ARCT5594 Drawing Out, Drawing In

6 points
(see Timetable)
Semester 2UWA (Perth)Face to face
In French, as well as in other languages, the word for design and drawing is the same. This unit sets out to de-emphasise the representational role of drawing. Instead, we focus on multiple other, arguably more challenging, guises of the architectural drawing in which it precedes the idea or is simultaneous with it, as a space of invention, labour, generation and extrication.

From Diana Agrest, Mario Gandelsonas and Manuel de Solà-Morales, the unit appreciates that architectural drawings can be ‘read' and are therefore conceivable as ‘texts' and also that the transition from reading to writing, or interpretation to proposal, is fluid. ‘Draw' is, after all, a verb with two meanings: to record, but also to extract, as with drawing blood. As such, students focus on the act of drawing as constituting both practices: on drawing into, and out of, architecture. Just as students perform a literature review to understand the context of something before they seek to contribute to it in writing, so they can excavate backward through drawings to uncover intention, motive and meaning, in order to make new knowledge and thoughtful responses.

The unit is critical, involving the study of architects whose work can be understood through both drawn and written texts as a source of analysis. Through a detailed study of existing drawings and an ‘archaeological dig' through drawings as ‘sites', students are asked to document their findings and utilise these to synthesise a propositional drawing set of their own. This propositional part may remain ‘in the manner of' the studied drawers(s), may focus on a design work of the student's own, or may spawn an entirely new project of either an inventive or exploratory nature. Students produce a set of plates or sheets, containing both image and text, capturing their investigations and experiments. Criticality is core, underpinning all phases of the semester both in the examination of others' work and the editing of one's own process.

The unit directly develop students' drawing skills, both through manual and digital methods. Emphasis is placed on generating drawings of multiple media, duration and complexity. This unit is one of a number of options in the Master of Architecture that have differing and complementary focus on drawing. As a point of distinction, this unit is primarily concerned with the making of drawings, and secondarily with reading and writing about them.
Students are able to (1) research: analyse critically and reflect on key concepts and theories from drawings and text; (2) synthesise: interpret and transmit knowledge from analytical process into an independent project; (3) communicate: demonstrate advanced skills in diagramming, drawing, recording, and presentation; (4) critique: demonstrate autonomy and expert judgement of one's own work and of others'; and (5) propose: make an original or insightful contribution to the knowledge area.
Typically this unit is assessed in the following ways: (1) minor folio and (2) major folio. Further information is available in the unit outline.

Supplementary assessment is not available in this unit.
Unit Coordinator(s)
Dr Beth George
Contact hours
lectures/workshops: 1 hr per week; Practical Classes: 2 hours per week
Unit Outline
  • The availability of units in Semester 1, 2, etc. was correct at the time of publication but may be subject to change.
  • All students are responsible for identifying when they need assistance to improve their academic learning, research, English language and numeracy skills; seeking out the services and resources available to help them; and applying what they learn. Students are encouraged to register for free online support through GETSmart; to help themselves to the extensive range of resources on UWA's STUDYSmarter website; and to participate in WRITESmart and (ma+hs)Smart drop-ins and workshops.
  • Books and other material wherever listed may be subject to change. Book lists relating to 'Preliminary reading', 'Recommended reading' and 'Textbooks' are, in most cases, available at the University Co-operative Bookshop (from early January) and appropriate administrative offices for students to consult. Where texts are listed in the unit description above, an asterisk (*) indicates that the book is available in paperback.