Visual Studies

This course cultivates the ability to draw by hand and encourages you to incorporate hand drawing into your design process. Each session includes a lecture on an aspect of freehand drawing (edge/contour/profile, perspective, light and shade, line and tone, isometric projection) and a discussion about its role in the creative process of a particular artist and architect. In preparation for the discussion 20-60 pages of reading are required each week. The lecture/discussion is followed or preceded by an in-studio drawing assignment and an assignment in the field, to be completed as homework. Projects explore different types of drawing and drawing media. The final session is a pin-up/critique. In this course, drawings and sketches that show honesty of observation, proportional and gestural control, grace, and economy are more highly valued than drawings that are tightly drawn or meticulously rendered.Architects who are fluent in various kinds of freehand drawing are able to generate, refine, and evaluate design ideas more effectively than architects who depend upon the computer for visualization. Along with other hand processes like painting, sculpting, and bricolage, drawing is a complement to computer-based and conceptually-based design methods. Rather than emphasizing verbal, analytical, and sequential thinking, hand drawing cultivates visual, perceptual, and simultaneous thinking. Perhaps for this reason, many contemporary design practices balance digital and manual processes. Your hand – meaning the gestures and techniques most natural to you, the repertoire of curves, shapes, and marks that arise, and the forms and spaces you recognize within them – should be treated with great respect.This sensibility is at the core of what you offer as an architect. The course offers you a way to develop and refine your creative process.Please bring the following materials to the first and second class sessions:Sketchbook (your favored style/size)8\”x 24\” or 24\”x 36\” newsprint sketch pad 3H or 4H pencil and sharpener pens, markers, or other favorite drawing media