The experiences of play alter our mode of thinking. There remains a learning process involving interpretation that results in the production of play (Hans, 1981). ' The why of play is quite obvious: one seeks to play because one believes that the understanding achieved through play is more valuable than the kinds of understanding achieved in other ways ' (Hans, 1981: 11—12). Play helps to view issues in a new light, because the many opportunities to interpret give the play meaning. Especially in an art-form, where there is never a single understanding, the work in play cannot be misunderstood. Impossible to predict what will be achieved or learned from the game, this knowledge has many possible meanings, and this becomes its life. As Hans writes, play can help to understand problems:
Man may have a purpose in his play, but this purpose is always no more than an orientation if his play really is to be play. Man may play with certain ideas in the hope of resolving a particular problem, but if he is really playing with the ideas, the play of ideas directs him rather than the other way around. (Hans, 1981: 32)
The act of sketching is play; the sketches themselves are not. The give and take of play constitutes the dialogue between architects and their pencils. As with children, the structuring role of play increases knowledge and influences comprehension. Colin St. John Wilson, in his article on play, discusses the function of aesthetic play in acquiring knowledge:
Hans-Georg Gadamer has given an extended philosophical treatment of the structuring role of aesthetic play resulting in a form of knowledge.. .And just as for Aquinas and the Schoolmen, art was that which draws out the particular clarity of something, 'the beauty of intelligibility'. (St. John Wilson, 1986: 17)
Similarly, broken rules often allow designers to perceive more possibilities. Dialogue, in a playful situation with paper and an easily manipulated media, provides a key element in our ability to 'think' with a pencil (Huizinga, 1955).
With a sketch, as is the case with a piece of artwork, the duplication presents a new and different emphasis. Mechanical reproduction, or any kind of duplication, precludes play since the creative excitement lost through replication is irretrievable. This process cannot be repeated, and what the architect discovered does not need to be 'found out' again. It would be tautological to attempt the sketches again, as the thought has been absorbed or built upon once. Hans-Georg Gadamer writes about form, referring to the repeatability of play, especially a theatrical play. As the play becomes repeatable and permanent, it loses the qualities of a game: ' [t]hus, transformation into structure means that what existed previously exists no longer. But also that what now exists, what represents itself in the play of art, is the lasting and true' (Gadamer, 1989: 111).
The action of play pertaining to architectural sketches could be compared to dance. Until a dance is performed, it is only a script for a dance. If the players stop it is no longer a dance, and the performers do not form dance until they partake in the action of dancing (Weinsheimer, 1985: 108). Sketching has this immediacy since, when the play completes, the object is less valuable. A sketch 's importance depends on the course of the play because, in the process of design, the project evolves into another stage of precise drawings. The sketch loses its magic and has no importance after the result of the play is revealed and the architect 's mind stops interacting with it. Most often the architect builds a model or progresses to measured drawings and the sketches are disposed of. This could be one reason why very few architectural sketches remain from the past.
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