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Drawing as listening

Hall, Suzanne (2020) Drawing as listening. ARCH+ (238). ISSN 0587-3452

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Abstract

In architecture we make drawings to be precise and imprecise. Our imprecise sketches are impressions of what we imagine a space to be; an imprint, an evocation, a possibility. Our precise drawings are made to communicate an arrangement of details; a measurement, an instruction, a reality. Sometimes we use precision and imprecision simultaneously as a way of capturing the illusive conditions of complex socio-spatial worlds. In this essay I explore this possibility of drawing precisely and imprecisely through how a street might be presented as both a geo-political formation as much as an intimate interior. As I child I drew frequently. Making drawings was primarily about having fun, about being able to claim a constant space outside of other requirements to feel the pleasure of how lines and colours land on a page. Gradually, drawing also became a more conscious practice of saying something about me, not only about what I enjoyed but also what I cared about. Having practised as an architect and then as an ethnographer, I have become increasingly compelled by the political possibilities of making drawings about social conditions. In this sense, drawing is both a way of seeing as explored by John Berger, and a way of listening as evoked by Les Back.i While Berger prompts us to connect who we are with what we are able to see, Back asks us to connect who we see with a slower more immersive process of listening in which image-making is one possibility. Thus the drawing, as a process of finding out, is one potential way of listening.

Item Type: Article
Official URL: https://www.archplus.net/home/
Additional Information: © 2020 ARCH+ Verlag GmbH
Divisions: Sociology
Subjects: N Fine Arts > NC Drawing Design Illustration
N Fine Arts > NA Architecture
H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
H Social Sciences > HN Social history and conditions. Social problems. Social reform
Date Deposited: 24 Apr 2020 12:21
Last Modified: 29 Jun 2020 23:27
URI: http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/id/eprint/104137

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