Architects' Sketches: Dialogue and Design

Front Cover
Architectural Press/Elsevier, 2008 - Architecture - 138 pages
Concepts from architects' minds evolve through sketches and as a mode of transference are conveyed to the finished building. This book compares qualities of sketches to reveal unique approaches to the instruments of thinking in which all architects engage. It provides new insight into the relationship between architectural sketches and the process of creative manipulation. Sketches comprise a thinking mechanism, and through the qualities of ambiguity, quickness and change, they initiate a dialogue for architects. As a medium to facilitate communication, recording, discovery and evaluation, their pertinence lies in their ability to exhibit both the precise and the imprecise. Exploring four related theoretical approaches, play, memory-imagination-fantasy, caricature and the grotesque, the book shows how imprecision stimulates imagination to conceive new forms in the dialogue of architectural sketches.

* Beautifully presented work with a wealth of illustrations
* Uses examples from architects past and present to show the evolution of the architectural sketch
* Describes the use of simple sketches to convey complex abstract ideas

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - TracyRowan - LibraryThing

My artistic talents don't lie in this direction, but all the same, the art of architecture is endlessly interesting to me. This volume of sketches by architects is a kind of bridge between the nuts ... Read full review

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I got this book because I like architecture and enjoy looking at well designed and visually stimulating buildings. While I did not expect to see many of actual full-blown designs in this book, I did expect to see many more interesting sketches of buildings or at least illustrations that are impressive in their own right. However, this turned out to be a more textual than visual work and the few sketches and illustrations that are presented are probably not that interesting to the architectural outsiders. The book itself is hard to appreciate for anyone who is not heavily invested in architectural criticism. It is largely an academic work, not intended to appeal to broader readership. Even so, the writing style is particularly dry, clichéd and repetitive, and I can't imagine that even the students of architecture would benefit much from reading it. It is written in a style of many "studies" departments that have come to dominate today's academic landscape, and would be more at home in humanities than in a technical field. Overall, there is very little that would commend this book to anyone except some die-hard "criticism" junkies. 

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About the author (2008)

Kendra Schank Smith is an associate professor and chair of Architectural Science at Ryerson University.

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