Architectural Representation II

Architectural Representation II: Projective Disciplines

This course examines the history, theory, and practice of projective and descriptive geometry. Invented as techniques to draw form, these discourses are the basis of the intractable reciprocity between representation as technique (not merely style), and three-dimensional space. The objective of this course is to uncover the centuries-old and still ongoing relationship between representation, form, and construction—more generally, the reciprocity between three-dimensional form and flatness.

Through the study of principles of parallel (orthographic) and central (perspective) projection, students will develop literacy in primitive and complex surface geometries—their combinatory aggregation, subdivision, and discretization—as they relate to the most reductive of architectural forms—the planar surface. Ultimately, these techniques will be placed into a productive dialogue with architectural and programmatic imperatives. The design tools of the digital and post-digital age have allowed designers to invent and produce form with such fluidity and ease, eliminating the need to understand the consequential and demanding relationships between geometry and architecture. The exercises in this course are designed to reinforce the core principles of architectural design—part-to-whole thinking, systems of organization, and tectonic consideration—through highly specific modes and venues of inquiry. Students will be introduced to the system of Mongean Double Projection as the exemplary construct that historically organized the architect’s spatial imagination, and understand its influence on contemporary modes of representation and fabrication. Projective systems have defined relationships between masons, carpenters, engineers, industrial designers, mathematicians, cartographers, painters, and architects.

Composed of both lectures and hands-on drawing and modeling workshops, the course is equal parts theoretical and technical. Exercises will involve two-dimensional digital drawing, digital modeling, and basic Grasshopper. The course is participatory and will involve close formal reading of buildings as a way to introduce students to the practice of reading, drawing, and writing architecture.

This course is required for all first-year MArch I students.