Action Drawing: A Commitment to Drawing

María Asunción Salgado de la Rosa

“For many architects working at present, the digital revolution came up suddenly, many years after their student stage. In those pre-digital times the understanding of the drawing as a thinking tool of Architecture, pointed at a single direction: the sketch. When searching in the archive sketches of the great masters of Architecture in order to absorb some of their creativity, we run into wonderful drawings that open up a fantastic universe of possibilities (Puebla, 2006). Those suggestive colorful images of Zaha Hadid, Morphosis or Peter Wilson, were classified as ‘artifice” by many Professors. Only the traditional sketches were considered for them as the essence of the “real” architecture and the level of brilliance assigned depended on how they resisted the comparison with the building plans after assuming the challenges of regulation, program and construction. The sketch was, in addition, surrounded by an aura of mysticism, associating it with a kind of inspiration that forced to draw on napkins, notebooks’ corners or back pages of invoices. While it is true that many architects use these first expressive sketches (Puebla, 2006), as a mechanism for discovering or visualizing the first concepts of the project, it is also true that those drawings are in the best scenario, incomprehensible when not unprintable. Why insisting on this cult to “the sketch” as the only teaching strategy possible? Why not opening a more productive way towards the drawing of processes and continuous changes, toward a real methodological research of architectural nature?”

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