Drawing Space: Disclosing Architecture; To think is to search, to draw is to find


Corpo Atelier for ‘drawing space: disclosing architecture’ @ Boston Architectural College

Architecture is as much grounded on conceptual thought as it is in concrete reality. In such logic, every convincing depiction of a possible architectural composition, regardless of the selected medium of representation, should be informed and inclusive of both of these aspects, juxtaposing them into a single, complementary and expressive narrative. If one accepts the premisse of  this logic, an architectural drawing or sketch necessarily starts with the selection of a photo fragment (representation of concrete reality) that contains in itself critical information about a specific site or material, manipulated and glued into a piece of paper, to which, after careful contemplation, one reacts through a series of consequential added marks (representation of conceptual thought). The process then repeats moments of contemplation and (re)action, that is, searching and finding, until something either good, truthful or beautiful can be found.

‘Hay Stacks Making Stairs’ will be on show at the McCormick Gallery, Boston Architectural College until January 2nd 2019.


What is your most important tool?

A fragment of the specific reality in which we are to operate. The act of select and collecting a fragment, either an actual physical object brought from the site and/or a photograph of a certain element we want to work with, marks the first conceptual intention towards the project because it unveils, in itself, already a critical attitude. To select one and not another fragment hints at the possibility that in the chosen one, there might be critical information that will trigger some kind of consequential conceptual reaction. A fragment is always the beginning.

How would you define your practice?

As an architecture and art studio focused on the exploration and expansion of the architectural anatomy and it´s possibilities. Thus the name of the practice: Corpo (body).

What is for you the value of the drawing?

If one perceives thinking as searching, drawing is then finding how such thoughts could be represented in the world. In this process, thinking and drawing, that is, searching and finding, happen almost simultaneously. Instantly, by making marks, one always finds something – either what he was looking for or, in most cases, what he was not, but something nevertheless. Other tools might provide findings as well but perhaps not with the degree of immediacy drawing can provide.

What is your work flow?

As far as the conceptual aspect of our practice goes, the process always start with the fragment I´ve mentioned in the beginning. From there, we carefully manipulate the fragment in order to extract from it the most essencial information. Conceptual thought happens then as a direct reaction to these altered fragments, introducing a different set of information along which the project slowly develops. A single representation is then formed out of the combination of these two mediums, a representation of reality and a representation of an idea, overlapped but both clearly defined and identifiable as distinct. From there on the project is broadly defined in it´s essence.

What is the difference between a drawing conceived digitally or within the physical?

In both physical and digital depictions, usually, one can clearly perceive the content, that is, the general idea intended to be communicated. However, perhaps only in a physical drawing complementary information can be unveiled. Hesitations here and there recorded on the paper, errors that could not be fully erased, overlaps of information, small notations on the corners, and so on. Such aspects are always absent in a digital depiction because of the ctrl. Z possibility. In a certain way, through the contemplation of a physical depiction one can read time in the drawing. The superposition of the various marks identifies the authors convictions shifting here and there, where one mark (one idea that is) immediately gives place to a second mark (consequential, more assertive, idea) that overlaps, changes and/or continues the former, creating graphically something close to the actual process of imagining something. There is, in this process, a great degree of honesty and emotion in which a digital tool could not fairly operate.

What value does the exhibition hold for you?

From the accumulation of drawings in the office space over time, we came to consider that, after they fulfilled they’re practical purpose of informing a project, they seem to persist, to gane some kind of aesthetic and conceptual independence. Perhaps, these drawings (and the same goes for the models) can became an autonomous body of work, even when dissociated from the project they so strongly relate to. In that sense, such an exhibition is a good opportunity for us to assess and test that possibility with an audience.

What can be for you a digital exhibition?

As the digital tools are more and more a part of the works themselves, specially in the case of architectural depictions, digital exhibitions became ever more inevitable. The advantage is perhaps the various layers of information one can get from such a platform because physical work doesn’t have to be congregated in a real confined space. Digital exhibitions can piece together more complementary information – such as this interview associated to the works, for example – that the visitor can unfold according to his degree of curiosity on the subject he´s contemplating. It doesn’t replace, as it shouldn’t, the actual experience of a physical work, but it provides other great advantages that should be explored.

What are your thoughts on digital platforms, as that of KooZA/rch?

We tend to be immersed with various images every day, through our personal digital platforms. Random images without great connection between them. Platfforms such as KooZA/rch and others provide a sense and connection between a set of images and their theoretical content. Such if definitely refreshing and helpful, as well as democratic: it provides information accessible to all as well as each author a platform to share it, according to a specific curation guideline. The more such platforms become specific in their type of content, the more interesting and unique they became, and therefore, interesting.