Introduction And The Sketch

Figure 1.1 depicts an architect sketching what he observes, which represents one way that architects think with media and use sketches for dialogue. This architect, placed in front of a dynamic and historic construction, may be recording the building's proportions, details, or its placement in context. He may be drawing to try to understand its scale, materiality, or how it compares with

FIGURE 1.1 Triumphal Arch, Tripoli; Plate 4 (engraved by George Harley (1791—1871) 1821 (litho) from A Narrative of Travels in Northern Africa by Lyon, Captain George Francis

FIGURE 1.1 Triumphal Arch, Tripoli; Plate 4 (engraved by George Harley (1791—1871) 1821 (litho) from A Narrative of Travels in Northern Africa by Lyon, Captain George Francis

other buildings throughout history. He may be trying to replicate how it looks as a way to bring a souvenir home or to preserve its complexities, which may be hard to imprint on his memory without visual stimulus. The architect, possibly on a Grand Tour, comprehends more through the action of sketching than mere observation. Forced to study as he imitates, this architect may understand more about the building 's construction or intention. Drawing from observation is one dimension of how architects may use sketches as dialogue.

Architects depend upon sketches throughout the process of design as a medium for dialogue. They are the physical manifestation of their thinking and are used in various ways from the inception of the project to final detailing and evaluation. As instruments of a process, they reveal an intimate conversation that is coupled with desire for the future building (Piotrowski and Robinson, 2001). Intention and meaning evident in the use of architectural sketches may be explored by comparing them to theories of play, memory, imagination, and fantasy. A further method of examining the propositions inherent in sketches is to compare them to characteristics of caricature and the grotesque to find less obvious qualities of conscious, or subconscious, intention. Where architects depend upon sketches as the medium for the creative process used to conceive architecture, they also use sketches in all aspects of the design process with individual expression. This examination suggests an interpretation of architects' relationships with the transitory and immediate images they utilize for design.

Because architectural sketches are part of a thinking process and seldom an end product, they play an important role in the process of architectural design. Even though architectural sketches are uniquely personal, there are several general functions which are common to them. Sketches may facilitate discovery and the first inspirations for conceptual beginnings, they can be part of the communication between parties involved in the process, or they are often a means to record mental impressions. Sketches can be employed to evaluate decisions and suggest refinement; they are used as diagrams to analyze a difficult thought, and they help architects to visualize and thus understand complex configurations. As evidenced by cave paintings and images continuously created through history, humans also have an innate desire to represent what they see and what they imagine (Gombrich, 1985).

Was this article helpful?

0 0

Post a comment