Using Codes to Draw Architecture

General / People / Places / January 4, 2019

Here we have a show of architects who are drawing from present technology to explore the look of future forms.

Two associate professors at California College for the Arts have challenged 24 architecture firms across the nation to create sketches from codes – for an exhibition that will debut on Jan. 22 at The Cooper Union.

This is Volume II of their efforts; the first, held last year, consisted of a similar number of architects, mostly from California.

These 24 were winnowed down from about 75 invited firms. “They’re engaging in computational work in interesting and critical ways,” says Adam Marcus about the architects engaged the exhibition. “We narrowed the field down to be geographically diverse, with people more established, but also a more emerging and expansive range.”

The criteria were as strict as Volume I: Consistent dimensions, black and white media and limiting the drawing to two-dimensions.

“We wanted them to create a new drawing that addresses the use of code in their design process, with everything from creating robots, cutting paper up and using it as a relief or silhouette, or construction documents within the set,” he says. “They had to be photographic, and not perspective, and held together as a set to see the diversity possible from each section.”

Among the entrants were Howeler + Yoon’s “Please Swing Responsibly,” a set of icons about how a project can be used, should be used and should not be used.

There’s “Gestural GPS” from Heather Roberge/Murmur, basically a kind of record of different ways of visualizing a 3-D form in space. “It’s a Greek vessel, and the drawing indicates different ways of visualizing, depending on the visual point of view of the camera,” he says.

In tandem with the exhibition, the School of Architecture at Cooper Union will present a gallery roundtable on January 29, followed by a reception. Curators Adam Marcus and Andrew Kudless will present a brief overview of the exhibition and broader Drawing Codes project, with responses by Michael Young of The Cooper Union, Sean Anderson, Ashley Bigham and Erik Hermann of Outpost Office, Stephanie Lin, and V. Mitch McEwan.

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Michael Welton




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