Designing Living Bricks: The Architectural Drawing as Conversational Platform

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The paper argues that the architectural drawing, as a technology for thinking and communicating design ideas between project stakeholders, has remained largely untouched by the advent of Actor-network theory (ANT) and the so-called ‘ethnographic turn.’ Rather than changing to reflect a distributed understanding of agency or the lived on-goingness of projects and buildings, the drawing continues to describe a simple line (from agent to patient) and to congeal into artifacts used to impart commands, increase the architect’s status or construct brands (the monologue-drawing and the brand-drawing). From the perspective of Living Architecture, an EU-funded research scheme combining architecture, bio-energy and synthetic biology, the paper proposes new modes of drawing (the medium-drawing, the exaptation-drawing and the seed-drawing) that challenge binary abstractions and demand that the architect relinquish a measure of authorship and control to engage in conversations with the other – large and small, disciplinary and non-disciplinary, human and nonhuman, alive and inert.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)137-155
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 23 May 2018

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