How can we communicate our ideas?

Architectural representations are part of architectural-historical research. They are used to simulate design processes, documentations, building processes and reconstructions, but are also seen as the architect’s artistic expressions. On the one hand, models and drawings are forms of presentation, on the other hand, they are used to communicate the architect’s ideas to building owners and laymen.

The theory of drawing and illustrating has been regarded as an integral part of architecture studies since the 16th century. The terms of the “Stuttgart School” or “Munich School” in the 19th and 20th centuries are not least due to the students’ drawing styles. At our faculty, architectural representation has a long history and has been influenced by Leo von Klenze, Hans Döllgast and Friedrich Thiersch.

Since the turn of the 21st century, studying architecture has increasingly been supplemented by digital tools. Conventional forms of representation are being rethought or replaced by 3D modeling, BIM or the subsequent processing of media by programs such as Photoshop. Sometimes one might question whether there is still a logic behind students’ drawings and models. In our studio spaces comments like “let’s do a quick Photoshop” or “it looks better if you scale down the building’s size in the plan” are quite common. If we look at the professional level, i photorealistic representations are more and more frequently excluded from competition procedures. On the one hand for financial reasons, otherwise so as not to deceive the competition committee’s eye with deceptively real graphics.

We asked ourselves the question: (How) Do we actually learn how to present our ideas? Do we pay attention to the same principles when drawing by computer as if we do it by hand? The answers will be found in selected works from our faculty’s range of representation forms: Watercolor façade representations, accurate building drawings, BIM, videos that have been d for VR glasses and allow interior tours through a proposed building. Textual works that deal critically with architectural drawings complement the projects.

However, one question will remain: How will we as architects present ourselves in the future? Will conventional methods remain, or will they be increasingly replaced by digitalization? – Annkathrin from the #AJA20Team

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