Lab05
Hard and disagreeable labour: a laboratory exploring drawing conventions
Convenor:
Raymond Lucas (University of Manchester)
Format:
Labs
Location:
Pitt Rivers Museum Beatrice Blackwood Room
Start time:
18 September, 2018 at 13:30
Session slots:
1

Short abstract:

This lab addresses one of the most enduring descriptive practices: drawing. The focus will be on drawing conventions used in architecture and design for the depiction of space and form. The lab will consist of a series of practical exercises and discussion of drawing as knowledge production.

Long abstract:

This lab addresses one of the most enduring descriptive practices: drawing. There has been a recent upsurge in interest in drawing within anthropology and the social sciences after a long period of neglect, but drawing is often misunderstood: it is more than a representational practice: it is a form of understanding manifest through the traces of gestures. In his work on 'The Elements of Drawing', John Ruskin helpfully reminds us: 'Do not, therefore, think that you can learn drawing, any more than a new language, without some hard and disagreeable labour.'

Ruskin 1971[1857]:26 This lab will focus on drawing conventions used in architecture and design for the depiction of space and form. Conventions are sets of commonly understood and agreed codes which allow drawings to be made and then understood. If you are unaware of the underlying logic of a cross-section, your reading of it will be impaired. Each convention describes in a different manner, offering opportunities to highlight certain features: the spatial relationships and potential movements available to plans; the rhythm, context, and composition of the elevation; the interior volumes and structure revealed by cross-sections. In addition to these orthographic projections, one further form shall be explored: parallel projections such as isometric and axonometric. Each exercise will be consist of a discussion of what it means to draw in this way, and practical instruction on how to do it.