Making plans: “architecture begins and ends in pictures”

French, H (2010) Making plans: “architecture begins and ends in pictures”. In: Spaces of History / Histories of Space: Emerging Approaches to the Study of the Built Environment, 30 April - 1 May 2010, University of California, Berkeley, USA.


This paper was prepared for the Interrogating Theories and Methodologies strand. It explores, briefly, the practical aspects of the production and keeping of architectural drawings as historical evidence of built spaces and their use in the publication of architectural research. It looks at the role that drawings have played in the constructions of histories of architecture in the field of residential design, through a series of published examples the 20th Century ‘picture books’. For architects, the case study - a written appraisal of recent building work, illustrated with drawings and photographs, - has long been the staple of professional magazines and journals. Published studies of new buildings fuel contemporary discourse and in time form the basis of much architectural history. During the last few decades case studies have changed, in particular the carefully drawn black and white plans and sections appear far less frequently. In journals they are often replaced with the more lavish, glossy colour photographs and online, drawings are reduced to low resolution pdfs. We might have expected that the change in production from hand drawings to computers, would have made drawings much more readily available however, this is not the case and the ongoing development of digital technology poses more questions for publishers and for collectors and archivists without software skills and uncertain of the value of a ‘virtual artefact’.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Subjects: N Fine Arts > NA Architecture
Divisions: Bath School of Art and Design
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Date Deposited: 20 Mar 2015 14:11
Last Modified: 19 Feb 2018 16:41
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