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Course Detail

Term Winter 2018
Class ARCH 409
Class Title Direct Drawing
Description Drawing is a fundamental necessity in the life of an architect.

But what do we mean when we say “drawing?” Drawing in Architecture 409 means translating three dimensions into two. We will be sitting together and drawing from life, acquiring the skill to use observation of the built world as our textbook. The aim, as students of architecture, is take note of the world around and use drawing as a framework for formal analysis and engagement. Our primary source for discussion will be our own drawn responses.

Premier Coup, a painting pedagogy championed by Charles Hawthorne in the early 20th century argues for the value of “first strike,” working directly from life, in situ, with no offsite revision. Our Michigan course will slice and dice the containers of our daily lives to illuminate relationships among form, behavior, meaning, and procedures of analysis that relate technique and vision.

Class time will be devoted to in situ, prolonged drawing sessions of singular topics. It will include critiques and presentations. After a sequence of drawing assignments, each student will identify a subject. Our key goals will be reconciling differences between what we see and the true measure of a place, diagramming essential structures both physical and experiential, and acquiring speed and clarity in communication.

The most important objective of the course will be to develop a mindset for visual thinking. We will choose “on the road” sites, near and far, as our collective drawing ground. All drawing will be freehand (with a wide range of media) and from direct observation - live responses to real observations. The one exception will be your studio topic, and within that arena, you may draw from the imagination.

The course will begin with a basic drawing review, followed by drawing buildings and sites around Ann Arbor. We end with self -directed investigations of topics resulting from your observations. Final products will take three forms: a compiled sketchbook from the semester’s drawings, another book recording a daily subject or type of drawing, and a blog.
Prereq none entered yet
Crosslist none
Required No
Elective Yes
Selective No
Meets Tuesdays 2:30-5:30pm 1360 A&AB
Credits 3
Faculty Melissa Harris
Syllabus not available
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