Architects Draw: Freehand Fundamentals

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Princeton Architectural Press, Apr 17, 2008 - Architecture - 176 pages
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Where does architectural design begin? In an age obsessed with all things digital, it's tempting to envision a computerscreen in a paperless studio. While the practical value of computer-aided drafting and photorealistic modeling areindisputable, but you won't find the soul of architecture in the machine. Look instead at an architect's drawing hand. Ideas flow onto the paper through the uniquely human creative collaboration between mind and eye. Architects Draw, the inaugural volume of our new Architectural Briefs series, highlights this most fundamental level of speculative designfreehand drawing.

Architects Draw offers a practical and invaluable way to help students and would-be sketchers translate what they see onto the page, not as an imitation of reality, but as a comprehensive union of voids and solids, light and shadows, lines and shapes. For nearly forty years, revered Cooper Union professor and artist Sue Gussow has taught aspiring architects of varying abilities how to fully observe and perceive the spaces that make up our physical environment. Gussow skillfully applies architectural language to twenty-one drawing exercises that tackle a variety of formsfrom peas in a pod to monkeys, skeletons, dinosaur bones, and the art of Giacometti and Mondrian. She shows, for example, how cut fruit and paper bags reveal that the physical world is made up of planes, dimensions, and enclosed space.

Architects Draw features examples from postgraduate architectural practice that explicitly connect drawing to the world of architecture. This unique course provides a solid foundation for anyone interested in using drawing as a visual language to describe architecture.


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Meet the Author:
Professor Emerita Sue Ferguson Gussow (A’56) will teach the first ever benefit Master Class offered by The Cooper Union to the first ten to fifteen registrants that provide a
donation of $2,500 or more. Prof. Gussow has taught drawing at The Cooper Union to artists and architects for over 40 years. This special Master Class will include four intense, continuous evenings of drawing with Sue Gussow followed by a pin-up, conversation and reception on a fifth evening to celebrate the work of the class. Participants are invited to bring a guest to this final evening. For more information, go to 

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it is fantastic book..


Peas in a
Drawing from the Figure
Paper Bags
Flowers Plants and Mondrian

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About the author (2008)

Sue Ferguson Gussow is a figurative painter who works in a wide range of drawing and painting media. She is professor emerita of the Irwin S. Chanin School of Architecture of the Cooper Union and presently teaches the advanced drawing seminar.

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