by Sir Donald Insall, founder of the conservation led architectural practice I work for. The unfinished brushstrokes, the wobbly inked lines and smudged watercolours evoke a sense of nostalgia; by means of the fragmented painting emulating the fragmented nature of ancient buildings.
Read the full blog post by Gwyn Roberts here
If you did not see it, I’m afraid it’s just too late to catch The Architecture Drawing Prize exhibition at Sir John Soane’s Museum. It was a small exhibition in the museum’s Foyle Space, a new exhibition room that the museum opened in 2016 for displays of work dealing with the legacy of Soane. It made a good spot for an exhibition of prize-winning drawings, many of which were by students of architecture.
Read the full blog post by Vicky Richardson here
In 2006, in an apartment overlooking Copacabana beach, the 98-year-old Oscar Niemeyer led me to a cramped corner where a slanting desktop and an A3-wide roll of drawing paper were fixed to the wall. He tore off a large sheet of paper, smoothed it down, and picked up a thick felt-tip pen. And then, in half a dozen strokes, he outlined the shape of a Communist party memorial that Moscow apparatchiks had asked him to design.
Read the full blog post by Jay Merrick here
In 1915, Gunnar Asplund and Sigurd Lewerentz (1885-1975) submitted a single competition entry for a new woodland cemetery in Stockholm, Sweden. It comprised a vast and intricate site plan in which each individual pine tree was inscribed on the drawing, peppered with towers, chapels, crematoria, clearings, and avenues. Borrowing from myth and Nordic folklore, the proposal reflected on—and subsequently defined—the nation’s attitude to death and remembrance.
Read the full blog post by James Taylor-Foster here
In his book Dominion of The Eye, Marvin Trachtemberg reveals to us that during Florentine Trecento urbanism a paradigm shift occurred where it was recognised that art and power expressed through architecture is not simply through a formal manifestation but through space, through the void, the space surrounding a monument. A realisation that the void is as important as the edifice. It is shown that the state-sponsored conscious creation of space as a work of art and a show of power was inextricably linked to the current development of perspectival drawing. An understanding that a building can command space around itself and even share and transfer power and atmosphere. I believe it is important for every architecture student to re-live and re-enact this development.
Read the full blog post by Gabor Gallovhere
From the moment I received the email inviting me to the World Architecture Festival following my winning submission to the Architecture Drawing Prize, I was very excited and looked forward to travelling to Berlin! Meeting the other two winners, Christopher Wijatno and Jerome Ng Xin Hao, as well as the competition jurors and organisers was a more than warm welcome to the city and particularly to the festival.
Read the full blog post by Dimitris Grozopoulos here
A couple of years ago, I was asked to give a talk to the Art Workers Guild on the subject of whether hand drawing is dead in the digital age. What was interesting was not so much what I had to say but the debate that followed. The general consensus was that the pendulum had swung too far away from hand drawing in favour of the computer and that the balance needed to be redressed.
Read the full blog post by Charles Hind here
Many architects still use traditional drawing skills as a crucial part of the design development process: nothing beats sketching in real time to visualise and communicate ideas and concepts, whether to outline a vision or describe a detail. Drawing allows unrestricted imagination of a space and the expression of a unique idea before the design process moves across to computer programmes for the technical design and delivery of a building.
Read the full blog post by Laurie Chetwood here
Stefan Davidovici is a visionary architectural draughtsman – consummately skilled, starkly singular in his vision and immensely prolific. His work centres on speculative architectural interventions on the Martian landscape, which he conceives using collages of NASA photographs, and a future-focused Milan. Since 2013 our correspondence has included exchange visits and numerous Skype calls, one of which he conducted from his laptop in a pass in the Alps. His unshakable passion for drawing is matched only by his love of mountain climbing, as evidenced in the vertiginous views pictured in many of his fantasy structures.
Read the full blog post by Trevor Flynn here
Illustrated by the house at 6 Wood Lane. Much has been written about the benefits of hand drawing and our practice has over the years developed a particular way working through drawing. We use hand drawings in many different ways; to evolve projects conceptually and for presentation purposes to inform and delight our clients and other audiences. Some of our drawings are simply for ourselves as a device to reflect on our work and play with ideas.
Read the full blog post by Mike Russum here
Drawing is so important to architects because it is what distinguishes architecture, as Reyner Banham writes, from other perfectly respectable ways of making buildings. It is axiomatic that architectural drawing took a decisive turn in the Renaissance. Less well known is the role of architectural drawing in Renaissance architectural historiography, which Guido Beltramini, director of the Centro Palladio in Vicenza, recently outlined in a discussion with the art historian MaryAnne Stevens and me.
How did you get into drawing early on? Drawing has always been a way for me to express myself. I can’t remember not drawing. My dad encouraged it early on, and when I started school, I was always enormously proud if my drawings were pinned up on the classroom walls. In my spare time, at the age of six or seven, I drew houses. We didn’t have a television, so this kept me busy, and I developed a bulging portfolio of dream houses and crazy fantasy structures. Illustrated reading, jigsaws and maps also fascinated me, which I guess gives an insight into to how my mind works. I would often use pictures to explain my own thought processes; I still do.
Read the full blog post by Ken Shuttleworth here
Sir John Soane’s (1753–1837) biographer, Gillian Darley, describes the great neoclassical Regency architect as the “accidental Romantic,” as visionary as the poet William Blake or painter J.M.W. Turner. The comparison has a pictorial connotation that brings to mind the detailed and imaginative drawings that informed both Soane’s pioneering thinking and his teaching. A skilled and prolific draughtsman in his own right, he also engaged master watercolourist J.M. Gandy to help visualise his distinctive architectural vision.
Read the full blog post by Owen Hopkins here
We are delighted to launch an architecture drawing section to the Make blog. This coincides with Make’s collaboration with Sir John Soane’s Museum and the World Architecture Festival on the newly conceived Architecture Drawing Prize. Here we will publish articles by experts on draughtsmanship focusing on the role of drawing in the profession. We hope this will highlight the continuing importance of hand-drawing as a conceptual tool for architects as well as shed light on how digital presentation techniques can be used for better communicating approaches to design.