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Digital cosmopoiesis in architectural pedagogy: An analysis through Frascari

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This article derives from three observations of architectural drawing: the current ubiquitousness of digitization, the ongoing disputation of digitization in architectural pedagogy and the capacity of architectural drawing to simultaneously represent and communicate qualities of tangibility and intangibility. In its analysis, this article refers primarily to the writings of Marco Frascari (1945‐2013), who was, through works such as Eleven Exercises in the Art of Architectural Drawing (2011), a strong critic of digital drawing. This article begins with an overview of the effects of digitization on architectural drawing, which are summarized in terms of their deleteriousness on the intangible qualities of architectural drawing, as seen predominantly in perspectives and sketches. This article then defines intangibility in architectural drawing and locates it within Frascari's theory of cosmopoiesis, and identifies marks, entourage (especially human entourage) and narrative as key elements of cosmopoiesis in architectural drawing. Finally, this article analyses the effects of digitization on architectural drawing from the standpoint of cosmopoiesis, with an emphasis on the key elements that were identified earlier, before concluding with some recommendations for preserving cosmopoiesis when drawing in a digital environment. This article holds that, in architectural pedagogy, a complete return to analogue drawing is neither feasible nor necessary because what is required instead is an awareness of the main areas in which digital drawing is most likely to fail, so that digital drawing retains the cosmopoietic qualities that characterize some examples of analogue drawing. This article argues that an understanding of the cosmopoiesis of architectural drawing is vital to transcending the apparent incompatibility of intangibility and digitization.
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Keywords: Marco Frascari; architectural drawing; cosmopoiesis; entourage; intangibility; marks; narrative; pedagogy

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: November 1, 2019

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  • Drawing: Research, Theory, Practice promotes and disseminates drawing research with a focus on contemporary practice and its theoretical context. This journal seeks to reestablish the materiality of drawing as a medium at a time when virtual, on-line, electronic media dominates visuality and communication.

    This peer-reviewed publication represents drawing as a significant discipline in its own right and in a diversity of forms: as an experimental practice, as research, as representation and/or documentation, as historical and/or theoretical exploration, as process or as performance. It explores the drawing discipline across fine art, science and engineering, media and communication, psychology, architecture, design, science and technology, textiles, fashion, social and cultural practices.

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