August 30, 2018
by Canadian Architect
Expanding on the well-established discussion of the translation from drawings to buildings, the Frascari Symposium IV — organized by the Department of Architecture and Landscape, Kingston School of Art — questions the significance of the lives of drawings and models- before, during and after construction. Where drawings and models dwell in relation to buildings, impacts their seminality and their potential future translations, from drawing to building, building to drawing. In this process of multi-directional and multi-temporal constructions, who has ownership of the drawings and models, and where do they belong?
Nowadays, architectural drawings often reside in private, or public archives, and in museum collections housing the body of work of individual architects. This is the case with many collections, including the works of the Modernist masters of architecture. Archives are progressively making their physical collections digitally accessible online facilitating research and potentially having a tangible impact on the future teaching of architecture.
Architectural drawings can sometimes be found in hidden compartments inside the newel post of staircases in buildings from the Victorian up to the Modern period. The attention to maintaining architectural drawings in buildings shifted to the pragmatic aspects of construction drawings. Nowadays a set of working drawings may be kept in mechanical rooms.
The on-site presence of elected representations is emblematic of the process of on-site inventory in its dual nature of cultural recollection and fostering of future imaginings. The storytelling of the site, the site of building construction and the edifice exist in various relations to each other extending the lives of drawings in meaningful ways beyond the time of construction, which is often perceived as an end to the translational relations between them. The continuity and contiguity of drawings, models and building may define an extended site, which is open even after construction has ended.
The digital age is characterized by a ubiquitous site of drawing production. Even though it is now possible to reproduce digital drawings and models in multiple originals, facilitating the construction of a twinned theory and pondering its significance, digital drawings and models might not remain fully accessible long into the future due to the rapid obsolescence implied by software development. Archives are faced with the challenge of what and how much to preserve.
Architects and scholars are invited to consider these questions before they become an archival question and plan for the representations that inform the future of an extended site in becoming, if past and future are to engage in meaningful relations. A new criticality requires moving beyond the either/or option of the office, the laboratory, the factory, the construction site as separate fabrication and archival sites. The contemporary architect moves between them looking for a critical presence on the construction site, before, during and after construction.
CALL FOR ABSTRACTS
The Frascari Symposium IV – ‘The Secret Lives of the Architectural Drawings and Models – From Translating to Archiving, Collecting and Displaying’, taking place in mid- June 2019 at the Department of Architecture and Landscape at Kingston University, London, UK, invites scholars, educators, curators and practicing architects to submit an abstract in English of up to four hundred seventy-four words and up to two images addressing one of the four categories of the event:
- Drawing sites and sites of knowledge construction: the drawing, the office, the lab, the construction site, and the archive.
- The afterlife of drawings and models: archiving, collecting, exhibiting and teaching.
- The architect’s ethical responsibilities: authorship, ownership, copyrights and rights to copy.
- Tools of making: Relation between architectural representations and their apparatus over time.
Please submit abstracts for blind peer review no later than October 11, 2018.
The above text was original published on the Frascari Symposium’s official website, linked here. More information about submissions is also available via the link.