The link between architect and drawing has become a complex and often overlooked relationship in the AutoCAD era. For centuries the primary form of design for architects was the hand-sketched drawing rather than the seemingly endless computer operations now in existence and yet a renewed interest has arisen in this principal connection between designer, pencil and paper.
For years Lord Norman Foster has championed the use of hand-sketching to compose initial designs for a new structure, Michael Graves has won great respect through his painted works, and WAN’s Arts and Media Correspondent, Amy Knight, recently attended an exhibition in London detailing the hand-crafted pictorials of Steve Humphreys, Director of Weston Williamson Architects.
Traditional and trusted manufacturer of quality notebooks, Moleskine has celebrated this association between architects and their sketchpads by issuing a new range of raw grey cardboard books with excerpts from the original notebooks of four inspirational architects. Zaha Hadid, Giancarlo De Carlo, Peter Wilson of BOLLES+WILSON and Alberto Kalach have all provided unprecedented access to their archives and personal files for the reproduction of works in these small Moleskine volumes.
Blank pages for the owner’s own use are interspersed with passages of handwritten text from the architect explaining their inspiration for the original sketches also shown within the notebooks, replicas of line drawings on table napkins and scraps of paper, and early plans for now completed buildings.
Hadid’s notebook offers a glimpse into her design processes from the 1980s to the present day, with major schemes such as the Vitra Fire Station and MAXXI in Rome taking centre stage. Kalach provides a series of colourful sketches of his Mexican masterpieces with bold line drawings and watercolours supported by handwritten explanations.
Peter Wilson’s personal notebooks are replicated in the BOLLES+WILSON version, with passages of text and vivid watercolours selected by the author himself. Last but by no means least is the late architect Giancarlo De Carlo, who is immortalised in the thick line drawings and scrawling text replicated in his Moleskine book. Dubbed ‘Inspiration and Process in Architecture’, this well-curated series of Moleskine books offers new inspiration to aspiring young architects and celebrates a diminishing art in the AEC industry.