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Drawing Diversity October 4, 2013

Posted by jennibarrett in Uncategorized.
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Architects draw.

By hand or using technology tools, they make representations of a world they propose.  Architects are also embracing site, context and landscape as essential parts of the architectural palette.  Yet, despite artistic skills, well-honed in architecture school, there remains a divide between representation of buildings and the spaces that connect them.  I remain unconvinced by out-of-scale, acid-green trees set in deeper-green, grass floor blankets.

Image

Grand Central Terminal, New York (Foster&Partners)
Source:  http://www.dezeen.com/2012/10/19/foster-partners-present-vision-for-grand-central-terminal/ 

There is an ancient skill of deriving understanding of the natural world through artistic endeavour and we may be in danger of losing it.  The great scientific contributions of Linnaeus and Darwin would not have been possible without drawing.

Image

Vienna Dioscurides, A.D.515
Source:  Design Squish

It’s through the art of diagram that we understand the temporal and dynamic relationships between flora and their ecosystems.

Image

Phylogenetic Tree
A phylogeny-driven genomic encyclopaedia of bacteria and archaea
Source:  Nature

And the spiritual and aesthetic human relationships with their built environment has been a repetitive theme in the literal and figurative fine arts for centuries.

Wanluan_Thatched_Hall_by_Dong_Qichang

Wanluan Thatched Hall, Dong Qichang, 1597
Source:  Wikipedia

Ascanius_Shooting_the_Stag_of_Sylvia_1682_Claude_Lorrain

Ascanius Shooting the Stag of Sylvia, Claude Lorrain, 1682
Source:  Wikipedia Commons

Cityscape_I_360

Cityscape I (Landscape No.1), Richard Diebenkorn, 1963
Source:  Wikipedia Commons

How do we define our relationship with the natural world, today?  This is a daily question in architectural discussion, but there is little evidence of interrogating it through pen, pencil or mouse.

Masters students in architecture at UCLan, however, are interrogating landscape – looking at ways that architecture can understand the natural world a little better and engage with it in a little more depth.  Their work will be exhibited next week and I’ll aim to pin up some inspiring images…….

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