Drawing Conclusions: A Student’s Introduction to the Realities of Their Designs

By Chad Schwartz.

Published by Design Principles and Practices: An International Journal — Annual Review

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In his book “The Thinking Hand”, Juhani Pallasmaa states that, “[w]hile drawing, a mature designer and architect is not focused on the lines of the drawing, as he is envisioning the object itself, and in his mind holding the object in his hand or occupying the space being designed.” How then does the beginning design student gain the insight necessary to interpret these representations, these lines on paper? In the field of architectural education, we take on the responsibility of helping these students begin to develop a process of translating the lines they draw into a conscious projection of the resultant construction. This research paper presents a project developed for an introductory building technology course which aims to help second year architecture and interior design students start to make these connections. Through a series of translations, nine groups of students transformed a simple schematic wall section drawing into a fully built construct and, in the process, made intimate and lasting connections between the virtual and the real in the design and construction of a simple architectural work.

Keywords: Architecture, Construction, Design Education

Design Principles and Practices: An International Journal — Annual Review, Volume 7, 2013, pp.19-28. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 1015.686KB).

Chad Schwartz

Assistant Professor, School of Architecture,, College of Applied Sciences and Arts, Southern Illinois University, Carbondale, IL, USA