Drawing uncertainty

Nat Chard

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


When imagining a new building the architect is caught between the knowledge of the varied and sometimes eccentric occurrences that take place in buildings and the generalised programmatic ideas of occupation that are widely understood in the discipline. The web of ideas and events that architecture touches are compared in this chapter to attempts to make sense of ecologies, at first in the example of the generalisations employed by the Odum brothers to get their models of ecosystems to work. This is followed by an examination of the representations of nature in habitat dioramas, especially from the American Museum of Natural History, where subtle moves resonate in the painted background, the three-dimensional foreground and in the taxidermy to make a greater sense of their ecologies. These are related to the figurative aspects of the authors drawing instruments and their drawings that discuss uncertain occupations in architecture.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)71-91
Number of pages21
JournalDesign Ecologies
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2012


  • dioramas
  • drawing instruments
  • indeterminacy
  • paradoxical shadows
  • uncertainty


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