Drawing As Thinking | Michael Graves: Past as Prologue



Past as Prologue was a symposium held in November 2014 in honor of Michael Graves on the occasion of his fiftieth year in practice. Organized by The Architectural League and hosted by Parsons The New School for Design, the day brought together 14 architects, designers, educators, writers, and others to celebrate Graves’ remarkable and distinctive body of work.

In presentations by architect Steven Holl, architect and artist Mary-Ann Ray, and writer and historian Nicholas Olsberg, the role of hand drawing is brought into focus. Holl shares the origination and development of many of his recent works through the drawings and watercolors—his “thought process”—that he makes for each project. Ray, a former student of Graves’, details how drawing acts within her own analytical processes and creative thinking, including through her field work completing measurements and photo documentation of Hadrian’s Villa. Olsberg uses a series of historical examples to describe the varied practices and attitudes of architects toward drawing, including Graves’ own process of discovery through sketching. The three come together to discuss drawing in contemporary education and practice, including what is lost in digital design and representation.

For more, visit archleague.org/graves.

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