Posts tagged with "Drawing":

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A small exhibit hints at major changes in architectural representation

The small but provocative exhibition Re-constructivist Architecture at the Ierimonti Gallery on 57th Street forecasts a major shift in the way emerging architects are thinking about architecture today. Curators Jacopo Costanzo, Giovanni Cozzani, and Giulia Leone, in conjunction with the Casa dell’Architettura in Rome, have selected the work of 13 young architectural groups whose members were born in the 1980s to develop proposals for a residence in the Roman countryside. The projects fill three walls of the gallery and are intended to challenge the previous generation of older venerables. To that end, posted on the wall directly across are three projects by deconstructivist “starchitects”: Peter Eisenman’s Yenikapi archaeology museum, Coop Himmelb(l)au’s Art Museum in Strongoli, and Bernard Tschumi’s rendering done specifically for the show, A house like a city, a city like a house.

While the winner has yet to be determined, the exhibition does highlight several important new trends.

It is intended more as a battle than a debate. That the younger architects feel entitled to challenge the Goliaths of the field signifies a fresh and audacious confidence. This new generation intends to offer alternative modes of thinking that signal a change in focus within the field, and eventually to question the premises, concerns, and lavish extravagance of the previous one. Interestingly, they do so by reaching back to the architects of the 1960s, who were devoted to exploring the language of architecture itself. This reversion to an older source would seem to be a conservative move, a kind of retro or revivalist approach. However, these young architects, who certainly acknowledge the “bravura” of the deconstructivists, are instead revisiting the values and cultural concerns of such groups as GRAU, Superstudio, and even Archigram. The theme of the show itself seems reminiscent of architectural exercises at universities where these 30-year-olds studied, especially the projects for the classes of the late Alessandro Anselmi, whose exquisite drawing appears on the announcement for the show as an homage. Importantly, the proposals avoid grand utopian visions and eschew extravagant megastructures. Instead, the theme requires them to confine their efforts to developing plans for a simple structure, and to exploring how to generate a simple home responsive to its natural setting. The projects, then, reexamine basic notions of place and how to design for living on a truly “human” scale.

Secondly, while there are three models in the exhibition, the proposals are primarily graphic. Like architects of the 1960s, these emerging architects deploy drawing to convey their concepts, with each group presenting only a plan and small rendering of their project accompanied by a more-or-less helpful description. Interestingly, the projects vary enormously among themselves in the way in which they are rendered. For example, the group AM3 from Palermo, Italy, elected to represent its solution in the form of two small etchings, executed in a loose, traditional crosshatch technique. AM3 chose to situate its villa on Lake Nemi, a design inspired by the legend that the Emperor Caligula had two gigantic ships built there as floating palaces. Of particular beauty are the drawings by the Portuguese group fala atelier. While the rendering is elegant and clear, the description verges on the poetic crypto-theoretical. It anthropomorphizes the site, stating that the house is “sequential and schizophrenic” with the central void defined by the surrounding wall that “competes with the landscape” and is both “attracted and repulsed by its site.”

Particularly suggestive is the project by the Warehouse of Architecture and Research. The point of departure is a ruin—a kind of palimpsest ubiquitous in the urban and natural settings of the region. The ruin is then animated by a visitor, the so-called “colonialist” seen in the drawing. This subject adds Venturi-esque elements to the site with ironic verve, as if cataloging the various forms in the contemporary architectural vocabulary. What results is an improbable composite in which the various styles and elements elide into a fantastical yet cozy home, a kind of faux-picturesque pastiche. The group Fosbury Architecture based in Milan has produced a dramatic solution: From the square plan rises a kind of cone-shaped thatched tower punctuated by a single enormous column at the center. The hollow column is penetrated by a winding staircase that ascends to an area, one assumes, for contemplation, similar to the solitary towers pictured in Walter Pichler’s drawings. Significantly, the descriptions all share a contemporary ironic undertone that is without a trace of nostalgia or sentimentality.

An essential modus operandi is the use of collage as a way of conjoining past and present, as it allows the connections among the pieces to remain hypothetical and to function as propositions capable of triggering discussion. In fact, the exhibition is only a part of a larger project. The plan is to use the show as a springboard for a series of conferences in Rome that address the significant issues uncovered by it. Beyond the evident visual eloquence and high level of craft, what the show reveals is that the two generations are speaking about distinctly different realms of architecture, and what the new generation is advocating is the retrieval of certain classical, historical values as part of the conversation.

Re-constructivist Architecture Ierimonti Gallery 24 West 57th Street, New York Through February 10

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A new Manhattan exhibition creates a dialogue between two generations of architects

Architectural rendering and design today is filtered through digital platforms that define contemporary production. It is rare to see an architecture that breaks out of this design template, whether the architect asserts environmental, stylistic, or urban design as the impulse behind the form. But Re-Constructivist Architecture: A Call From Rome, a carefully crafted exhibition at Ierimonti Gallery in Midtown, purposefully tries to avoid this new international style. Curated by Jacopo Costanzo and Giovanni Cozzani with Giulia Leone, the exhibit presents the work of thirteen, mostly Italian, architects born in the 1980s and sets them the task of generating “a debate between two generation of architects”; principally those presented in the 1988 MoMA show Deconstructive Architecture and of that show's generation. The Deconstructivists, the curators argue, "destabilized a certain kind of relationship with the design theory" and the architects in this exhibit want to rediscover a thoughtful dimension behind the architectural subject. This new work is more about place, specific local issues, and conditions, and operates from an Italian perspective, much as the manifesto of postmodernism did in 1980. The Architect’s Newspaper is sponsoring a special preview of the exhibition next Tuesday, February 7 from 6:00 to 8:30 at the gallery. It will feature short comments from Kenneth Frampton, Morris Adjmi, Umberto Napolitano from LAN and Enrique Walker. Ierimonti Gallery is located at 24 West 57 Street, suite 501.
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2016 Best of Design Award for Architectural Representation > Analog: Welcome to the 5th Facade

The Architect’s Newspaper (AN)’s inaugural 2013 Best of Design Awards featured six categories. Since then, it’s grown to 26 exciting categoriesAs in years past, jury members (Erik Verboon, Claire Weisz, Karen Stonely, Christopher Leong, Adrianne Weremchuk, and AN’s Matt Shaw) were picked for their expertise and high regard in the design community. They based their judgments on evidence of innovation, creative use of new technology, sustainability, strength of presentation, and, most importantly, great design. We want to thank everyone for their continued support and eagerness to submit their work to the Best of Design Awards. We are already looking forward to growing next year’s coverage for you. 2016 Best of Design Award for Architectural Representation > Analog: Welcome to the 5th Facade Architect: Olson Kundig Location: (Conceptual)

Conceived as accompanying illustrations for Olson Kundig’s award-winning science fiction story entry to Blank Space Project’s annual Fairy Tales competition, the project is part of Olson Kundig’s broader investigation of rooftops. Each image depicts the main character of “Welcome to the 5th Facade” at five plot points and presents a future vision for Seattle, where the story is set. The hybrid images are comprised of four separate media types: mural-size drawings in charcoal and pencil on canvas, portrait photography, and CGI.

Honorable Mention, Architectural Representation > Analog: MEM: A Chapel & Columbarium

Architect: Robert Hutchison Architecture Location: Wye Mills, MD

This project is a conceptual exploration of memory in architecture: A son, confronted with his father’s loss of memory, requested a design for a family chapel and columbarium as an attempt to have a conversation with his father that he could no longer have.

Honorable Mention, Architectural Representation > Analog: Pierce Skypark

Architect: Page Location: Houston, TX

These hand-drawn renderings of a transformed section of Houston’s former elevated freeway were a strategic choice to generate interest and dialogue in the project by conveying a sense that the concept was still “in progress” and open to feedback.

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2016 Best of Design Award for Architectural Representation > Digital: Nine Drawings, Seven Models

The Architect’s Newspaper (AN)’s inaugural 2013 Best of Design Awards featured six categories. Since then, it’s grown to 26 exciting categoriesAs in years past, jury members (Erik Verboon, Claire Weisz, Karen Stonely, Christopher Leong, Adrianne Weremchuk, and AN’s Matt Shaw) were picked for their expertise and high regard in the design community. They based their judgments on evidence of innovation, creative use of new technology, sustainability, strength of presentation, and, most importantly, great design. We want to thank everyone for their continued support and eagerness to submit their work to the Best of Design Awards. We are already looking forward to growing next year’s coverage for you. 2016 Best of Design Award for Architectural Representation > Digital: Nine Drawings, Seven Models Architect: Nemestudio Location: (Conceptual)

Preparing for an installation titled Nine Drawings, Seven Models, NEMESTUDIO chose to present much of their recent work in one imaginary landscape, recalling the tradition of capriccio painting, in which architectural ruins are collected into an imagined place where they can be seen all together.

Honorable Mention, Architectural Representation > Digital: Breaking BIM

Architect: mcdowellespinosa Location: (Conceptual)

Breaking BIM explores a perceived shift from representation to visualization by probing whether architects can benefit from real time model feedback available from Building Information Models to further experimental design and new visualization objectives.

Honorable Mention, Architectural Representation > Digital: Pacific Aquarium

Architect: DESIGN EARTH Location: Clarion-Clipperton Fracture Zone, Pacific Ocean

As part of a forthcoming publication to help us understand environmental crises, Pacific Aquarium appropriates the aquarium to highlight the alarming distance between our self-focus and Earth consciousness. Each of the nine drawings presents a section of the ocean that reflects resource exploitation and climate change.

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Archigram Portfolio Collection images for sale

The British Archigram group has produced some of the most influential and memorable architecture and urban images of the last fifty years: Plug-In City, Computer City, Instant City, and Temple Island. These and eight more iconic images from the group are now available as signed limited edition (50) prints to purchase. The edition is produced on certified Giclee archival Hahnemuhle German etching paper. You can find pricing and other information on this Archigram Archives Portfolio Collection page of the Archigram website. This is a chance to own these important images for an extremely reasonable price with discounts if you purchase six or more prints.
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New London gallery focuses on architectural drawings

There is a new gallery in London that should be on every architect's list of places to visit in the English capital. Betts Project at 100 Central street specializes in architectural drawings. The creator of the gallery, Marie Coulon, intends for the space to focus “on new ways of discovering and thinking about architecture by revealing the artistic qualities of architectural objects.” Coulon is a young French curator who has a passion for architecture and believes in exhibiting architectural drawings that are works of art more than technical drawings. The gallery displays and supports drawings that are personal and artful. In the past ten months, Betts Project has exhibited small-scale digital sketches by Tony Fretton, ink drawings by Pier Vittorio Aureli, sketches by Peter Märkli alongside reliefs by Hans Josephsohn, gouache and mixed media works by Lars Lerup, renderings by OFFICE, Kersten Geers, Peter Wilson, David Van Severen, and photographs by Bas Princen. The gallery has just opened an exhibit In Search of the Lost Artwork (through December 22) that features British architectural theorist Fred Scott and encompasses his fifty-year career of drawing. Click here to visit the gallery's website.
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Never look at skyscrapers the same way after seeing Jai & Jai Gallery’s latest exhibition

Hot On the Heels of Love: Sensational Speculations, an exhibition by John Southern and his firm Urban Operations currently on view at Jai & Jai Gallery in Los Angeles, attempts to collect almost 10 years’ worth of research surrounding the spatial and functional aspects of the skyscraper into one quasi-retrospective. The exhibition aims to enliven the tower, a “spatial manifestation of the sociological and psychological experiences exacted upon the modern individual within the territory of the contemporary metropolis,” by viewing tall buildings—loosely defined and subject to the tendencies and extremes of late-stage global capitalism—as more than simple aesthetic statements. Instead, the collected works are showcased as multifaceted ruminations on not only what tall buildings have been and can be, but also as a collection of sensational projects produced as cultural artifacts in their own right, representative of the times in which they were created.

Hot On the Heels of Love: Sensational Speculations by Urban Operations Jai & Jai Gallery 648 North Spring Street, Los Angeles Through January 2, 2017

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A new stenciling app aims to make life easier for architects and designers

Using a stencil, either for a plan or section, is nothing new for architects. Whether it's marking the outline of a 1:20 scale person, bed, kitchen unit, or tree, stencils have been making life easier for designers for ages. Today's architects are well aware of the wealth of digital stencils available online, however, app developer Morpholio now claims to haven taken this one step further.

In what they claim to be a "stencil revolution," Morpholio has unveiled a customizable stencil tool that can be used in conjunction with Trace App (also by Morpholio). Essentially, "Stencil" allows users to quickly turn images into stencils. The patent pending tool also provides the option of turning this into a customizable template, with the stencils themselves being scalable.

"Creating stencils sits perfectly between the architect's sketch and the quick photo," said Mark Collins, a co-creator of the tool speaking in a press release. "You're trying to capture something—a texture, pattern, or detail that you want to use. Sketching is great but slow. Taking a photo buries it in the photo album. Generating a stencil automatically creates an incredible tool that you can utilize in various ways. The stencil is the quickest path to [distilling] an image into an actionable idea."

The app asks users to set the contrast, inversion, and any transformations when going through the stencil creation process. When used with Trace App, stencils can be colored and have textures applied through brush types such as pencil, charcoal, marker, and brush. This can be done by setting the stencil and sketching over it with any brush or color. In addition, stencils can be used to form patterns and art, all of which can be applied "at any scale."

While custom stencils can be shared through social media and cloud services, Morpholio's app comes with a selection of pre-made illustrations and symbols that have been "artfully created for architecture, interiors, industrial and graphic design."

"Here we witness, through art, the power of stencils delivering rigorous detail with extreme efficiency; an almost perfect optimization of craft, process, and drama," said Toru Hasegawa, Morpholio co-creator. Meanwhile, Anna Kenoff, another co-creator said: "Allowing designers to draw and work in a fast and uninhibited space is the path to discovery. We want to bring these opportunities into the digital realm, combining analog process with new media that stays at your fingertips and keeps the creative process flowing."

To download Morpholio's apps, visit their website.

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An exhibition delves into Lebbeus Woods’s Zagreb Free Zone project

Room East, a small gallery at the Lower East Side, presented one of the more focused works by Lebbeus Woods that included both his manifestos, ideology, drawings, and conversations as artifacts. He was invited by a few like-minded architects from Zagreb, Croatia, to come to their city and—in a way—help the standoff in architecture as the result of politics. Room East presents models such as “Zagreb Free Zone Model” made in collaboration with a colleague. Other graphic works complement a fixation with form that is not standard and expected. In a video presented at the exhibition, Woods himself says that he wanted to form invisible social forces of a city that are apparent, but not built in form. To further this aim, Zagreb Free Zone sketchbooks are also on display. They are perhaps the ones that open up emotional learning of Woods being in a foreign country and contributing to the struggle of their own architects. It is a distinct and curious moment in time to observe the ideas of visionary and pioneer work that an architect left. Woods did not depict an optimistic future and utopian architecture for us to dream about. Woods spent his career crafting images in pencil and ink and in models of assumedly realistic conditions of human life that is distinct from the imaginary and widespread utopian dreams. Think of movies such as 12 Monkeys (the design for which Woods was ripped off by Terry Gilliam and then won a legal battle over the abuse of his work). Then take in dark futurism in films such as Resident Evil with Bruce Willis and Milla Jovovich, and The Dark Star by John Carpenter. In all of them, such as in the work shown at Room East gallery, the future is not depicted as bright and rosy. Instead walking into the gallery we are presented with a project for a city of Zagreb itself in 1991 at the beginning of last European war in the Balkans. Woods became a cult figure in places that felt they were left off the map of progress and needed someone to bring architectural struggles with society in conflict as form. This is perhaps why Woods’s premonitions in ink appear distinct from his near contemporary visionaries like Yona Friedman and Claude Parent. The drawings by Woods are dark to begin with and they are more punk than hippy, cynical and warning, rather than happy and optimistic. This dark genre is very well known to American underground scene of graphic novels, and it secured him the attuned attention from the countries that were in the dark situation politically, or perhaps ideologically, such as former Yugoslavia and the Middle East. Woods is adored there as he kept living the way as to how to work out of obscurity, national class inequality, sidelined off-centrism and born out of irrelevance. Wood’s exhibit at the gallery carried well his demeanor, managing to have his work exhibited beyond the bounds of nostalgia, bitterness or melancholy, and as art. The gallery claims that the exhibit is designed according to Woods own instruction. The exhibition also shows exchanges in notes and letters from Woods referring to Leo Modrčin, his student coming from Croatia and instrumental figure in landing Woods the commission for imagining the Zagreb Free Zone project in 1991. This exhibit also shows new and promising interest in architectural work that is graphic and at the forefront of social critique, or perhaps it may be art. Meaning that Western architects, such as Woods, can do work with the conditions in the East that are complementary to their social conditions and not neocolonial. Woods was very conscious of this, as is evident in the interview he did with Fedja Vukić, also on display at the exhibition. The document presents the unease of language used in the exchange between Woods and Vukić as many words are crossed out and edited for clarity. For New York’s nomads and residents in arts and architecture, the visit to this exhibition offers two major opportunities. One, there is a view of the work of an extraordinary architect engaged in a region that would otherwise be a black hole of global interest, but is a source for inspiring ambitions. Two, it is the vision for humanity that may inspire domestic architecture in New York by addressing living standards for the unprivileged class and focus on extraordinary design of those spaces. In that way Woods’s work is not just a graphic delivery, but also a crafted program to take in seriously and work with them when the conditions for Woods’s kind of reality become attainable. The exhibition Lebbeus Woods: Zagreb Free Zone was on view April 19 to May 22, 2016. All works presented at Room East gallery are from the Estate of Lebbeus Woods. Srdjan Jovanovic Weiss is an architect living and working in New York.
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Norwegian architecture firm takes their plans to the streets, literally

When it comes to floor plans, programs such as AutoCAD, Revit, and Rhino usually spring to mind. That, however, doesn't appear to be the case for Norwegian firm Vardehaugen. Based in Oslo, they are using their own office parking lot to mock-up plans, drawing them in chalk and tape. The technique allows the firm, and more importantly, their clients to visualize plans in a one-to-one scale instead of having to interpret them on-screen or at a much smaller scale. According to Slate, Hakon Matre Aasarod, a partner at a Vardehaugen, learned about life-size scale drawings at the Bergen School of Architecture. He described it as a "more abstract way in terms of getting to fully understand a site as a bodily experience.” After becoming a qualified architect, Aasarod said that he "realized the notion of drawing real scale was quite handy not simply in terms of understanding the site but also a way of communicating with clients." He also added that walking through the real life floor plans created “a place to start talking with the client.” "The ability to visualize the unbuilt is an important part of the architectural profession: Both in order to evaluate – and communicate concepts and solutions," say the firm on their website. "However, the bodily sensation of scale or the notion of simply walking through a room cannot be experienced through traditional 3D visualizations or scaled models." "Architecture is not an abstract geometrical size, but something concrete that relates to our bodily existence and the world around us," they add. "We therefore conduct real scale drawings in our backyard to ensure a greater understanding of size and proportions in our projects. This enables us to simply take a stroll through our projects and get a sense of dimensions and spatial sequences, – even before they are built."
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The MoMA’s tribute to Zaha Hadid

The Museum of Modern Art has just put up a small tribute exhibition of the drawings of Zaha Hadid. It foregrounds her powerful image making and evocative and personal drawing style—the most influential of her generation. The tribute includes an exterior painted perspective of her competition entry into the Peak completion (1991) in Kowloon. Next to this painting is a series of 20 colored pencil, graphite, and ink hand drawings for Parc de la Villette, Paris (1982-83). These works—all from the period before her studio turned into an office—showcase working drawings that powerfully point to why she was considered such an important figure in the world of architecture. The exhibition was organized by Sean Anderson and Arièle Dionne-Krosnick of the museum's department of architecture and design.
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What a difference 400 years makes: Modern and medieval London contrasted in hand-drawn cityscapes

[beforeafter]London Bridge and Southwark Cathedral (Courtesy London Metropolitan Archives)(Courtesy Robin Reynolds)[/beforeafter] What would a young William Penn, prolific planner and founder of Pennsylvania—and London native of the 1600s—make of his home town today? He would probably admire how the chaotic life of trade, slums and hackney carriage horses had been reigned in, but chances are, he wouldn't recognise a thing. On view now at London's Guildhall Galleries is Visscher Redrawn, an exhibition offering a view through Penn's eyes thanks to two panoramic views of London taken 400 years apart—from 1616 to 2016. [beforeafter](Courtesy London Metropolitan Archives)(Courtesy Robin Reynolds)[/beforeafter] Dutch artist Claes Jansz Visscher's staggering 6.5-foot-long depiction is taken from an elevated viewpoint in the city and sheds light on the how London looked prior to the Great Fire of 1666 which destroyed much of what is depicted. The image is even more impressive considering Visscher never set foot in Britain. Emulating Visscher, artist Robin Reynolds—who has actually visited London—has completed his own view of London, using the same vantage point as Visscher. London Bridge, for example, has changed dramatically. It's hard to think that it was once a bridge that was a lively place with shops and houses hovering over the Thames. In the foreground of the top view, just left of London Bridge (at the bottom of the picture), is Southwark Cathedral, which was spared by the 17th century conflagration. The cathedral might be the only recognizable architectural element that can be seen in the two views. St. Paul's Cathedral, below, had no such luck. A dominant gothic feature in the 1616 skyline, it was burned to the ground. Poking out, in the same location in Reynold's drawing, is Sir Christopher Wren's variant. [beforeafter]St. Paul's Cathedral (Courtesy London Metropolitan Archives)St. Paul's Cathedral (Courtesy Robin Reynolds)[/beforeafter] Interestingly, after the Great Fire of London, Wren and the incumbent King Charles II had great plans for the capital. Wren drew on his experiences of Paris, envisioning wide boulevards to replace the narrow streets, though this was never realised as businesses were eager to remain in the same location. [beforeafter]The Glove Theater (Courtesy London Metropolitan Archives)Glove Thearer is barely visible today (Courtesy Robin Reynolds)[/beforeafter]