Sunday, September 18, 2011

on writing and the architectural education

"Writing is a part of the architectural process for many people, but most of it does not show up in the final presentation. This is usually attributed to the profession being one for visual learners. As one of these learners I understand that it is easier for some people to process and remember graphic information. I consciously choose to look at pictures and graphics more than text. No matter how much my learning is defined by this, words can still trigger emotions in me that pictures cannot. The problem with text as it is treated in most architectural presentations is not that the viewer is not willing to read it; it is that she is not forced to.
I believe this to be one of the biggest missed opportunities in architectural education. The power of writing when expressed to a visual audience is that it acts as a catalyst to our graphic imaginations. As a rendering must choose a particular medium to evoke emotion, writing triggers a palette of endless media options inside the viewer’s mind. Words, when chosen correctly, can express ideas and inspire interpretations impossible with our pencils, pens, paints and computers. Most of the critics, reviewers, jurors, and professors who look at our work have the unique ability to graphically interpret ideas better than anyone else in the world. The misunderstanding on our part is that these people are opposed to reading text. For this reason we usually group it together, make it easy to skip over and easy to ignore. Most writing included on a final board does not actually add to the presentation of a building."

This excerpt is taken from a proposal I wrote for the Richard A. Campbell Traveling Scholarship awarded by The University of Oregon. Today I find myself in Paris for the start of my research. For the next five weeks I will be traveling from Paris to the Netherlands, Berlin (maybe), Cologne, and Chur, Switzerland to explore the relationship of writing in the communication of our built environment. This blog will serve as a method of clarity and accountability so I can transcribe my writing in a timely manner before returning to Eugene for a presentation of the work. I will also be showing pictures and paintings produced along the way. Please feel free to comment or email me while I am abroad or anytime after. 

1 comment:

  1. manor replaced with manner. Thanks, Erick. Spelling/grammar mistakes always appreciated.