Architecture & Urbanism


"Juhani Pallasmaa maintains that the hand can think. What is the purpose of drawing in architecture?
How does Pallasmaa's thinking hand think?

        I'm often surprised at how frail, indeterminate forms rendered long ago in free drawings return one day as the beginnings to design concepts. An intriguing half-form in a long-forgotten drawing will appear again, morphed into an idea-seed for a building. Or maybe a piece of building. Or a house or a street or a chair or a set of cutlery. What was once an abstraction floating in void will be explored by further drawings, drawings that are now more structured and analytical. White card study models are then made for form-analysis before a leap into the digital realm and into virtual space. The idea-seed transmutes as it becomes forged by logic; re-shaped and cross-fertilised by a functional brief, by topography and the regulatory domain.

        The seed-idea goes through generations of transformation in the digital realm. No longer tracing over paper but zooming, rotating, and hovering. We float in, out, and through designs. We see things at different scales and are ourselves drawn into the digital drawing.

    Finally, there is a moment when the product of Pallasmaa's ‘thinking hand’ flowers into entasis, a design caught between fixity and movement.
Architecture & Urbanism