LINE, DRAWING, AND COMMUNICATION

María Asunción Salgado de la Rosa

“It is obvious that architects’ par excellence expression tool is drawing, and the sudden interest drawing has aroused in current society has led many to a rediscovery of architecture through the architects’ drawings. In the words of Peter Cook, if the construction of a building is a passionate process which attracts the attention of people, the creation of architecture through drawing is even more so. On the one hand, it has to comply with the communication and seduction parameters established by other artistic disciplines, but in the other, it undertakes a series of codification and even normalization commitments, imposed by certain formal contracts. At the same time, these drawings can be suitable for other aims, such as formal and composition research, without betraying in most cases the previously mentioned rules of the game. Ultimately, what this is all about is to establish the most suitable visual register for the aim intended. This search for the most appropriate visual register to express or develop an idea becomes evident in the mannerism some architects show in their drawing, and which is in some cases identified as a style.

In many of these cases, this so-called mannerism hides not only the architects’ own cultural background of development, but also a methodology of creation which works, or at least, secures their ends. Just with having a look at Zaha Hadid’s production, one detects that lying behind her works, hides a modus operandi which explores the very shape draw. In the retrospective exhibition of her works held four years ago in New York’s 5 Guggenheim Museum, one could see how, despite undergoing a process of evolution as far as technique is concerned, consequence of incorporating new digital means of creation, her drawings did not in any case, sacrifice expressiveness or identity. To untrained eyes, it might seem that the transformation of the square level into a more flexible, almost curve one, which distorts the plan and elevation views, answer to purely aesthetical criteria, but this ductile continuity of plan and elevation view is rather an exercise of research into the three-dimensional shape which opposes an imposed orthogonality.”

“The lines contained within a drawing help in the design, but also create alternatives and different vision for those who observe. Against what it may seem, the language of the line is a flexible one, and opens the possibility of a drawing without pre-established rules but with very specific objectives. The experimenting possibilities lying behind this way of drawing are endless and make it possible, more than any other means, to bring architecture closer to the public.”

“This is a kind of drawing which is gaining ground over its past duties, a kind of drawing capable of summarizing, arranging and relating, and, at the same time working as a powerful formal creation tool. A drawing which transcends the mere objective of representation to achieve higher dimensions, and which yet does not cease to be just that, drawing. Many of these paper architectures base their reasoning in the premise that drawing can be better than reality, a perfectly valid hypothesis which can as well extend beyond the limits of architecture.”

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