Diagramming

August 29, 2010 § Leave a comment

This excerpt is part of a conversation in the messageboards of Archinect. The group was discussing about diagramming in architecture.

There’s a distinction there that’s common to the art world:

Idea vs. Technique – diagram is more about idea, drawing more about technique. In the past century, the majority of contemporary art has been about idea (with many great exceptions) – where technique has been primarily used to make the idea clearer, but not the primary subject of interest.

Art of antiquity, for example Renaissance art (and architecture) had perhaps more focus on technique – the idea behind the art existed, but was somehow bound by the technical norms of the day – Beaux Artes, etc. This makes me think about decoration when it has existed as a reiteration of the major idea behind a building (i.e. Rennaisance buildings where the capitals, cornices, etc. maintain idealized proportions relevant to the human body – the “ideal” of that period) – in other words, technique / details expressing overall idea.

I’m generalizing, but these are interesting distinctions to make – there’s probably room to explore between the two poles. If you were to go after drawing unto itself as an iterative process, you might look into the thoughts of some of the minimalists of the mid 1900’s – working to take out all meaning and reference other than the media itself.

What would a diagram about drawing look like?

Some examples of Diagramming:

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