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Drawing Thoughts Conceptual thinking through drawing Course Report

Spring Semester, 2019 Elective Course Code: ID4700 CEPT University

This booklet is summarizing outcomes of elective course Drawing Thoughts- Conceptual thinking through drawing. Course was conducted during spring semester of academic year 2018/ 19 over the period of twelve weeks in CEPT University. Copyright Š 2019 Olga Srejic. All Rights Reserved. All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reprinted or reproduced in any form, including photocopy and recording.

Drawing Thoughts Conceptual thinking through drawing Course Report Faculty: Olga Srejic TA: Aashna Poddar Spring Semester, 2019 Elective Course Code: ID4700 CEPT University

Acknowledgement I would like to express my gratitude to CEPT University and especially Faculty of Design, for awarding me International Teaching and Research Fellowship and giving me a chance to conceptualize and conduct this course. I am also very grateful to my Teaching Assistant for standing by me through these twelve weeks. And last, but by far not the least, I would like to thank all of my students for being open to trying something different. Without their talented hands and curious minds, this course would not have been possible. Olga Srejic

Students: Dixitkumar Narola, Jerin George, Chitvan Mathur, Krishna Jhawar, Saadiya Rawoot, Heerav Maniar, Varun Shah, Nishita Talatiya, Pulak Goyal, Vikas Gajera, Yashmita Rao, Aditi Mathew, Aayushi Bhatt, Krushna Oza, Jasoda Bhansali, Kirti N, Naman Jain, Tapasvi Patel, Raval Vedangi, Khushi Jain

” Drawings are not just end products: they are part of the thought process of architectural design. Drawings express the interaction of our minds, eyes and hand. I have a real purpose in making each drawing, either to remember something or to study something. Each one is part of a process and not an end in itself. It’s not likely to represent “reality,” but rather to capture an idea.” Michael Graves from ” Architecture and the lost art of drawing”

Introduction This course questions how drawings operate in architecture theory with emphasis on a particular role they play in conceptualizing design and analyzing situations. It deals with potential of architectural drawing not only as representation but as nonverbal deliberation and argumentation. Aim of this course is for students to produce drawings that are not concerned with appearance but that express ideas.

Content 1

About the Course Course Description Learning outcomes



Intro_About Drawing Exercise 01_Initial Reaction


Exercise 02_Hand and the Instrument

Topic 01_Behaviour Exercise 03_Croquis


Drawing o1_Behavior

Topic 02_Movement Exercise 04_Distinct Movements


Drawing o2_Movement

Topic 03_Program Exercise 05_Interpreting Zaha’s park Exercise 06_Catalog of Lines and Hatches Exercise 07_Program Diagram of CEPT Library


Drawing o3_Program Diagram

Topic 04_Experience Exercise 08_Experiencing Zumthor’s Space Exercise 09_Collage of Experiences


Drawing o4_Experience

Final Outcome_Booklet Exercise 10_Conclusion


Intro E1 E2

week 0-2 E3


week 2-4 E4


week 4-6 E5 E6 E7

week 6-8


E8 E9


week 8-10

Booklet week 10-12


Course Description This course deals with thinking through drawing as a part of design process. It introduces drawings as tools for conceptualizing design, analyzing and debating. Course revolves around four topics that are introduced through different design theories, various projects, already existing drawings. Topics are Behaviour, Movement, Program and Experience. These topics are used as a backbone for generating independent drawings. Every drawing is meant to be more abstract than the previous, pushing students to explore more conceptual ways of thinking. To support four major drawings, different small exercises were conducted during class. In the end students revisited all of their drawings and put them together with class exercises and alongside their thought process, in a booklet as a final output.

This course made attempt to step back from drawings that present physical reality in a very precise manner and seek to eliminate ambiguity, like plans, sections, elevations and hyper realistic renderings, but explore very conceptual, open-ended, diagrammatic drawings that deal with ideas. 1

Learning Outcome After completing this course students will be able to: • Use drawings as tools for conceptualizing, analyzing and debating • Demonstrate the ability to retrieve relevant information from literature sources, raise clear and precise questions, draw well-reasoned conclusions and formulate and justify opinions, and interpret such information in the form of drawings • Evaluate the usability of applying different design theories in specific design processes • Implement graphic representation techniques using variety of traditional and digital media, to reflect on and explain their design process

Readings Holl, Steven, Parallax, New York: Princeton Architectural Press, 2000. Holl, Steven; Pallasmaa, Juhani; Pérez-Gómez, Alberto, Questions of Perception: Phenomenology of Architecture, Tokyo: A+U Publilshing Co. Ltd, 2006. Pallasmaa, Juhani , Eyes of the skin : architecture and the senses, Great Britain: WileyAcademy, 2005. Pallasmaa, Juhani , Thinking hand, West Sussex: John wiley & Sons, Ltd, 2009. Patin, Thomas, From Deep Structure to an Architecture in Suspense: Peter Eisenman, Structuralism, and Deconstruction, from Journal of Architectural Education (1984-), Vol. 47, No. 2, pp. 88-100, 1993. Tschumi, Bernard, Event-cities 3: concept vs. context vs. content, Massachusetts, Cambridge: MIT Press 2004. Tsukamoto, Yoshiharu; Kaijima, Momoyo, Behaviorology, New York: Rizzoli, 2010.


Intro_About Drawing About drawings as tools for communication “ A drawing is a code, a language that has to be communicated to performers who then have a certain amount of freedom in interpreting that. “ Daniel Libeskind About drawings as manifestations of ideas “ Drawing is a form of notating the mind’s activity.” Bernard Tschumi About relation of hand drawings and digital drawings “ Computers are useless. They can only give you answers.” Pablo Picasso About hand drawings “ A hand is not simply a part of the body, but expression and continuation of a thought which must be captured and conveyed” Honore de Balzac “ The hand is a window on to the mind.” Immanuel Kant

Drawing can be interactive space where one can imagine, capture, analyze, communicate, debate and doubt ideas and raise questions. 3

You Are More Than One, Matteo Zambeli, from the book “Thinking Hand”


Exercise01_Initial Reaction Instructions, given for this exercise, were to, through abstract diagrammatic drawings, interpret four given topics having in mind their meaning in relation to each other. Given topics were: Behaviour, Movement, Program and Experience. Intent of this exercise was to open up a discussion on what words abstract and diagram mean and to assess what are initial, intuitiv reactions and thoughts about four topics that will be later on explored in depth. Abstract adjective 1. existing in thought or as an idea but not having a physical or concrete existence. Synonyms: theoretical, conceptual, intellectual, metaphysical, philosophical, academic... 2. relating to art that does not attempt to represent external reality, but rather seeks to achieve its effect using shapes, colours, and textures. Synonyms: non-representational, non-realistic, non-pictorial, symbolic, impressionistic‌


Behavior, Movement, Program, Experience 6

Behavior, Movement, Program, Experience 7

Program 8

Behavior, Movement, Program, Experience 9


Behavior, Experience 10

Exercise 02_Hand and the Instrument Students were presented with image of ‘Monumento a Intersecciones #6’ by Amalia Pica. This artwork was chosen because it was not representing directly anything familiar or known and geometry of it was versatile and dynamic. Students were asked to draw this composition first with pencil and eraser, than only with pencil not using eraser and finally only with pen. After completing that, they were asked to do the same three drawings but with their other, non-dominant hand. Aim of this exercise was to recognize how different instruments, precision, freedom of movement of the hand and skill are interconnected and how all four influence character and details of the lines and the drawing as a whole.

Monumento a Intersecciones #6, Amalia Pica 11





Topic 01_Behaviour


Topic 01_Behaviour Behavior in drawings was introduced through Behaviorology, design theory developed by Atelier Bow Wow from Japan. In their book, with the same title, they recognize three kinds of behaviour: human behaviour, behaviour of nature and building behaviour. In human behaviour, that is often mentioned in larger design discourse as activities or program, they indicate that habits and customs are important as well as cultural influence on both. Under natural behaviour they place climate, light, wind, heat, humidity, material properties and when it comes to building behaviour, typology and how it responds to previous two are in focus. For this course emphasis is on the way they have used drawings to analyze and represent complex relations between humans, natural elements and built form. These drawings show tangible reality of very intricate situations where web of interactions is delicately made visible through different behaviours. “Various factors including climate properties, natural properties of the region, available materials and technologies developed based on them, peopleĘźs means of livelihood, and their behaviours integrate into built forms in well-balanced ways.â€? Yoshiharu Tsukamoto


Dronningen Louise’s Bridge, Copenhagen, Bow Wow Atelier 18

Exercise 03_Croquis* Cutouts of human figures engaging in different activities were projected on the wall for limited amount of time and students were asked to draw them. To complete drawings of first two cutouts students were given 3 minutes each and for remaining four 2 minutes each. In limited time they had to make each drawing, students had to assess what features are relevant and which features can be discarded and how to with minimum lines communicate an information. * Croquis is quick and sketchy drawing.





Drawing 01 First drawing that students were asked to create was meant to illustrate their thoughts on the topic of Behavior. They were free to choose a site or project they have done or are working on and with drawing analyze complex relations between behaviour of humans, natural elements and built form. Chosen situation should be rich with interconnections between intricate and various behaviours. This drawing was meant to rely on process of observation and, with careful reduction of unnecessary data, explore findings of that process. To make the drawing more intelligible, students were pointed towards next concepts:


Perspective, scales and proportions should be precise and authentic to chosen situation.


All elements of the drawing should be clear and unambiguous.


Drawing should be finished and all decisions involved in making it should be deliberate.


Exploring and combining different mediums and elements of drawings is encouraged.


Different people groups engaging in different activities taking place in mosque and tomb complex, Sarkhej Roza. 24

Study of various postures the human body takes while sitting in pockets of facade of Lilavati Lalbhai Library, Ahmedabad. 25

Exploration of distinct behavioral patterns on Kankaria Lake, Ahmedabad.


Guest house in the village and change in behaviors around it during different weather conditions. 27

Albert Hall in Jaipur as a backdrop for various events and behaviors taking place in front of it. 28

Relation between human behavior and placement of shadow and light. Mapping nods of activities, their structures and connections between them. 29


Activities under and around band stand, Kamati Baug, Vadodara.




Topic 02_Movement


Topic 02_Movement Second topic that was introduced was Movement. The topic was studied through different projects and design theories. Focal point of this unit was identifying how to create drawings that record change through time in space. Even though, later on, focus was on how to record already existing movements, attention was also given to drawings that explore reaction to movement through design. Movement was studied as phenomenon in relation to built context and nature. Among natural elements that either have, or influence movement following things were mentioned: movement in the sky (cosmic bodies, sun and shadow, clouds, rain, wind and other weather manifestations), movement of water (high and low tide, currents, waves, rivers carving their ways through soil), movement of earth’s surface (earthquakes, erosion, landslides ), movement of flora (growth of plants and threes, growth or disappearance of forests) and movement of fauna (movement of body parts, one individual and more of them, migrations). When it comes to human movements, they were observed in terms of movement of body parts, movement of one individual and more of then, as well as different movements within the traffic. Last type of movement that was discussed was movement of built forms in scale of the city (growth of the city and buildings in vertical and horizontal direction), in scale of individual parts of buildings or furniture ( facades, movable walls, furniture elements ) and in scale of entire movable structures, like nomadic tents and temporary constructs. To conclude, movement, space and event were explored as well as their interconnections. Event was placed in parallel to activities one space accommodates, which was a good introduction to the next topic, program.

Movement - an act of moving - a change or development 35

Parc la Villette , Bernard Tschumi 36

Exercise 04_Distinct Movements Students were assigned to make five drawings of five different animal movements using one of the symbols for each animal. Symbols: . o | < + Animals: Rabbit, Ant, Monkey, Bird, Fish Aim of this exercise was to recognize different patterns of movement of five animals and according to that, assign each movement a symbol that is most appropriate for representing it. Same logic can be applied to human movements that can be of a different character, intensity, speed, volume, direction...


Ant, Monkey, Fish, Bird, Rabbit 38

Monkey, Rabbit 39

Fish, Monkey, Rabbit, Ant, Bird 40

Rabbit, Ant, Monkey, Bird, Fish 41

Rabbit, Ant, Monkey, Bird, Fish 42

Drawing 02_Movement This assignment was about detecting human movement that happens in space or that body makes during certain period of time and translating that information into a drawing. It was necessary to pick situation where movements influence or are influenced by other movements, space and time. This drawing was suppose to show different characters of the movements, number of participants, density, flow, direction, intensity, speed, freakwency of the movements, its patterns, regularities and irregularities. It was left up to student to choose whether they will deal with drawings that are expressive or more accurate and based on real quantitative data. Just like in the case of first drawing, students could pick a site, either the same one they observed for the first drawing or a new one.


Difference in movements of different age groups around and under band stand, Kamati Baug, Vadodara.


Birds, cats and dogs inhabiting their territory by movement in neighborhood. Maan Darwaja, slum area, Surat. 45

Drawing maps intensity and character of movements happening in front of Albert Hall, Jaipur in different time frames. 46

Patterns of movements during different times of the day on Cept University Plaza. 47

Rhythm of events organized at Cept University Plaza ( 1.Sport event 2.Garba 3.Exhibition). 48

Investigation in to patterns of movement of different groups of people during two time frames 8.00-10.00 am and 4.00-6.00 pm on weekends on CG Road. 49

Paths and touchpoints of movement of staff, visitors and dogs in Cept University canteen. 50


Topic 03_Program


Topic 03_Program After studying movement, program was introduced as a next topic. Different types of program were discussed in different fields and it was concluded that in design discourse, program is activity that happens in space or function of the space, zone, element or feature. Further it was elaborated that program also deals with properties of these activities (functions) and their relations. It was also highlighted that often character of these relations are the once that guide design of outer and inner membranes and thresholds of space or a product, but that form does not necessarily reflect only the function. This was important to point out, so that, later on in the drawings, program is not shaped by form but has its own life. Drawings of program are most often referred to as program diagrams and can also simultaneously explore form, movement and experience, but that, for purposes of this course, effort will be made to only deal with drawings of program. This topic was not studied through any design theories or projects, but it was more focused on class discussions and class exercises. Only reference given were physical models that explore program. In these models various materials were used to represent different characters of activities and the relations were explored through connections and joineries that become an entity on their own. These models were meant to demonstrate how it is necessary to think about the program in all three axes, not only though plans.


Yokohama Master Plan, OMA 54

Exercise 05_Interpreting Zahaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s park After students were divided into four groups and each group was assigned one drawing, groups were asked to analyze and interpret given drawing as if it was a program diagram that represents section of a park. They were given instructions to pay attention to every line and the way it changes, to interpret all relations between different elements in the drawing and in the end present their idea about the park as if it was their project. Objective of this exercise was for students to start thinking of all the different meanings one simple line can carry, individually and in relation to other elements of the drawing. This exercise was done in groups so that students can observe other interpretations of the same elements of the drawing that might differ from person to person. In doing so they can also conclude what makes certain drawings or parts of it easier to interpret in same or similar way by more people.

Original drawing was done by Zaha Hadid for Zollhof 3 media park 55


Screen for open air projections



Main path with breaks

Clif for a lion in a zoo

Roller coaster


Bridge over the pond


Activities next to the water

Big fall Ice skating


Exercise 06_Catalog of Lines and Hatches In preparation for creating Drawing 03_Program Diagram, students were asked to draw 20 different lines and 20 different hatches, having in mind that each line and hatch should have a distinct character. After completing this exercise, all of their lines and hatches were put together to create a Catalog that can serve as database for generation Drawing 03. Beside putting them together, students were also asked to think about each line and hatch and try to recognize what all meanings can they carry and how the thickness of the line, its continuity and rhythm, shape and size of elements that it is comprised of, can produce that meaning.



Exercise 07_Program Diagram of CEPT Library After discussion in class, to put things into perspective and bring everyone to common understanding, students were asked to draw Program Diagram of CEPT Library (Lilavati Lalbhai Library / RMA Architects), building they are all very familiar with. They were limited to using only lines and hatches. Challenge was to focus on activities happening in the building and not so much on physical reality. When all drawings were put together, students explained to the class their thought process. Topics, such as Movement, Form and Experience came into sight and their connection to Program was especially valuable to discuss.







Drawing 03_Program Diagram Third drawing was Program Diagram. After three exercises and class discussions on the topic of program and diagrams, next definition emerged: “Program Diagram is abstract, schematic and simplified graphical representation of events, activities, functions that happen in a certain space and their correlations.” Students were given set of questions that their drawing should answer: • What all happens in chosen space? • What is the character of those events, activities, functions? • What is character, size, structure and shape of each event, activity, function? (How much space does it occupy or how important it is?) • How do all of these separate events, activities, functions correlate to each other? (How do they connect? What is their relationship?) For this drawing, two restrictions have been given. One was that the drawing has to be done by hand so that the thinking process can be put down on a paper more immediately and with more control of all elements. And second restriction was that only lines and hatches should be used to generate this drawing. This choice was made so that the drawings don’t focus on aesthetic qualities and visual representation but actually be tools for exploring and analyzing. Nonetheless, other kinds of Program Diagram were mentioned as possibilities as well, and grouped according to which media do they use: • Color coding • Typology • Symbols • Combination of Hatches, Lines, Colors, Typology, Symbols These kinds of diagrams are rarely part of design process, but are made after the project is already done to present and communicate ideas. 65

Relation between strict, geometric, defined physical boundaries and fluidity of program. 66

Analysis of different activities and movements in connection with act of sitting. 67

Intensity of inactive and active spaces within rigid structure. 68

Volumes that melt into each other and connections that stretch out beyond physical boundaries of Lilavati Lalbhai Library, Ahmedabad. 69

Multiple spaces with strong character and their relations to each other within common open area of bangalow project. 70


Intangible qualities as a result of complex connections between different programs in Nehru Pavilion, Delhi.

Exploration of interlocking characters of the space of Lilavati Lalbhai Library, Ahmedabad.



Topic 04_Experience


Topic 04_Experience Fourth topic that was introduced was Experience. This topic focused on Phenomenology, writing of Juhani Pallasmaa and his research into the experience of built space, as well as Peter Zumthor’s projects. Different images of spaces were shown and their experiential qualities were discussed. Larger topics in connection with experience: • Senses: sight, hearing, smell, touch and taste • Bodily interaction • Passing of time • Memories • Meaning Points of discussion within larger topics: • Framing the View (Frames as experience building tool) • Shaping Light and Shadow (Softness/ sharpness of light) • Psychology of Color (Meaning and impact of colors) • Presence of Shape (Influence of different shapes of space or product) • Rhythm of Sound (Effect sound has on experience) • Memory of Smell (Connotations different smells have for an individual) • Sensitivity of Touch (Textures on different scales and perceived with eyes, hands and body) • Taste of Space (Bringing all other senses together to form Taste of Space) • Bodily Presence (Humans consciousness of his own size, scale, balance, movement and position in space) • Footprint of Time ( Effect visible aging of material reality has on experience) • Engraved Meaning (Implications different features might have in different cultures with focus especially on vernacular typologies and symbolism)


Therm Vals, Peter Zumthor 76

Exercise 08_Experiencing Zumthor’s Space After watching video of Peter Zumthor’s project Therme Vals, students were asked to make a drawing that explores experiential quality of that space. Constraint was that the drawing should not be a plan, section or elevation but experience from the perspective of user. The idea was to reconstruct, from their memory, experience of that space without being able to go back and know its exact, accurate, physical properties. In that way, drawing was suppose to capture only intangible impact of Zumthor’s baths.







Exercise 09_Collage of Experiences Required material for the exercise: • different kinds of cardboard, plastic, paper in color or with different textures, newspapers • textiles, thin wires, mesh, ribbons, rope • glittering, reflective, shiny, or transparent materials • water colors, paint, ink, brushes • different types of glue, tape, cutters, scissors Assignment was to create collages that explore experiences. Students were separated into two groups where one group was exploring notions of: safeness, calmness, healing, relaxation and other group was exploring notions of: suspense, excitement, restlessness, tension. They were given guidelines that collage should not look like anything already known and should not use any symbols but should explore notions mentioned above through use of different shapes, colors, textures, materials... Aim of this exercise was to, after putting all drawings together, conclude what properties were common for most collages within a group, how were they chosen and why, which shapes, colors, textures, materials do we associate with which experiences.









Drawing 04_Experince Last and fourth drawing students worked on was ambiguously given many names: ambience drawing, atmosphere drawing, photomontage, collage of experiences. This was done in order to keep the thinking process open ended, free for various interpretations or expectations. Main focus was, of course, still on drawing experiences. Since experience is highly personal and subjective journey, students were free to use any media to try to capture and study it. Subject of the drawing was suppose to be either an imaginary space (project they designed in past,a memory, a dream ) or a space that exists in physical reality and that they have had a chance to visit. In second case, it was required to give a new interpretation of experiential quality of that space, otherwise, drawing would become just a record of already existing physical properties.


Decoding openness of the space by pixelating the two different scaled images of the same space. Band stand, Kamati Baug, Vadodara. 92

Expressing experience of computer screen where multiple connections are being made both from inside out and outside in. 93

Exploring notions of repetition and effect of depth in one of the largest stepwells in India, Chand Baori, Abhaneri. 94

Dynamics of small to big spaces and big to small spaces of museum narratives. 95

Playing with themes of order, rhythm, dinamisme, grid and curve in relation to experiences of restlessness, confusion and calmness. 96

Collage of plans and sections to blur the lines between the drastic shifts in the experience of one and the other. 97

Play of light and shadow on vertical and horizontal surfaces and what do they accentuate in space. 98

Final Oucome_Booklet Final assignment was to create Booklet that would contain all four major drawings, exercises done in the class, textual explanations of thought process, notes from the class and inspiring and thought provoking quotes. Lecture focused on different aspects of booklet design, addressing various printing techniques, paper qualities, folding and binding methods, size and shape of booklet as well as use of cut outs, positioning and organization of content, use of typography and overall design language. This assignment was meant to serve as good moment to reflect on what all was done and learned during the course and chance to revisit already made drawings, evaluate and improve them if needed. As a conclusion, at the end of the booklet, students were also asked to note down what skills did they develop during this course, what have they learned and in what way have different explorations, exercises, theories and ideas presented in class, influenced their design thinking.











Exercise 10_Conclusion This exercise was a analogous to first exercise students did upon starting the course. In fact, same instructions were given, to through abstract diagrammatic drawings, interpret four topics having in mind their meaning in relation to each other. Intent of this exercise was to discover how have all the lectures, discussions, exercises and assignments influenced studentsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; ability to translate their thoughts into drawings with more clarity, understanding and realize their potential as tools for design.


Behavior, Movement 110

Movement 111

Behavior, Movement, Program, Experience 112

Fusion of Behavior, Movement, Program, Experience 113

Behavior, Movement, Program 114

Behavior, Movement, Experience 115

Behavior, Movement, Program, Experience 116

Credits Booklet cover drawing: Olga Srejic Booklet design: Olga Srejic Photos of studentsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; booklets: Paramdeep Singh Dayani

This booklet is summarizing outcomes of elective course Drawing Thoughts- Conceptual thinking through drawing. Course was conducted during spring semester of academic year 2018/ 19 over the period of twelve weeks in CEPT University. Copyright Š 2019 Olga Srejic. All Rights Reserved. All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reprinted or reproduced in any form, including photocopy and recording.

Drawing Thoughts Conceptual thinking through drawing

Faculty: Olga Srejic Assistant: Aashna Poddar

Spring Semester, 2019 Elective Course Code: ID4700 CEPT University

Elective Course: Drawing Thoughts Conceptual thinking through drawing Faculty: Olga Srejic Teaching Assistant: Aashna Poddar Spring Semester, 2019, Ahmedabad, India

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Drawing Thoughts Conceptual thinking through drawing_Elective Course Report  

This booklet is summarizing outcomes of elective course Drawing Thoughts- Conceptual thinking through drawing. Course was conducted during...

Drawing Thoughts Conceptual thinking through drawing_Elective Course Report  

This booklet is summarizing outcomes of elective course Drawing Thoughts- Conceptual thinking through drawing. Course was conducted during...