Architectural Drawings: The Archive of an Architect

Where does the architectural drawing end up? What is its function within the architectural life cycle? Where do these drawings live once they have been realized in space? Will they be filed away in the architect’s personal archive? What of their status as art objects worthy of exhibition in the public sphere?

My fascination with architectural drawings representing architecture and its inherent themes is driven by my strong belief in this format’s function as architecture’s foundation as a professional trade, and my equal faith in the message this practice transmits. This article will therefore focus on the second life of the architectural drawing process – the record’s effect, documentation, archiving, commentary, explication, and presentation of ideas. As Maria Misiągiewicz has written, “the drawing, by portraying the architectural object, makes that object accessible. This state is defined by its directness, immediacy, and specificity – coinciding with the visual absence of the thing itself.”

My intention is to begin to uncover the meaning of drawn architecture as the emergence of an idea and the architectural idiom. By reading drawings as the transmission of architectural thought, we might better understand the structure of the architectural product and the creative process it stems from.