"...drawing is a form of thinking, not merely a record and presentation of a thought already completed. This should be no surprise, since we are used to the idea that speech, writing, mathematical reasoning, carving and hand-crafting are all ways of thinking, not records after the event. ...Indeed it could be argued that if one is not drawing...certain thoughts are somehow 'unthinkable'."
Groak, S. The Idea of Building
The workshop will run from Thursday 6th - Tuesday 25th September. It comprises eight 'acts'. On the first day of each act we will elaborate upon the aims. The workshop will be documented daily through this page. A selection of the most exquisite, challenging, and investigative drawings will be posted.
the eight acts :
[click here to view the brief only]
In conjunction with the workshop a series of lectures have been organised. These will all be held at Auditoriet, Norreport.
Karl Normanton [UK] - 'sharpening lead, a life on the boards' . thursday 6th september 1500hrs.
Mikkel Frost [DK] - title forthcoming. thursday 13th september 1315hrs.
Jane Willumsgaard [DK] - 'at gribe det rumligt oplevede'. tuesday 18th september 1315hrs.
Mark West [CA] - 'surviving logic'. tuesday 25th september 1315hrs.
The workshop will begin with a survey of a found site. The site acts as the ground for an event that is social and temporal. It is an event that has codes of etiquette with which we are intimately familiar. The survey will force you to observe critically, and to become aware of the blindness that can develop as a result of habit.
The initial task is to survey the site of a meal and then the meal itself - its sequences, its formalities, its gaps, its participants, its conversations, its hidden spaces. Draw three surveys.
The 'survey act' commenced with a 5 minute warm-up exercise -
draw the hand of the person next to you, drawing the hand of the person....
Sites are found and the first tentative studies begin.
Karl Normanton kicked off the lecture series with 'sharpening lead, a life on the boards'. He presented collaborative work produced with Ian Laurence from their time in Unit 14 at the Bartlett School of Architecture, and discussed the various roles that drawings assumed in the development of their work.
Post-lecture, back in the studio, and some of the surveying techniques are begining to acquire a certain 'novelty'...
...whilst some sites remain untouched.
The surveys resume in earnest, with some sites having to be renewed after a visit by unforgiving cleaners.
The review is scheduled for 1500.
The review begins. The intent of the majority of drawings is clear, but there are general issues with precision - both in observation and execution. There is also a complete absence of scale definition. All are encouraged to revisit their drawings post-review.
You are asked to find a tool. Analyse, through drawing, how this tool can be used and how it acts upon a working plane - uses might be invented for your found tool.
A tool embodies knowledge of a certain practice. It has purpose. It is used to transform what it operates on. There is an implicit temporal aspect to this activity. Record and discuss these aspects through drawing. Consider the interfaces of the tool [you/tool and tool/material]. Become aware of yourself using the tool as you investigate various techniques of usage. Test beyond the obvious.
You will be using these spatial and temporal records to develop a formal notation to discuss how the tool can operate in conjunction with body and material.
The notation developed in the previous act is now employed to construct a drawing of intent. This is a drawing that presents a series of instructions on how to manipulate a drawing surface. Consider how you represent sequential actions and the gradual transformation of material.
What are the transforms and where do they occur?
What are the spatial relationships between operator / tool / material?
How do they change over time?
Your notation should describe the critical aspects of what you consider to be the important qualities and attributes that you wish to have constructed. Ensure that the the necessary information is conveyed for others to understand. The development of the notation will require many, quick, iterations. This drawing will form a contract between you and the maker of the next drawing.
You are now in receipt of another architect's instructions. Congratulations.
Using the drawing-of-intent that you have been given, begin to operate on one of your original survey drawings produced at the beginning of the workshop. Through action, investigate attributes of transformation and begin to record them.
Consider, for example, how explicit are the instructions?...do they give you scope to invent?
The interaction between maker / tool / found material [the drawing] is likely to produce unpredictable results. These should be enjoyed and critically investigated further through drawing.
Determine attributes within this process, and give them verbal descriptors. You may choose to isolate them in order to investigate them further.
Reclaim your drawing-of-intent. Begin to operate on another one of your original survey drawings produced at the beginning of the workshop. In this case you are interpreting your own instructions.
As a result of the transactions over the last two weeks none of you can claim a neutral position.
Each of you will have interpreted, and been interpreted.
The format of the crit will be as follows: the drawing developed by your 'contractor' and the last drawing develop by yourself should be placed together. The common drawing-of-intent must also be presented.
Both you and your contractor will discuss your intents and interpretations - other egos will participate.
The crit will have raised questions and presented opportunities [often described by the unimaginative as 'problems'] for development. You have three days in which to re-address your work.