Yale School of Architecture symposium asks: ‘Is drawing dead?’

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Eero Saarinen used lined composition paper for this sketch of Yale’s Ingalls Rink (circa 1953).

A symposium Feb. 9-11 at Yale School of Architecture (YSoA) will examine the status of drawing — traditionally the architect’s chief means of expression and exploration — in the digital age.

Titled “Is Drawing Dead?” the symposium also marks the official opening of a comprehensive exhibition celebrating the work of Italian artist, designer and architect Massimo Scholari.

Titled “Massimo Scolari: The Representation of Architecture,” the exhibition is on view Feb. 6–May 4 in the School of Architecture Gallery, 180 York St.

Since the early Renaissance, drawing has played a central role in the practice of architecture, but over the past decade such advances in digital technology as parametric modeling, computational design, digital design and fabrication, and Building Information Management (BIM) have called into question the relevancy of this art form to architecture. This symposium will explore the historic role of drawing in the creative process and illuminate the challenges it confronts today.

The symposium begins on Thursday, Feb. 9, at 6:30 p.m., with a lecture titled “Representations” by Scolari, who is the William B. and Charlotte Shepherd Davenport Visiting Professor at YSoA.

Afternoon sessions on Friday, Feb. 10, will consider “The Voice of Drawing: History, Meaning and Resistance.” Among Friday’s presentations will be “The Remains of Drawing” by Deanna Petherbridge, University of the Arts, London, and “Drawing with the Mind: Pen Hand, Eye and Brain” by architect Juhani Pallasmaa. Peter Cook, professor of architecture at the Royal Academy of Arts, London, and principal at Crab Studio, will give the keynote address in the evening.

Highlights of Saturday’s sessions include a history of mechanized drawing by Andrew Witt of Gehry Technologies, and presentations by noted architects Greg Lynn (“Drawing into Medium”) and Michael Graves (“The Necessity for Drawing: Tangible Speculation”). Closing address will be given by Mario Carpo, the Vincent Scully Visiting Professor of Architectural History, YSoA.

All sessions of the symposium take place in Paul Rudolph Hall, 180 York St. The symposium is free and open to the public, but preregistration is requested.

Click here for a complete schedule of events and to register.

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Media Contact

Dorie Baker: dorie.baker@yale.edu, 203-432-1345