Hundreds attended at the Yale School of Architecture’s symposium, “Is Drawing Dead?” Was it because everyone loves a funeral? Let’s hope not.
The symposium consisted of a mix of presentations and debates regarding the historic significance of drawing; its visceral effect on author and viewer; its potential to make unimagined realms of experience accessible; and even its neuropsychological underpinnings.
The symposium reached beyond the simplistic battle lines often struck between digital and manual drawing, seeking instead to clarify drawing’s place in contemporary practice and education, according to a Yale spokesperson.
In his keynote address, Sir Peter Cook spoke in defense of drawing irrespective of medium, concluding that “drawing may really be about creatively searching for the sublime.”
The diverse roster of symposium participants included Preston Scott Cohen, chair, Harvard Graduate School of Design; Michael Graves, Robert Schirmer Professor of Architecture, Emeritus, Princeton University; Greg Lynn, founder, Greg Lynn FORM, Davenport Visiting Professor of architecture, Yale; Deanna Petherbridge, CBE, visiting professor of drawing, University of the Arts, London; and Patrik Schumacher, director, Zaha Hadid Architects.
Setting the stage for the symposium was an exhibition of work by noted Italian architect, painter, and designer Massimo Scolari, entitled Massimo Scolari: The Representation of Architecture. This exhibition, which includes about 160 paintings, drawings, and watercolors, inspired Mr. Graves’s reply to a question about the importance of composition and form-making in drawing and architecture: “How could you look at the work [in the exhibition] and not see the importance of drawing?”