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Comics: The Latest Architecture and News

The Graphic Novel as Architectural Narrative: Berlin and Aya

The comic strip, la bande dessinée, the graphic novel. These are all part of a medium with an intrinsic connection to architectural storytelling. It’s a medium that has long been used to fantasise and speculate on possible architectural futures, or in a less spectacular context, used as a device to simply show the perspectival journey through an architectural project. When the comic strip meshes fiction with architectural imagination, however, it’s not only the speculation on future architectural scenarios that takes place. It’s also the recording and the critiquing of the urban conditions of either our contemporary cities or the cities of the past.

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Worldbuilding: Architecture from Comics

Today, worldbuilding is an important part of creative thinking in a wide array of activites. From successful film franchises, to video games, and to comics, worldbuilding is what draws in audiences and allows multi-part productions to cohere around a shared setting. Of course, architecture factors into this too, it is the creative and technical discipline concerned with building the world, after all. This video breaks down how worldbuilding applies to architecture and focuses on comics as a case study to explore the opportunities in its consideration. Lastly, the video includes an interview with the designer of the exhibition ‘Chicago Comics’ currently on display at the Museum of Contemporary Art. Thomas Kelley discusses how worldbuilding factored into the relationship between architecture and comics in the design of the show with regards to scale, entry sequences, and color.

Architecture in Graphic Novels

Graphic novels fold drawings of people, space, and time into their narrative structure to produce powerful visual stories. Graphic novels and architecture also share a set of common tools that are central to their depiction — drawing, sequencing, text, action, character, etc. This makes for a natural allegiance between graphic novels, architecture, and the city. In this episode, Stewart pulls the graphic novels off his bookshelf to show how and why they influenced his approach to architectural design and led to the creation of award-winning competition entries. In particular, David Mazzuchelli’s City of Glass and Asterios Polyp, and Chris Ware’s Building Stories offer lessons for developing a holistic approach to architecture that involves multiple points of view, politics, fiction, and visionary design.

12 Steps to a Successful Critique

Juries, assessments, 15 minutes of hell... no matter what you call it, a critique is always agonizing. Regardless of how confident you are with your proposal and how much thought and effort you have put into every detail, at least one of the jury members will make sure to find something to complain about.

To prepare you for upcoming juries, artist Chanel Dehond has illustrated 12 steps to having a successful critique (or surviving one, at least).

What Does Your Sketchbook Say About You?

The sketchbook: it is probably the first thing you buy in architecture school, and, the thing you hold on to most dearly. It is one of the most important tools to help document, problem-solve, and archive your journey as an architect. The sketchbook is the physical extension of one’s architectural mind, and the way one organizes it says a lot about the holder. What does your sketchbook say about you? Read on to find out:

Yoga Poses For Architects

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Courtesy of The Leewardists

Learning to adapt and be flexible; it’s something that comes in handy both in an architecture firm and yoga studio. The everyday motions you go through as an architect can sometimes feel like a strenuous physical routine. Whether it be performing tasks for work or sneaking ways to get some precious shut-eye, architects need to learn how to be nimble to get through the long days and nights (coffee doesn’t hurt either). Take some deep inhalations and exhalations as you check out, in four easy to follow steps, some common positions architects find themselves in. 

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Courtesy of The Leewardists

The Reality of the Architect-Client Relationship Told Through Comic Strips

Despite being aimed toward a common goal, the different perspectives of the architect and the client can sometimes lead to a tense working relationship. But where there is conflict, there is humor – in these strips, Tristan Comics manages to address the topic in a truthful yet humorous way. They say laughter is the best medicine, and through comics, Tristan manages to shed light on those pertinent issues that all those in the world of architecture can relate to.

The Architecture Student Through 15 Comic Strips

As a young architecture student looking for a way to take his mind off schoolwork, architect/artist Tristán began drawing comics that drew inspiration from what he knew best: architecture school. Settling on the protagonist of the architecture student, he created a full series of comic strips focusing on the day to day routine of architecture students and teachers.

The comics take on moments from the life of architecture school, from the stresses of pulling all-nighters to the realities of dealing with clients in the professional world. By creating these strips, Tristán aims to shed some light on the complexities of being an architecture student – not forgetting that humor can sometimes be the best medicine for what ails you.

3rd Impact: The Identity Paradox. The Relationship Between Architecture, Comics and Photography

The exhibition "3rd Impact: The Identity Paradox. The relationship between architecture, comics and photography” (In italian “3rD Impact: il paradosso dell'identità. Rapporto tra Architettura, Fumetto, Fotografia”) begins in Matera (Italy) December 28, with the presentation at 10:30 in the church of the former hospital of San Rocco.

Comic Break: "Annoying Revit Commands"

There is an ongoing battle between architects and our tools of the trade. Whether you use a 2D drafting program like AutoCAD, or a BIM program like Revit, you have experienced a full spectrum of frustration. Like many architectural firms, the office of Franklin + Newbury Architects, depicted in our webcomic Architexts, has been trying to transition to BIM for years, and that transition has translated into blood, sweat, tears, and expletives. Software woes and transitioning from 2D to BIM are just a couple of the many topics found in our body of comics.

Comic Break: "Crazy Project Budgets"

We're happy to announce a new partnership with Architexts! In this first edition of their bi-monthly contributions, they let us know a little more about themselves. 

Architexts is a webcomic about a fictitious architectural firm called Franklin + Newbury Architects, Inc. Our comics are largely based on real-life experiences, giving a tongue-in-cheek chronicle of what it’s really like to be an architect.

Exhibition: Architecture in Comic-Strip Form

Colourful fantasy worlds full of speech bubbles and motion lines. Buildings with human characteristics, and invisible architecture. Since the early years of the 20th century, architects have shown an enduring interest in the comic strip as a means to explore their field of activity. What is it about comics that architects find so liberating and interesting?

“Architecture in Comic-Strip Form”, the new autumn exhibition at the National Museum – Architecture in Oslo, examines the relationship between the medium of the comic strip and architecture to reveal an aspect of the architectural discipline that few people are aware of. Many architects use the comic strip as a form of expression – as a kind of counterpart or supplement to digital drawing.