To Niemeyer, Siza or Le Corbusier free lines many would nowadays prefer a realistic 3D rendering. With computer assisted techniques, drawing seems no longer a necessary skill for architects, and it has even become quite old fashion or strongly nostalgic to represent architecture by hand. But as this skill slowly disappears or merges with illustration it seems necessary to underline the real value of architectural hand drawings.
Architectural sense is far from being rational and good architecture can’t be described with a recipe. The hand drawing is where the irrational part of architecture is trained, where the scale or dynamic of a project is captured, where ideas take shape. To draw the right curve, the good volume proportion or the balanced composition doesn’t fully rely on intuition. Drawing is the place for architects to study and develop architecture. As the line goes on the shape finds itself, the mind changes, the idea is discovered. It is where creativity is the most intense as everything starts from nothing.
Drawing by hand releases imagination, as it allow architects to take a step back from reality in order to open possibilities, to explore. It leads to an infinite number of short-living projects transforming an intuition into a concept, a piece of paper into a space, a spontaneous movement into architecture. The creative monolog is transcribed into notebooks, an imaginary world where architects project people, actions and stories to happen.
The action of drawing is strongly anchored into present but also projects into a potential future: the line represents a space to be built. It is a delicate gymnastic between creating a space and representing it. Beyond the shivering and imperfect lines a mental construction of the space is created. Drawings are thus conscious spatial manipulations, shortcuts towards architectural creativity superposing two simultaneous realities. The project and its projection are so tightly connected that it is often hard to separate one from the other.
At Elding Oscarson we love drawing by hand.
(to be continued)
Tristan Zelic / Elding Oscarson