Athanasiou Geolas: The Making of Discourse

Black and white drawing of woman at desk writing

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On the Steps Event Series

In his seminal essay, "Translations from Drawing to Building" (1997), Robin Evans emphasizes what he terms a "manner of working." In his aspirational model for writing architectural history, Evans argues that each drawing attended to by the architect would be "not so much a work of art or a truck for pushing ideas from place to place," but instead as "the locale of subterfuges and evasions." For Evans, architecture demands a history of political skill and social engagement measured against strategic evasions.

What is it to say that a drawing is also a way of working; a practice, a habit, a discipline? When we ask about the differences between drawing and recent digital techniques, or representation and simulation, it is not the drawings or even the concepts they embed or communicate, but rather a practice that is at stake.

Athanasiou Geolas is a Ph.D. student in the History of Architecture and Urban Development program working at the intersection of unwieldy institutions and the body of the registered architect in the 19th and early-20th centuries. In this presentation, he reinterprets Robin Evans's essay, "Translations from Drawing to Building," and argues for an alternative account of Evans as a theorist of architectural practice.