04/29: Sketching the Detail

More sketches from the “Design Thinking” sketching/field trip class. The first shows an adjustable connection to a modern piece of furniture, in this case a clamp as part of a free standing lamp. The second sketch is of a hand rail detail at the John Paul II Center in Northeast DC. Both drawings make use of the exploded isometric view, showing elements pulled away from their normal positions to allow a better understand of all components and their means of connection.

Furniture Joint JPII Center Furniture Joint

The term ‘axonometric’ is often used, but refers to drawings which include an accurate representation of the object in plan view, while isometric drawings distorts the plan to make things look a bit more ‘natural’. A much, much better explanation of the difference can be found in this image. Both links are to the

04/28: Sketches from Undergrad

In undergrad at CUArch students used to take a sketching field trip class during the first semester of their second year. (The program has since been reshuffled a few times, it is hard to tell which classes have changed and which have simply had their names changed.) The ambiguously titled “Design Thinking” had Eric Jenkins take students around Washington DC to sketch specific buildings and spaces. I hope I still have that sketchbook, but until I find it I have a few scans, one from the Washington Islamic Center on Massachusetts Ave, and the other from the Scottish Rite Temple on 16th St.

Threshold Scottish Rite Temple

04/12: Notes

The Slingshot is a daily planner with an anarchist theme citing historical episodes of radical protest or revolution on each day of the year. A friend of mine had one and used it religiously, but I never bothered to track one down for my own use. I did need something that could fit in my pocket, so I took an exacto-knife to a composition notebook and ended up with three planners. I used the first one for a year and half, filling it with random thoughts, obligations, plans, sketches and reminders. It slipped out of my pocket while biking to school, and I mourned its loss. The one I use now is the third (the second lasted a week before I lost that one) and final, very worn but has so far made it to 5 continents and remains just over half full. Hopefully it survives another year and a half of use and abuse.

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01/13: Chefchaouen, or The Blue City

Chefchaouen is  a small city in northern Morocco with a breathtakingly beautiful old city, where whitewashed walls are covered with indigo dyes to create a blue labyrinth. The history of the city includes a sizable Jewish and Morisco quarter during the 15th century, and Spanish occupation in the 20th century. This history created an urban fabric that mixed the chaotic and maze like medina quarter with more western styled public courtyards and small plazas.

I have never been to Chefchaouen, however a class I took this past semester required that students sketch from a slide show, rather than traveling to a site and sketching the physical environment. This means that position and perspective are given, and it becomes an exercise in deciding how much and how detailed should the sketch become. Is it still an honest sketch? There is an idea of accurate representation remaining faithful to the photo, as opposed to an evocative representation, attempting to capture some sense of dynamism or emotion into a scene. I’m not sure I succeeded in either attempt, but it is a very interesting question of what is the highest sense of truth behind an image.

IMG_0321 IMG_0281 IMG_0341Images courtesy of Professor Valerio Morabito.

img007 img014 img004Sketches by the author.