Over the past few years, Netherlands-based artist Stefan Bleekrode has been creating cityscape drawings from memory of cities across the globe. Basing his work on impressions from trips throughout Europe and North America, Bleekrode utilizes pen and ink with watercolor shading to bring urban landscapes to life.
For architects, drawing is a thinking process. Sketching by hand onto paper without having any predetermined built form in mind is often the springboard for new hypotheses. With the rise of digital representation in architecture, has the computer superseded the hand in the exploration of ideas?
This RIBA London seminar sees Professor Sir Peter Cook (co-founder of Archigram, director of CRAB Studio) and Professor Marcos Cruz (Bartlett) discuss the boons and limitations of digital representation in architecture, and the hybrid possibilities of using both in tandem.
Architect, illustrator and cofounder of the Miniatura project, Bruna Canepa has shared with us a stunning collection of her illustrations and collages, which offer a fresh gaze onto one of architecture’s most common tools: the drawing. Beyond depicting examples of unreal architecture, her works present architecture that replaces firmitas, utilitas and venustas for complexity, wonder and irony.
From extrusions and explosions of familiar typologies to surreal and sterile atmospheres of empty spaces, we suggest three subcategories to frame Bruna’s illustrations as shown below: Houses, Cubics, and Displacements.
We believe good projects should be able to express and explain themselves. Architectural representation plays a fundamental role in how a project is perceived by the audience, which is why today ArchDaily is recognizing the most outstanding, original and self explanatory drawings of the year.
The selected drawings cover the diverse range of different techniques used in architectural representation today, from hand drawing images to perfectly detailed axonometrics and animated GIFs - but one thing they all have in common is the deep insights they provide into the appearance, construction or concept of the buildings they represent.
Established in 1974 by the AIA Dallas Chapter, the Ken Roberts Memorial Delineation Competition (KRob) is “the world’s longest running architectural drawing competition of its kind”. Named after architect Ken Roberts, famous for his ink perspective drawings, the competition recognizes innovations in both hand-drawn and digital architectural drawing. The winners and shortlist each year serve as an inspiring reference for architects, and showcase the intersection between technology, design and culture.
In 2015, the new award for “Excellence in Architectural 3D Printing” was added, and with a total of 424 entries from 28 countries, this year’s competition was the largest to date. The 2015 jury consisted of Michel Rojkind, Paul Stevenson Oles and John P. Maruszcak. The competition culminated in an awards ceremony and panel discussion at Alto 211 in Dallas. See the winners after the break.
Drawings from the private collection of Alvin Boyarsky, Chairman of the Architectural Association (AA) from 1971 to 1990, will be on display as part of Drawing Ambience: Alvin Boyarsky and the Architectural Association. Hosted by The Irwin S. Chanin School of Architecture of The Cooper Union from October 13 to November 25, 2015, the free, public exhibit will also feature panel discussions with Nicholas Boyarsky, Joan Ockman, Bernard Tschumi, Anthony Vidler, Michael Webb and Dean Nader Tehrani. Read more about this event and the drawings exhibited after the break.
Aarhus School of Architecture, schmidt hammer lassen architects, VOLA, and the Danish Arts Foundation have announced their collaborative competition, entitled Drawing of the Year 2015, which calls for imaginative student drawings, and aims to “celebrate the oldest tool of architects.”
Students worldwide are invited to submit drawings “that inspire, communicate, and engage” with the theme of Sustainability Through Architecture. Thus, drawings “should focus on sustainability and architecture’s ambition to take an active part in the change of our society,” and “should address architecture’s ability to contribute to a sustainable environment on all scales—concepts, utopias, buildings, landscapes, and cities.”
Hiding out from the gentle Bogotá rain, a cat with turquoise eyes and a black and white coat prowls along the ledge of an office hidden in the midst of lush vegetation. A large window with a wooden frame filters the light and illuminates the interior: a desk, hundreds of books, manila folders, and backlit pictures. Sitting comfortably in his chair, 91-year-old Colombian architect Germán Samper takes a pencil, presses it to the surface of a sheet of paper, and begins to explain everything he is saying by drawing for us in the most clear and simple manner possible.
Whether he's giving instructions on taking a taxi in Bogotá or explaining the recent modifications to the historic Colsubisdio citadel, Samper -- a master of Colombian architecture -- can express ideas on paper with an ease that makes us think that drawing might be very simple, but it's really just a great trick.
Perseverance is key and Samper knows this from experience. "I don't understand why architects don't draw more if it is truly a pleasure," he ponders.
After the break, a conversation with Germán Samper and a series of unedited sketches by the Colombian architect.
Every good design should start with a sketch. The problem, as everyone knows, is that computers are killing sketching. Or are they?
To begin with, it’s questionable whether there really has been a decline in sketching, given the conviction with which so many architects defend the importance of hand drawing. Even for the most technologically savvy architects, many simply don’t see an alternative to the humble pen and paper.
However, this doesn’t mean that all is well when it comes to sketching. Often the hardest part of the design process is to maintain a great concept - usually discovered through a sketch - when translating a design into programs such as Revit which are necessary in modern architectural practice.
The following is an excerpt from the introduction of Stephanie Travis' book Sketching for Architecture & Interior Design. The book features over 45 sketching and drawing exercises across three chapters (Furniture + Lighting, Interiors, Architecture). Below we feature sample exercises for sketching transitional spaces, building materials and foreground + background. We're also giving away copies for two lucky readers, so read on to find out how to enter!
Drawing is truly a tool for seeing. To draw an object, interior, or building, you have to look at the subject in a new way. You are forced to pause and scrutinize, as drawing requires another way of thinking, shifting into a deeper realm that encompasses elements such as shape, form, texture, rhythm, composition, and light. When you have developed your drawing skills, the finer details of a space—key features that you may not previously have noticed—will be revealed to you. Freehand drawing allows viewers to see in a way they never have before. The sketching process is a means of expanding your creativity and awakening your senses.
Back in 2012, we found "Empire State of Pen," an amazing video of London-based artist and animator Patrick Vale’s drawing of Manhattan from the perspective of the Empire State Building. Now, Vale has taken a different perspective of the city, this time traveling a bit farther uptown to the Rockefeller Center area. Vale’s new drawing looks south, with the Empire State Building in the center, and the Freedom Tower in the background. To the east you can see the Chrysler Building, and to the west lies the Bank of America Tower in the Times Square area.
Vale started the drawing in December of 2014, when he spent an afternoon in -15 degree weather sketching and taking pictures, which he then took back to his studio to create the piece. The whole process took over a month to complete. Watch Vale's drawing come to life in the time-lapse video above, and view images of his illustration after the break.
Swedish firm Studio Esinam's new print series depicts "Elevations" of architectural landmarks across the globe. Using minimalist line drawings, the illustrations attempt to "capture the unique feeling of various cities around the world".
Meticulously recreating the facades of landmarks in Berlin, Brooklyn, Copenhagen, Gothenburg, London, Paris, Stockholm, and Tokyo, the growing collection of prints reframes technical drawings as works of art. By distilling iconic facades to their barest and most essential elements, Studio Esinam aims to direct "attention to details that mostly pass unseen."
View selected prints from the "Elevations" series after the break.
In the architecture world, there are a handful of persistent debates that arise time and time again: the challenges of being a woman in the field of architecture is one of them, for example; the problems of a culture of long hours and hard work is another. But one of the most enduring arguments in architecture - especially in the academic sphere - is the battle between hand drawing and computer aided design. Both schools have their famous proponents: Michael Graves, for example, was known as a huge talent with a pencil and paper, and came to the defense of drawing in articles for the New York Times, among others. Patrik Schumacher, on the other hand, is famous for his commitment to the capabilities of the computer.
To advance this heated conversation, two weeks ago we reached out to our readers to provide their thoughts on this topic in an attempt to get a broad cross-section of opinions from architects from all walks of life. Read some of the best responses after the break.
Update: We have now published our follow-up article of readers' responses - see it here.
Packed full of idiosyncratically meticulous and colorful illustrations, the book provides a whimsical account of Sydney's architecture and history. From icons such as Utzon's Sydney Opera House to lesser known gems like Mark Foy's building opposite Hyde Park, to the terrace houses of inner city suburbs, All the Buildings in Sydney presents each building with care, detail, and an abundance of charm.
See more images from All the Buildings in Sydney, after the break…
In the debate about how architects - both present and future - represent our ideas, it is easy to find a lot of articles supporting both sides. One can read as many arguments as they want and find valid points supporting both hand-drawing and computer production. One could argue that there is nothing prettier than a well done hand-rendering of a project. Another could say that, although hand-drawing is something that catches the eye, it is not practical at all, takes longer than doing it on the computer and does not allow architects to easily modify it.
There is however another facet that does not come up as frequently as it maybe should: how does this discussion affect students? I believe we lie in a cross-fire, between the idea of what architects do and what they actually do.
Astropad, an app for iOS and Mac, transforms your existing iPad into a professional graphics tablet without the need for additional hardware. Having been developed by Matt Ronge and Giovanni Donelli - both former Apple engineers - the app allows for the iPad to act as a extended trackpad as well as work with most third-party styluses.
A version of this article originally appeared on the Percolate Blog.
In spring of 2009, I graduated from architecture school. At the time, the post-recession economy was rough and not much was happening for architects. With an interest in entrepreneurship and technology, I took a risk and decided to try working at a tech startup. Much to my surprise, I fell in love with the industry and 5 years later, I’m now a Product Designer at Percolate in NYC, a company which produces web and mobile marketing software.
Since my career pivot, I’ve noticed many interesting parallels between architecture and product design. Although the mediums are different, it’s amazing to see how many of the design principles and processes are the same. To some degree, even the tools can be applied to both design industries. In this post, I will discuss hand-drawing, and learn how we apply architecture tools to product design at Percolate.