Drawing from Practice: Architects and the Meaning of Freehand

Drawing from Practice by J. Michael Welton explores and illuminates the ways that 26 diverse and reputable architects use freehand drawing to shape the built environment. In this generously illustrated book, Welton traces the tactile sketch, from initial parti to finished product, through words, images, and photographs that reveal the creative process in action. 

"J. Michael Welton's Drawing from Practice is a fantastic book that sheds light on the creative process of how architects envision and bring their buildings to life," writes Wendy Goodman, Design Editor at New York magazine. "At a time when so much is lost to mechanization, Welton's book reinforces the fact that nothing is as powerful and engaging as the art of the hand, especially in architecture. It is a book that every architecture student and enthusiast should have." 

The book features drawings and architecture from every generation practicing today, including Aidlin Darling Design, Alberto Alfonso, Deborah Berke, Marlon Blackwell, Peter Bohlin, Warren Byrd, Ellen Cassilly, Jim Cutler, Chad Everhart, Formwork, Phil Freelon, Michael Graves, Frank Harmon, Eric Höweler and Meejin Yoon, Leon Krier, Tom Kundig, Daniel Libeskind, Brian McKay Lyons, Richard Meier, Bill Pedersen, Suchi Reddy, Witold Rybczynski, in situ studio, Laurinda Spear, Stanley Tigerman, and Tod Williams Billie Tsien Architects. 

Included is a foreword by Robert McCarter, a practicing architect who has been the Ruth and Norman Moore Professor of Architecture at Washington University in St. Louis since 2007. McCarter is the author of Alvar Aalto (Phaidon Press, 2014); Carlo Scarpa (Phaidon, 2013); Local Architecture, edited with Brian MacKay-Lyons (Princeton Architectural Press, 2015); Wiel Arets: Autobiographical References (Birkhauser, 2012); Understanding Architecture: A Primer on Architecture as Experience, with Juhani Pallasmaa (Phaidon, 2012); Frank Lloyd Wright: Critical Lives (Reaktion Books, London, 2006), translated into four languages; Louis I. Kahn (Phaidon Press, London, 2005), translated into two languages; On and By Frank Lloyd Wright: A Primer of Architectural Principles (Phaidon Press, London, 2005); William Morgan: Selected and Current Works (Images Press, Sydney, 2002); Frank Lloyd Wright (Phaidon Press, London, 1997); Unity Temple: Frank Lloyd Wright (Phaidon Press, London, 1997); and Fallingwater: Frank Lloyd Wright (Phaidon Press, London, 1994). 

J. Michael Welton writes about architecture, art and design for national and international publications, and edits and publishes a digital design magazine at His work has appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post, Dwell, Metropolis, New York, Design Bureau, and Ocean Home. 

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