Drawing a place, an object, a person, can be many things: it is a simple naming of something [bezeichnen] or a more concrete identification [kennzeichnen]. It involves making technical mistakes and still getting something in return [verzeichnen], an imitation, but actually even more than that [abzeichnen], retracing whatever seems worthy [nachzeichnen], changing an appearance into something more precise [scharfzeichnen] or softer [weichzeichnen] or one of the many things inbetween. By drawing we make sure to be on the same page [gegenzeichnen]and we try to document our observations for future times [aufzeichnen], but sometimes I am not sure if its possible. And [überschreiben], overwriting what has already been, doesn’t it always leave traces behind and define something new, as [gezeichnet]?
What does drawing mean in times of high-quality renderings and CAD? What is drawing for an architect and what is an architect for drawing?
By drawing we communicate. Which conflict are we facing, what process, what relationships? Lines expand and wander off , a pattern rhythmically shapes an object, tension is created and, slowly, a storyline developes..What is happening and, even more important, how is the happening connotated? Drawing is fiction and reality at the same time.
While drawing, questions come up:What is a good drawing, a finished drawing? When does drawing become uneconomic? How much sense does a style make if it can easily be recreated using a photoshop filter? How much sense does a non-visible layer make? Is drawing always lying and is it easier to lie by drawing from memory? What is more important in an architectural drawing: building, space or human? Does a story need images and do images need a story?
But the line between those two is fluid. Facing hyper-realistic visualizations it is easy to forget that we are entering a highly speculative field. And even without rendering engines the story appears plausible if details interlock and form a bigger context. No matter how it is being told, a story is still just a story.
If everything is fiction anyways, why do we keep reproducing the same images? Bright please, ordered, spaceous, balanced. Is that really the world or are we conditioning ourselves to accept something deeply surreal as realistic while distancing ourselves from the surreal aspects of reality? Assuming, that “realistic” is not a criteria for an architectural drawing’s value, what is?