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    Random Week 2 Thoughts

    By suzmudpud
    Sep 1, '05 9:02 PM EST

    So far, Year 2 of the 3.5 MARCH program seems a bit more manageable than the heinous Year 1. Frequent flashes of "ohmygod i can't believe i'm actually watching a movie and not doing architecture-should i be feeling guilty right now? actually i guess i'm ok, at least for now...but damn i really suck at structures i should probably be reviewing beams right now...hmmm..." continually distracted me while watching HERO last weekend.

    Tho honestly, aren't we all "doing architecture", all the time? Passions/obsessions don't rest for long and any little thing may at any moment (moment about a or b, or would it be the hinge at c sigh) trigger the sleeping dragon. During HERO, it was my silent vow to someday create a space with the feeling of "the emperor's throne room with the blowing green fabric" during the final sword fighting scene...

    I've created a curious and wonderful juxtaposition for myself this semester. I'm taking Digital Design from a late-90s graduate of Columbia's MARCH program while also taking Studio from our professor emeritus who left his native Lithuania for the West during WWII.

    Our "textbook" for Digital Design is WIRED Magazine, while our studio shopping list includes the purchase a fountain pen and fountain pen ink (not India ink, whatever that is) for our design work. As you might imagine, all drawings are to be done by hand.

    Having worked in high tech for many years, I'm a digital person almost by nature. However, I think there's a lot to be said for the learning and pragmatic value of hand-drawing and -drafting. And maybe I'm being sentimental here but purely out of respect for the profession and for our predecessors over the past few thousand years, I believe we should (dare I say) even take joy in floundering our way through a hand-drafted plan or perspective sketch.

    Does anyone else have thoughts on this? Is hand drawing/drafting a waste of valuable time?


    • Marlin

      a kind of thinking happens when we wait for an ink like to dry. We think about the line, its permanence, it's certainty. We have no interest in redrawing it. That sucks. Thus, i think often the amount of integrity we place in a manually drafted drawing has to be different than CAD applications.

      Enjoy manual drafting. Some people still find value in it, like me, but it's certainly a value formed from self-discovery. Sure, the predecessors hand drafted for a few hundred years, but they were trying to draw in the likeness of a machine. Now there's a machine to draft the drawings, maybe even build the buildings.
      The flipside is, me with my rapidographs. Auto cad can generate 256 different lineweights at the touch of a button. Sometimes im a kid in a candy store, and plotting time is one of them. And, the fountain tip wont explode in a shower of tiny ink speckles at the tail end of a perfect line, the last line in a perfect Meisian structural plan.

      lightest lineweight first, heaviest section cut lineweight last. Fade your lighter spraypaint color over the darker color always. Smoother fades

      ~marlin watson

      Sep 9, 05 4:34 am  · 

      I have a strong connection with my hand. It moves as I think. I find the computer removes that strong connection. Not necessarily a bad thing, no, sometimes that objectivity is good.

      Oct 9, 05 8:06 pm  · 

      I'm an alum of UNM's 3.5 yr MArch program, and was glad to see your postings! I'm currently a PhD student at the University of Michigan, researching professional architectural education. If you're interested, I'd be glad to exchange thoughts, ideas, experiences about the program, as I think it might be helpful to both of our work.

      Jan 4, 06 12:24 pm  · 

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