Contingent Drawings

Sweeting, B. (Invited presenter)

Activity: External talk or presentationInvited talk


In order to start a (design) drawing it is easier if I know (name) what it is I am drawing. When we are designing an object which has a name then we are designing something in particular rather than just designing 'stuff' in general. This identity provides a set of criteria to judge the design by. But these criteria are (in architecture) not usually sufficient to determine the design through their logical extension. Even for simple „functional‟ objects there are always a host of contingencies that must be decided – decisions that must be made but which there is no definitive reason to resolve in any one way rather than in another. However, it is in the resolution of these contingencies (rather than in the mere processing of what is necessary) that design occurs.

How then do we decide these contingencies without resorting to mere arbitrariness? This is where drawing comes in. Drawing allows the designer to progress his design without each stage having to be logically derived from the previous one. Rather the activity of drawing allows designers to create – to add things which do not follow necessarily from the criteria of the project but which can, having been proposed, be evaluated in these terms.
Period4 Mar 2009
Event titleProcedures and Enquiries 2: Symposium on Drawing
Event typeSeminar
LocationLondon, United Kingdom
Degree of RecognitionNational