A New Visibility: The Productive Space of Drawing

By Tonia Carless.

Published by Spaces and Flows: An International Journal of Urban and ExtraUrban Studies

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

This paper starts from the consideration of the drawings of architects and urban designers and how precisely they prefigure actual realised space. It will use Henri Lefebvre’s notions of constructions of space, the significance of drawing and the space within the medium itself.
It will examine a number of architectural drawing projects, most significantly a travelling panorama rotunda (mechanically drawn), which will expand upon Lefebvre’s notions of space and will be transferable as an analytical drawing tool.

The paper will use drawing to analyze the political and productive relations of space and the space of the drawing itself. It is constructed from the point of view that architecture and urban design are both a potential communication medium, and will explore the discursive space of this through the drawing and abstract representations of the space (the media of the design professions). It frames drawing as part of a process of encoding information and considers what the functions and knowledges of these drawings might be. One of the intentions of the drawing study has been to develop a new visibility of a space, including the social consequences (the flows of bodies in space) of urban design. Visibility in the drawings is concerned with the visibility of social relations.

Keywords: Architect, Drawing, Space, Representation, Social Relations

Spaces and Flows: An International Journal of Urban and ExtraUrban Studies, Volume 1, Issue 1, pp.141-156. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 1.493MB).

Dr. Tonia Carless

Senior Lecturer, Architecture Department, Oxford Brookes University, Oxford, UK

Tonia Carless is a 0.4 Senior Lecturer in Architecture at Oxford Brookes University Department of Architecture and is Unit Leader for an Undergraduate vertical design unit, where she has taught for eight years. She has been a practicing Architectural Designer and researcher for more than 15 years. In 2004 she completed a practice based PhD in Architecture, with a scholarship bursary at the University of The West of England. This work included the design and construction of an ‘event’ architecture, architectural representation and a written thesis. It was an analysis of the production of space and developed a critique through architectural production. She has presented papers to refereed conferences, as well as contributions to exhibitions on the subject of public space. She was awarded a Post Graduate Diploma in Architecture with distinction, from South Bank University, in 1990 and a BA (Honours) degree in Architecture from Manchester Metropolitan University in 1988. She has been a Visiting Critic and Lecturer at Westminster School of Architecture, Bath University School of Architecture, The University of the West of England MA Landscape Studies, MA Fine Art in Context, B Arch and BA Architecture and Liverpool University, as well as Lecturer in Architecture and Design at The University of Central England.