LOOK INSIDE: Drawing Codes, Experimental Protocols of Architectural Representation

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Published by AR+D Publishing, CCA Architecture Books, and the University of Houston. Gordon Goff: Publisher

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Experimental Protocols of Architectural Representation

Andrew Kudless and Adam Marcus 29 Deciphering Drawing Ila Berman 41 Leaving the Page Sarah Hearne 53 Scanning, Storing, Checking: Architecture and the (Machine-Readable) Image Amelyn Ng 73 Representations Stephanie Lin 76 Viola Ago / MIRACLES Architecture 77 Studio Sean Canty 80 Mark Ericson 81 modem / Kathryn Moll and Nicholas de Monchaux 84 Jimenez Lai 85 Jennifer Bonner / MALL 88 WOJR 89 Adam Marcus / Variable Projects 92 Zahra Safaverdi 93 IwamotoScott Architecture 96 IBAÑEZ KIM 97 99 Permissions Leyuan Li / Office for Roundtable 102 Höweler + Yoon 103 Oyler Wu Collaborative 106 Ajay Manthripagada 107 Andrew Bruno 110 Daisy Ames / Studio Ames 111 Endemic Architecture / Clark Thenhaus 114 Nicole McIntosh and Jonathan Louie / Architecture Office 115 Bz Zhang 118 Ersela Kripa and Stephen Mueller 119 Vernelle A. A. Noel / Situated Computation + Design Lab 122 Daniel Koehler and Rasa Navasaityte 123 125 Opportunities NADAAA / Nader Tehrani and Matthew Waxman 128 Kristy Balliet 129 Heather Roberge / murmur 132 Kelly Bair 133 Germane Barnes / Studio Barnes 136 Thom Faulders / FAULDERS STUDIO 137 Katie MacDonald and Kyle Schumann / After Architecture 140 HABITABLE Studio / Marta Rodriguez and Michael Lindemann 141 Hyperspandrel / Jaewoo Chon 144 Keith Krumwiede 145 Marcus Martinez and Amna Ansari / UltraBarrio 148 LAMAS Architecture Ltd 149 151 Translations DESIGN EARTH 154 THE OPEN WORKSHOP 155 Sandra Youkhana and Luke Caspar Pearson / You + Pea 158 Andres L. Hernandez 159 Liz Gálvez / Office e.g. 162 Janette Kim 163 Joris Komen 166 Joyce Hwang 167 David Gissen 170 HOME-OFFICE / Daniel Jacobs and Brittany Utting 171 transLAB 174 Dana Cupkova / Epiphyte Lab 175
Drawing after Computation
177 Fabrications MARC FORNES / THEVERYMANY 180 Aranda\Lasch 181 Norman Kelley 184 SPORTS 185 Tsz Yan Ng 188 AD—WO 189 SCHAUM/SHIEH 192 Christine Yogiaman and Kenneth Tracy / yo_cy design 193 Jenny E. Sabin / Jenny Sabin Studio 196 Chris T. Cornelius / studio:indigenous 197 McLain Clutter and Cyrus Peñarroyo / EXTENTS 200 John Szot 201 203 Frictions Curime Batliner 206 Madeline Gannon / ATONATON 207 Maria Yablonina 210 Edouard Cabay 211 Erin Besler 214 Rael San Fratello 215 V. Mitch McEwen 218 Mariana Popescu 219 Stefana Parascho 222 Alicia Nahmad Vazquez 223 Jason Kelly Johnson / FUTUREFORMS 226 Matthew Johnson and Jason Logan / LOJO 227 229 Materialities MILLIØNS / Zeina Koreitem and John May 232 T+E+A+M 233 Heather Flood 236 Hyojin Kwon 237 Emma Mendel and Bradley Cantrell 240 Amy Campos 241 Catie Newell / Alibi Studio 244 Elena Manferdini 245 Kevin Hirth / KEVIN HIRTH Co. 248 Maya Alam and Daniele Profeta / A/P Practice 249 Curtis Roth 252 Carl Lostritto 253 255 Generations Outpost Office 258 Andrew Kovacs 259 Rafael Beneytez-Duran and Ophelia Mantz / Z4A/Z4Z4 262 John Porral 263 Andrew Heumann 266 office ca 267 Michael Meredith, Hilary Sample / MOS 270 SNOOKS + HARPER 271 Synthesis Design + Architecture 274 Andrew Kudless / Matsys 275 Drawing Architecture Studio 278 Young & Ayata 279 283 Ends of Drawing John McMorrough 291 Coda Andrew Kudless and Adam Marcus 293 Exhibition Chronology 296 Contributors 307 Acknowledgments 308 Image Credits

Drawing after Computation

A history of architecture that dealt with the impact of drawing would need to explain two things: how architectural spaces arose out of the deployment of depthless designs, and how architectural space was drawn into depthless designs.

— Robin Evans, The Projective Cast 1

The relationship between drawing and architecture is foundational yet paradoxical. As Robin Evans suggests, architecture can be defined by the struggle between the inherently two-dimensional plane of the drawing and the three-dimensional reality of space. Architects must fold the complexities of construction, materiality, and perspectival view into flat drawings while at the same time unfolding the abstract rationality of the drawing back into built form.2

This tension between the abstract and the real was codified in Leon Battista Alberti’s fifteenth-century text De Re Aedificatoria, in which the architect’s role as designer is established as separate and distinct from the role of the builder.3 Following Alberti, the architectural drawing remained primarily a communicative device: it simply conveys instructions for others to fabricate and construct a building. Over the next few hundred years, architectural drawing made great progress, enabled by new drawing techniques and their dissemination through new media technologies. From the wide distribution of Giovanni Battista Piranesi’s prints to Gaspard Monge’s development of the mathematics of descriptive geometry, architects learned how to communicate their designs with both more realism through rendered perspectives as well as more dimensional accuracy in plans, sections, and elevations. However, a disciplinary schism slowly developed, foreshadowing Evans’s dichotomy between the abstraction of “depthless designs” and the reality of architectural space. Was drawing’s primary role to communicate the functional and analytic information of dimensions, proportions, and constructability, or was it to communicate a prospective and evocative simulation of reality?

1 Robin Evans, The Projective Cast: Architecture and Its Three Geometries (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 1995), 107.

2 This essay expands upon a paper previously published by the authors, documenting the first volume of the Drawing Codes exhibition. See Adam Marcus and Andrew Kudless, “Drawing Codes: Experimental Protocols of Architectural Representation,” in Recalibration: On Imprecision and Infidelity: Proceedings of the 38th Annual Conference of the Association for Computer Aided Design in Architecture, ed. Phillip Anzalone, Marcella del Signore, and Andrew John Wit (n.p.: ACADIA, 2018).

3 Leon Battista Alberti, De Re Aedificatoria / On the Art of Building in Ten Books, trans. Joseph Rykwert, Robert Tavernor, and Neil Leach (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 1988).

Fig. 1

Andrew Kudless, Non-Square Pixels, 2020. This project samples input images into a series of vector-based irregular “pixels.” Instead of the square grid of pixels found in the source image, the image is divided into irregular fields whose centroid is then used for the color of the region. Although we have become accustomed to viewing blurry low-resolution images, these drawings are simultaneously low resolution and highly defined.


Figs. 1, 2

At the University of Utah in 1972, students map Ivan Sutherland’s Volkswagen into polygons, using paint and yardsticks. This exercise represents one of the earliest moments where a real-world object is 3D-scanned for wireframe reconstruction in a computer.

of reality), storing (drawing as a telematic database), and checking (drawing as a site of automated detection and compliance).

I. Scanning: Drawing as a Capture of Reality

3 See Jason Torchinsky, “The First Real Object Ever 3D Scanned and Rendered Was a VW Beetle,” Jalopnik, May 7, 2013, https://jalopnik.com/the-first -real-object-ever-3d-scanned-and-rendered -was-494241353.

4 Cambridge Dictionary, s.v. “scan,” https://dictionary .cambridge.org/us/dictionary/english/scan.

An apocryphal story goes that the first three-dimensional scan was created by hand. In 1972, students at the University of Utah were found in a parking lot with yardsticks and yellow paint in hand, drawing polygons directly onto the hood of a Volkswagen Beetle. Careful measurements taken of each polygon would later be used to reproduce the geometry 1:1 on the computer in wireframe and shaded views.3 The Volkswagen belonged to Ivan Sutherland, a computer scientist whose 1963 Sketchpad drawing program is widely acknowledged as the precursor to computer-aided drafting (CAD). Executed by Sutherland’s students, this manual scanning exercise is a small but salient moment in the history of scanning where a real-world surface was broken down into measurable facets—not unlike the way 3D scanning and augmented reality applications today use polygon meshes to efficiently approximate surface geometry in computer graphics.

To scan is to look quickly or carefully, “with the eyes or with a machine, in order to get information.”4 According to the Cambridge Dictionary, to scan is also to make a picture. This meaning is defined as “to use a machine to put a picture of a document into a computer, or to take a picture of the inside of something.” Scans are data snapshots, taken from a privileged machine’s-eye view. In “Scanning: A Technical History of Form,” Zeynep Çelik Alexander locates the media history of scanning in early “reading machines,” some of which mechanically broke


text down into discrete fragments, while others transmitted information as electrical image telegraphs with lines of (Morse) code.5 Later, raster scanning technology would digitize documents by recording the intensity and color of light reflected from opaque surfaces across a pixel grid. Rather than reading whole figures with gestalt or semantic value, early scanners stored images as (electrical) signals.6 While human visuality is bound up with the compositional, interpretive, and affective qualities of paintings, photos, and drawings, scanners break them down into meaning-less yet processable chunks and store them using as little memory as possible. May insists that today’s images are nothing but statistical-electrical storage formats: an act of data processing.7

Contemporary life is full of images scanned by machines: raster documents are given new searchable lives through optical character recognition (OCR); computed tomography (CT) sends x-rays into tissue and bone to retrieve cross-sections; RF barcode scanners register and geolocate warehouse inventory; LIDAR (light detection and ranging)-rigged Google vehicles turn streets into immersive panoramas; bodies are rendered as fuzzy 3D photographs while passing through millimeter wave scanners at airport security. The entire surface of the earth has become a scanning project for climate research, and for military operations.8 Far from taking superficial surface impressions, then, the act of scanning the world as data can be invasive, extractive, and intimate. And far from ambivalent witnesses—satellites, drones, and remote sensing media—operate in the scopic regime of military technology, assigning pattern and value to targets.9 Hito Steyerl points out that machinic perception can supersede the need for human interpretation altogether: “Not seeing anything intelligible is the new normal. … Vision loses importance and is replaced by filtering, decrypting, and pattern recognition.”10

Despite the highly mediated and partial nature of the scanned image, the belief in its facticity has prompted the measured drawing to shift away from an acknowledgement of notation and graphical abstraction and toward an empiricist notion of reality capture. 11 In the architecture, engineering, construction, and geospatial fields, scans are being used to corroborate reality and establish grounds for design, development, and urban governance in existing conditions surveys, as-built models, and “digital twins” that pose as complete living replicas of entire cities.12 The colorized scanscapes of light-based

5 Çelik Alexander describes the ingenuity of David Shepard’s 1953 “Apparatus for Reading,” created long before the first electronic scanner, in which a rotating disk pricked with pinhole apertures “dissected the image into fragments as it rotated” for later reassembly. This mechanism shifted the model of seeing from human vision and hermeneutics to “desemanticized” machine vision, which “replaced seeing with ‘gazing/scanning’ without any search [for] deep meaning.” Morse code and the electrical image telegraph of the 1830s were an even earlier instance of translating information through visual code. See Zeynep Çelik Alexander, “Scanning: A Technical History of Form,” in Zeynep Çelik Alexander and John May, eds., Design Technics: Archaeologies of Architectural Practice (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press), 71–102.

6 See Çelik Alexander, “Scanning,” 74.

7 See John May, “Everything Is Already an Image,” Log 40 (Spring/Summer 2017): 9–26.

8 See Carla Lauter, “Preserving the Planet … One Point Cloud at a Time,” Geo Week, April 19, 2022, https://www.geoweeknews.com/news/preserving -the-planet-one-point-at-a-time, and Ryan Bishop, “Project ‘Transparent Earth’ and the Autoscopy of Aerial Targeting: The Visual Geopolitics of the Underground,” Theory, Culture and Society 28, no. 7-8 (2011): 270–286.

9 “What sees in the scopic regime?” Allen Feldman asks. He defines the scopic regime as an “ensemble of practices and discourses that establish the truth claims, typicality, and credibility of visual acts and objects and politically correct modes of seeing.” The term is used to describe the mediated visibility of optical surveillance and panoptic technologies. See Allen Feldman, “Violence and Vision: The Prosthetics and Aesthetics of Terror,” Public Culture 10, no. 1 (1997): 24–60.

10 See Hito Steyerl, “A Sea of Data: Apophenia and Pattern (Mis-)Recognition,” e-flux no. 72 (April 2016), https://www.e-flux.com/journal/72/60480/a-sea -of-data-apophenia-and-pattern-mis-recognition/.

11 Capturing Reality is, incidentally, the name of a major photogrammetry software company. See Reality Capture website, accessed December 15, 2022, https://www.capturingreality.com/.

12 Surveying technology company Trimble describes how their LIDAR laser scanners are used to create 3D “as-built documentation” of a specific built asset, “a living digital replica of a [smart] city,” and even to “[maximize] the whole-of-nation” geospatial data for large-scale urban governance and for “modeling the earth.” See Trimble, “Demystifying Spatial Digital Twins,” Geospatial (blog), September 30, 2022, https://geospatialresources.trimble.com /blog/demystifying-spatial-digital-twins.


Representation is not just a way of recording or depicting space, but the way of constructing it.

The Cave of the Digital”1

Architectural drawing is deeply contingent upon representational codes, systems, and conventions. These shared languages and practices, institutionalized over generations and centuries, help streamline the communication of design intent to constructed reality. And yet, even as new technologies and project delivery methods such as building information modeling (BIM) and fileto-factory fabrication render the drawing and its conventions unnecessary, their central importance nonetheless endures. The most advanced and detailed building information models are still used to produce two-dimensional, orthographic drawing sets; digital fabrication workflows often still require the production of “shop” drawings. The architectural drawing refuses its seemingly inevitable obsolescence.

The drawings in this section appropriate conventions of architectural representation and demonstrate their enduring generative capacities not as afterthoughts or deliverables, but as tools of organization, analysis, and design. Contributions by Studio Sean Canty and Mark Ericson deploy analytical operations upon historical precedents to reveal latent organizational logics and spatial discoveries within Renaissance and Baroque architectures. Drawings by modem and WOJR imbue architectural plans with new and layered capacities that reveal how codes and conventions influence architectural form, while works by Viola Ago, IwamotoScott, and Stephanie Lin embrace the abstraction of linework as a rich territory for the construction of spectral figures within dense fields. These drawings celebrate how techniques and conventions of representation remain fertile territory for experimentation and novelty—and how they can become the driver and the generative engine of new compositional, spatial, and atmospheric possibilities.

1 Sam Jacob, “Rendering: The Cave of the Digital,” e-flux Architecture (2018), https://www.e-flux .com/architecture /representation/167503 /rendering-the-cave-of -the-digital/.

Theory of Forms, Nos. 1, 3, 4, and 7

Text—codes, standards, and specifications—shape the form of contemporary buildings in a measure greater than lines. We depict the public realm of several historical examples—Stonehenge, the Pantheon, the Hirshhorn Museum, and Apple Park—using the text of the written regulations governing their construction and use. In the buildings’ shadows, we describe the structures’ circular affinity outside of time and circumstance, using pi, the mathematical constant. Produced using a typewriter, the drawings are precise, but at a coarse resolution; they question our increasing assumptions about the detail and precision that we use to describe our environment, and the veracity and quality of the depictions that result.


Half-Hearted Diamonds

Jimenez Lai

When Theo van Doesburg rotated the square, an important disagreement occurred with Piet Mondrian: Should the grid travel with the frame, or should the power of the grid be resistant to rotation? More importantly, should the frame be rotated at all?

Using this frame of reference, we are using this drawing to reexamine the Diamond House by John Hejduk. By describing a circulatory choreography between two halves of the same square, two rules are established and violated at the same time, like halves of the same evil twin. One that rotates, and one that does not.


The ultimate pleasure of architecture lies in the most forbidden parts of the architectural act, where limits are perverted and prohibitions are transgressed.

— Bernard Tschumi, “The Pleasure of Architecture”1

The notion of “code” in architecture is often associated with the restrictive legal codes that govern the design and construction of buildings. These include zoning codes that establish the use, size, and shape of buildings; building codes that specify life safety and accessibility standards; energy codes that govern energy consumption and conservation; and design codes intended to ensure conformity with a specific style or aesthetic. Often, these regulations are perceived as restrictive and limiting; in many ways, practicing architecture can be understood as a constant search for novel strategies for complying with this complex landscape of codes. But constraint can also be an engine of creativity, inspiring architects to think differently about a problem and generate perhaps unexpected solutions.

Drawings play a critical role in this process. Architects spend significant time and labor producing drawings for review and approval by clients, community stakeholders, and municipal authorities, and these documents often become the basis for contractual or legal agreements surrounding responsibility and liability. The drawings in this section explore this territory: how drawing can be a site for exploring the sometimes blurry lines between legality and illegality, the generative capacities of restrictive codes, and the broader cultural reverberations of such constraints.

Drawings by Leyuan Li of Office for Roundtable and Höweler + Yoon engage the spatial politics of social codes by exploring the disconnect between architecture and the social behaviors it can generate. Contributions by Oyler Wu Collaborative and Clark Thenhaus of Endemic Architecture test the limits of restrictive codes: the former through a clever use of parametric tools in designing a code-compliant mezzanine for a project in Los Angeles, and the latter through an assemblage of unconventional yet permissible architecture elements that reinterpret San Francisco’s design guidelines for Victorian-style houses. And works by Daisy Ames and Bz Zhang employ drawing techniques to advocate for spatial and environmental justice by uncovering and revealing the oppressive and racially biased impacts of urban zoning codes. Together, these contributions demonstrate how architectural drawings serve not only as a mechanism for compliance, but also as a means to speculate, question, critique, and challenge existing codes.

1 Bernard Tschumi, “The Pleasure of Architecture,” in Architecture and Disjunction (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 1994), 91.

Embodied CODEnition

Vernelle A. A. Noel / Situated Computation + Design Lab

My work investigates computation as a meeting point of cultural practices, crafts, embodiment, and technology. I use these lenses for rethinking and reconfiguring frames. This experimental drawing, Embodied CODEnition, is influenced by the cultural practice of Trinidad Carnival, the craft of wire-bending, dancing sculptures, and CODE. The drawing begins with machine-learning CODE as language. I used an image of one of my AI-generated dancing sculptures for Carnival as the starting point, drawing two-dimensional shapes to capture the essence of the sculpture in elevation. These AI sculptures are embedded with cultural traditions and hidden design rules from the Carnival. I then displaced these lines in the third dimension and applied action and embodiment CODES to build three-dimensional surfaces. From these actions emerged a moving, lofting body or sculpture in motion: a four-dimensional drawing that is spatial, temporal, and corporeal. Surrounding this form in motion is CODE as script and cipher. Created for and from the traditional craft of wire-bending, this CODE redescribes surfaces with

lines, producing unexpected results that can be drawn, painted, and materialized. Embodied CODEnition’s code—instructions given and performed by the computer—is [50,10: H,G,A,B,C,D,E,O]. While this input describes the visual result, it can also be used to enCODE messages. Horizontal lines that are this distance apart tie the composition together. This drawing uses the rules and constraints of culture, machine, craft, body, and text to document, represent, and speculate on our relationship to design and the built environment.


Coded Complicity

Daniel Koehler and Rasa Navasaityte

Although, as architects, we want to design open and rich environments, we usually start by setting limits. From a building contour to a setback to a building’s height and depth—we typically begin a project by limiting possibilities. However, what if codes would not encode what is prohibited but encode what one agrees with?

Building on ideas from Web 3.0 and distributive forms of consensus, here we recode classical zonings with smart contracts. We took one of the most iconic codes, the setback, and rewrote it as a consensus between building parts. Typically, setbacks result from prohibiting one building’s mass in order to provide access to daylight for another building’s spaces. Through this, a city reduces itself to a third space between buildings: solely a prohibited void space that consists only of setbacks, lawns, or lots—but never places. Rather than generating a city based on restriction, can we instead create cities that consent to architecture? Each time anew, each time a new place, complicit within its parts, its architecture. We see this

scenario as the superposition of the coded complicities of a single, smart contract. Buildings are no longer limited by void, but rather entangled with light—each part individually placed to receive two hours of daylight.


A House for XXXX is a collection of floor plans based on the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI), commonly known as Sixteen Personalities. We started this project because we wanted to impress non-architects by bringing up sophisticated architectural discussions at parties more casually.

Frankly, we were jealous. How can a subject as elusive as the human personality captivate people’s interest for hours, when a conversation about architecture peaks at around the five-minute mark at most? Yet, when examining the personality types, we realized that the logic of the four-letter combination which generates the sixteen types is strikingly similar to how variations in architecture are produced through a finite set of parameters. Intrigued by this similarity, we devised sixteen unique domestic floor plans using a ninesquare grid, with each plan being carefully based on its respective four-letter combination. Are you an extroverted-feeling type (ExFx)? You might be well suited to a house with many gardens. Are you a

sending-perceiving type (xSxP)? Try a house with concatenated rooms! It now becomes possible to discuss issues of liminality, minus the heavy jargon. Are you intrigued? Then please like, share, and follow! Heck, would you fancy a House for INTJ tote bag? What’s with the blatant sales pitch, you say? A sales trap, perhaps. Or, since these plans are meant to be the gateway drugs to the broader saga of nine-square grids—from Palladio, Rowe, to Hejduk—it might involve a bit of marketing and merch. So that being said, if you would like to know more about the plans, please follow @hyperspandrel.

A. olving door B. F. E. D. I. H. G. A. C. A. secret garden B. mini bath D. vestibule E. pool garden F. wine storage G. living room H. bathroom rec room A. B. C. D. G. E. A. C. E. G. D. B. B. room with kitchen D. toilet E. passage F. alcove H. toiilet and a washbasin I. hall D. E. G. F. A. B. C. B. hall C. bedroom D. outdoor fireplace E. outdoor patio F. secret garden B. C. A. multipurpose space B. outdoor fireplace D. outr d terrace A. B. D. E. F. C. G. H. A. main entrance / greeting area B. erlooking area D. a place to celebrate F. porch with roof erhang G. place to celebrate A. F. E. F. E. D. C. G. H. B A. den B. D. bathroom E. fireplace room F. central dining hall H. bathroom A. D. H. B. E. F. C. G. A. eption wing B. cooking wing C. dining wing D. personal wing E. grotto garden G. grotto I. garden wing A. D. F. H. G. C. C. D. E. A. B. A. kitchen veranda B. main veranda C. ruminating station D. pacing area G. garden veranda H. pool veranda A. E. F. G. B. C. D. D. I. G. A. B. C. H. A. cross column B. toilet stall C. fireplace D. vent shaft E. vent shaft G. sink shaft H. toilet stall II toilet stall F. B A. E. G. C. D. H. A. D. B. C. F. E. A. winter garden B. outdoor space C. fireplace garden D. shower room E. open area F. toilet G. toilet H. winter garden A. D. G. E. B. H. F. C. D. I. E. F. A. B. C. G. H. ISF J INFJ ESF J ENFJ ISF P INFP ESF P ENFP IST J INTJ EST J ENTJ IST P INTP EST P ENTP A House for XXXX Hyperspandrel / Jaewoo Chon 144
This Is Not (the Plan of) a House Keith

This plan is useless, as are its imagined inhabitants. In the not too distant future, they will be replaced by machines and thereby rendered purposeless, economically speaking. The makers of the machines that will replace them call them surplus people. This plan, one of a series of useless plans for surplus people, was extracted from the plan of a house (“The Muirfield” by Beazer Homes), but it is not the plan of a house. It has no specified purpose, no defined functions. It simply serves as a stage on which surplus people, newly liberated from the burdens of wage labor, are free to rehearse new relations of caregiving and caretaking—to enact new ways of being—as they come together (or move apart) along (and across) its multiple axes of symmetry.

816ft. 40

Software is no longer a vehicle for simply communicating that which we blindly create in our heads, but rather, much like analog drawing, contributes to the formulation of that very thought from our first encounter with it.

— Galo Cañizares, “More Translations (from Drawing to Building)”1

If the architectural drawing can be understood as a tool for communicating information, then, to paraphrase Marshall McLuhan, the particularities of a drawing’s construction and execution affect how that information is received, processed, and interpreted.2 The drawing, therefore, is an active medium, far from neutral, and deeply entangled with the information and data it processes. We see this most clearly in the hand sketch, where the gestural and diagrammatic often translate directly to geometric and organizational intent. In digital modeling and drawing workflows, the constraints and biases of respective software packages condition how design intent is translated to architectural form. An architect’s work is thus inextricably contingent upon the drawing methods, techniques, and technologies used in its production.

The contributors in this section embrace drawing’s translational capacities: the ability to parse, analyze, and represent data in ways that reveal and discover latent connections and relationships. These works of data visualization and environmental analysis expand the purview of the architectural drawing to the social, the political, the territorial, and the climatic, leveraging architectural conventions and methods of translation to offer critical insight and commentary on pressing issues—in which architecture is often implicated.

While drawings by Liz Gálvez and Janette Kim explore the spatial configurations of air in relation to building and energy codes, David Gissen’s contribution analyzes the relationship between optical perception and urban environmental air quality by appropriating a code commonly used by ophthalmologists to measure vision. Environment as Politics by THE OPEN WORKSHOP posits a correlation between population density and political affiliation, while drawings by Joris Komen and Joyce Hwang explore how human analysis might decode spatial patterns of nonhuman species. These works diverge in content and technique, but they nonetheless share a commitment to architectural drawing as a critical act of representation: a means of communication, but one with the capacity to transform and reveal new understandings and possibilities.

1 Galo Cañizares, “More Translations (from Drawing to Building),” 106th ACSA Annual Meeting Proceedings: The Ethical Imperative (2018): 147.

2 Marshall McLuhan, Understanding Media: The Extensions of Man (New York: McGraw-Hill, 1964). McLuhan’s famous statement “the medium is the message” articulated the importance of a medium in conditioning the content and character of its output or product.

Five Shapes

Norman Kelley

This drawing describes five plans for five shapes. More specifically, the drawing presents a series of overlaid plans for a collection of five three-legged stools. Like Wharton Esherick’s iconic threelegged stools, these stools are characterized by common legs and unique seats. In the drawing, radial dimensions document twodimensional variation in seat shapes. Full-scale printouts of each seat plan guide the furniture maker with a precise template to make initial cuts in material. Further seat-forming in three dimensions is then sculpted by hand. By constraining documentation to two dimensions, the drawing initiates collaboration with the pieces’ maker. As in Mad Libs, user input is required, and authorship is shared.

R21 R4 3 8 R51 1 2 R12 7 8 R10 R276 1 2 R2 1 8 R2 3 4 R691 R9 5 8 R6 1 8 R3 1 4 R5 R4 1 2 R82 3 4 R8 1 4 R5 1 2 R10 3 4 R10 1 2 R7 3 8 R2 R2 1 8 R53 7 8 R1 7 8 R1 1 2 R21 1 2 R1 1 8 R3 7 8 R47 1 2 R5 1 4 R1 1 2 R5 R5 1 4 R5 3 8 R5 1 2 R4 1 8 R7 3 8 R8 R8 3 8 R7 3 8 R7 3 4 R4 7 8 R9 1 8 R5 3 8 R3 R224 R4 1 2 5 8 R7 5 8 R2 5 8 R10 1 4 R8 3 4 R51 1 8 R8 3 8 R7 3 4 R9 1 8 R1 7 8 R3 R3 5 8

Street Smarts SPORTS

Street Smarts is a drawing of an alley in Chattanooga, Tennessee. The alley is the site of a public space by SPORTS entitled City Thread (2018) which is articulated by a continuous line that highlights spatial and programmatic possibilities within the previously unused urban space. Unfolded in its composition (elevation, plan, elevation), the drawing aims to describe the alley and project by solely coding the objects, obstacles, clearances, and easements our project is required to negotiate. By mapping only these constraints, the drawing distills and reveals the underlying systems and logics driving the seemingly whimsical nature of the design.

25’ 12’ 2’ 18’ 7’-6” 8’ 6’ 9’ 12’ 1’-8” 4’ 6’ VEHICULAR VEHICULAR 14’ VEHICULAR 14’ 14’ 3’-6” 1’-6” 8’-6” 24’ 18’ 1’-6” 1’-6” 1’-6” 1’-6” 1’-6” 1’-6” 5’-6” 6’ 56’ 12’ 15’ 90 R 3’ R 3’ 4’ R 7’ R 7’ 13’ 6’ 2’-6” 2’-6” 4’ 2’-6” 2’-6” 2’-6” FUTURE EXP MCC EPB FUTURE EXP

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