ARCH 4509/6509
Special Topics in Visual Representation: Drawing as Parallel Practice

black and white image of a man seated at a desk in a studio with abstract art behind him

Gisele Freund, Le Corbusier in his Studio (1961).

  • Instructor: Dasha Khapalova
  • Time: F 10:10 a.m.–12:05 p.m.
  • Location: 144 East Sibley Hall
  • Credits: 3

This class is based on the premise that a drawing practice, in parallel to an architecture practice, has the capacity to build upon and expand the architect's existing vocabulary of space and form. It is based on the premise that architecture is an authored act, and that form in architecture is informed but still very much subjective. As such, it is the architect's responsibility to be fluent in multiple modes of plastic expression and their spatial ramifications in order to allow for each project to find its own indigenous language rather than approaching it with preconceived notions of style or being limited by a narrow, underdeveloped formal intuition.

This class is based on the premise that as architects, we learn through the hand. It is not enough to look, one must see, and in order to see, one must draw. Through drawing, the spatial and formal lessons embedded in the subject are appropriated, digested, and become available for future invention.

In this class, we will be making drawings, not sketches, because the making of a drawing in and of itself becomes a compositional, structural, formal, and spatial project. Students will be asked to select a subject for the semester's work, the only limitations being that it cannot be a building and must be able to be drawn from observation. It is expected that each project will develop its own course as the semester progresses, but the general arc will be drawing from observation, drawing from drawing, and forays into three-dimensional experimentation. Medium will be project specific and will extend to include the use of color.

Each weekly class meeting will consist of a short lecture, followed by critique of drawings. It is expected that students have a basic drawing proficiency, therefore either ARCH 1501, 5511, or the equivalent is a prerequisite for the course.

This course is by permission only. For consideration, please email a statement of interest that includes a preliminary idea for the semester's drawing subject as well as a brief portfolio of drawing examples by the end of the first day of class.

Instructor permission required:

ARCH 1501, 5511, or the equivalent is a prerequisite for the class. For consideration, please email a statement of interest that includes a preliminary idea for the semester's drawing subject as well as a brief portfolio of drawing examples by the end of the first day of class. Students must attend the first class.

View a PDF of this class description.