Visual Studies

This course will help you develop your sketching ability. The emphasis is heuristic-on specific ways that hand drawing can inspire, guide, and speed your design process. Hand drawing is presented as a complement to software-based design practices. The goal of this course is to help you develop a personal method that moves freely between digital processes and hand drawing – between mediated and un-mediated design approaches.Hand drawing, regularly practiced, sharpens visual perception. It helps you deepen your abstract and experiential understanding. Drawing is a refined and subtle tool to visualize complex relationships: to imagine how buildings and spaces will appear, perform, and be encountered. Drawing also allows one to contemplate the logic of building, space, and construction from an abstract standpoint. Finally, drawing, as a physical act, builds haptic understanding – tactile perception and proprioception.The course meets twice per week – a lecture session in GSD room 111 and a studio drawing session in 7 Sumner, room 402. The first class meets in the drawing studio. Lecture sessions include discussion and tutorials on drawing types (freehand orthographic drawing, surveys, perspectives, isometrics), an analysis of the role of hand drawing in the work of particular architects, and short exercises. Each studio drawing session focuses on one extensive assignment in the studio or in the field: drawing urban or landscape perspectives, constructing maps and site surveys, capturing visual phenomena. These studio sessions help you gain confidence in, and recognize the creative power of, the act of drawing and show you how to observe and draw accurately. Throughout the course the emphasis is on line; tone and color are addressed only tangentially. Format, scale, viewpoint, precision, and gesture will be recurring subjects.Required materials1) Students are required to purchase SMALL, MEDIUM and LARGE format sketchbooks and drawing pads for the course. Small sketchbook: You\’re required to take notes, respond to in-class exercises, and address homework assignments in a small sketchbook. Carry it with you at all times and use it as a recording device, just as you might use a cell phone camera or tablet computer. Please bring this sketchbook to the first studio drawing session and all following lecture and drawing sessions.