Drawing as thinking

Steven Holl, Mary-Ann Ray, and Nicholas Olsberg discuss the role of hand drawing in Michael Graves' work.

January 4, 2015

Recorded in November 2014.

Past as Prologue was a symposium held in November 2014 in honor of Michael Graves on the occasion of his fiftieth year in practice. Organized by The Architectural League and hosted by Parsons The New School for Design, the day brought together architects, designers, educators, writers, and others to celebrate Graves’ remarkable and distinctive body of work.

In this video, presentations by architect Steven Holl, architect and artist Mary-Ann Ray, and writer and historian Nicholas Olsberg, bring the role of hand drawing into focus.  Holl shares the origins and development of recent works through the drawings and watercolors he makes for each project.  Ray, a former student of Graves, details how drawing acts within her own analytical processes and creative thinking, including through her field work completing measurements and photo documentation of Hadrian’s Villa. Olsberg uses a series of historical examples to describe the varied practices and attitudes of architects toward drawing, including Graves’ own process of discovery through sketching.

The three then discuss drawing in contemporary education and practice, including what is lost in digital design and representation.