Teaching drawing in architectural education raises questions regarding the representation of spatial experiences: to
what extent can sensory experiences of space be intensified through observing and drawing and, perhaps equally
important, what those drawings would look like?
In the context of their drawing classes, the authors started to inquire the discrepancy between conceiving and perceiving
space, and the aptitude of representing spatial concepts upon a two dimensional surface. Through observation
and translating observation into drawings, students discover that conventionalised ways of drawing, such as linear perspective,
only reveal part of the story. While linear perspective remains the dominant way of representing space, obviously
visible in photography, film, 3D-imaging and architectural impressions, the authors started looking for ways of
drawing which inquire possibilities of expressing spatial experiences. Drawing as an activity which is able to enhance
spatial understanding, rather than as a tool to communicate virtual spaces. Next to drawing as a ‘skill’, which can be
learnt, the drawing classes started to inquire non-visual aspects of space by analysing attributes of spatiality, which are
difficult to convey through two dimensional drawings.
Starting from a contextualisation of spatial drawing within architectural practice, the article examines the discrepancy
between geometric space and lived space, in order to reveal the dubious role of linear perspective within (architectural)
culture and history. After a brief return to how we imagined and represented space in our childhood, the article
presents a series of practice based examples. Drawing on the authors’ teaching practice, it illustrates possibilities to
expand our visual language by exploring space and spatiality through observing and drawing.
Keywords: Architecture, Drawing, Pedagogy, Representation, Spatial Experience.
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