Analysing architecture through drawing

Simon Unwin

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    29 Citations (Scopus)


    This paper reflects on drawing as a medium for acquiring knowledge and understanding of the possibilities and workings of architecture by analysing examples. Drawing has been much discussed as a medium for design and of communication in architecture, but the potential of its role as a medium for analysis, though recognized, has not enjoyed the same attention. The paper begins with a review of drawing's use as a medium of communication and as a medium for the generation, development and refinement of design; it then focuses on drawing's use as a medium for analysing examples. The paper discusses the relationship between drawing and architecture and uses some of the author's own photographs and drawings as illustrations. It argues that rather than being a distinct mediator between architecture (the contribution of the mind) and building (the physical realization of architecture), drawing involves both. Drawing, therefore, can be seen as a surrogate replication on paper of the intellectual (architecture) and constructional (building). In conclusion, the paper argues that drawing constitutes not merely an instrument of architectural production (design and communication), but, as the envelope of both architecture and building, is the arena of architectural power.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)101-110
    Number of pages10
    JournalBuilding Research & Information
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - 2007


    • Architecture
    • Drawing


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