PhD Seminars 2023–24

DRAWING MATTERS. Drawing practice as knowledge producer (en)

URA Dialogues #3 – Methodology Seminar



Info

Dates
Thursday 1st February 2024
Location
Fondation Jeanne & Charles Vandenhove
Hotel Torrentius – Rue Saint-Pierre, 15
4000 Liège
Duration
4 heures
Schedule
Afernoon (updates soon)
Price
Free upon registration (temporarily suspended)

This third PhD seminar (to be held in English) of the URA Dialogues 2023-24 cycle deals with issues of methodology. It explores the role of drawing in architectural thought/practice and its relevance as knowledge producer within a “Research by Drawing” process.

Guest lecturers:

Organizers: Philippe Vander Maren (Faculty of Architecture, ULiège), in collaboration with the Jeanne & Charles Vandenhove Foundation (Liège) and ETH-Zürich (studio Jan de Vylder).

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Presentation

Drawing

Drawing is the means by which the architect defines his role.  He doesn’t build – he draws.

P.V. Aureli quoted in E. Heathcote “Architects’ drawings in the digital age”, Financial Times, 19.01.2016

Today, in the light of the numerous debates surrounding architectural drawing and its role within the design process, it seems increasingly difficult not to perceive its capacity of outlining a particular design position, not to appreciate the moment when it ceases to be a drawing « of architecture » to become « architecture » per se. Along the same line of thought —and within the « research by design » debate— we could easily question its potentially « active » role towards the production of new knowledge.

Situated between (the space of) thought and (the space of) construction, the drawing constitutes —at the outset— the tool orienting the project. However, different methods of representation entail different relations between the drawing and its author : freehand drawing, for instance, establishing a dialogue of unstable back-and-forth movements, or technical drawing describing —instead— well measured assemblages, subject to gravity.  A relationship linked to the architect’s desire to appropriate (or re-appropriate) the conduct of the process, in the service of the project.  It’s precisely within the folds of this relationship that the author sometimes becomes spectator, faced with a drawing that —occasionally— gains its « autonomy ».  Not the « fixed » autonomy of the presentation and representation of the project, but a « creative » one, having transformative effects on the author himself.

While in the arts the autonomy of the artwork is generally not called into question, in architecture —being the drawing regarded as a means of control over the project— the relationship between the architect and his drawing is seldom considered outside its unambiguous instrumentality.  But what happens when the relationship is reversed, when drawing takes over and the author becomes spectator?  What happens when the drawing takes a trajectory « hors cadre » and reveals (un)expected directions for the project?   

Another spatial reality

Chimæra simultaneously visualizes different, spatial, and imaginative elements in one image. (...) The work is then not only the description of itself, but also the definition of possible realities of space.

G. Paolini in : Paolini, G. et al. 1980, Giulio Paolini, Stedelijk Museum, 10 April-26 May. [Exhibition catalogue].  Amsterdam: Stedelijk Museum editions

Taking as its starting point the positions and works of three architects —Martino Tattara (DOGMA, KULeuven) Adrien Verschuere (BAUKUNST, EPFL) and Jan De Vylder (AJDVIV, ETH-Zürich)— this session aims to reflect on the role of drawing as « knowledge producer » and —more specifically— on a kind of drawing ceasing to be a space of security to become a place for reflection, on a kind of drawing renouncing to its role of safeguard to reveal a new dimension of learning and therefore of research. Three relationships author-drawing will be explored: the mental relationship, linked to metaphorical and conceptual drawing, referring to enigmatic spatial dimensions, often escaping reality; the anatomical relationship linked to refined, technical drawing of plastic precision, devoted to the dissection of reality; and the occasional relationship of hybrid drawing, of collage, oriented towards improvisation and exploration.The debate will be led by a wide range of participants involved in the practice and study of drawing, including doctoral students, archive researchers, artists, and practitioners (ENSA Paris-La Villette, ENSA Lille, ETHZ, EPFL, KUL, LOCI, UGent, UANTWERPEN, RWTH Aachen University, CIVA and Drawing Matter).

DRAWING MATTERS

3 ARCHITECTS, 3 RESEARCHERS, 3 ARCHIVES
A DIALOGUE IN TWO STEPS

2 pm

WELCOME SPEACH

  • Pierre Hallot (Dean, Faculty of Architecture, ULiège)
  • Éric Le Coguiec (Vice-dean for research, Faculty of Architecture, ULiège)
  • Philippe Vander Maren (Fondation Vandenhove, ULiège)
  • Martina Barcelloni Corte (ULiège–URA)

2.15 pm

TABLE 1
WHEN DRAWING TAKES OVER

3 EXPLORATIONS

  • « ANDATA E RITORNO »: Jan De Vylder  (JDVIV, ETHZ)
  • « PRIMA DONNA»: Martino Tattara  (Dogma, KULeuven) 
  • « ANATOMICO »: Adrien Verschuere  (Baukunst, EPFL) 

Moderator: Carlo Menon (Accattone magazine, ULB)

3.45 pm

Coffee break

 

4 pm

TABLE 2
RESEARCH BY DRAWING

3 OPEN QUESTIONS

  • Andrea Anselmo (UCLouvain–LOCI)
  • Joris Kerremans & Hong Wan Chan (UGENT)
  • Maarten Van Den Driessche (UGENT)

Moderator: Carlo Menon (Accattone magazine, ULB)

5 pm

CONCLUSIONS


  • Christoph Fink
  • Daniel Buren
5.15 pm Happy hour

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