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Techniques to Study a Building through drawing

There are many ways to study the architecture of a building, through photography, modelling, reading about the architect, the architectural style in which it is constructed in and understanding in which era it was conceived, and also analyzing the environment and purpose for which it was built.

But one of the great ways that someone that loves and appreciates architecture can really get to know a building, its structure, component parts, position in its environment is through drawing it and breaking down each drawing into 4 component parts

  1. Observation

  2. Analysis

  3. Abstraction

  4. Analogy


Observation reveals lines, colour fields, dynamic tension of the objects, rhythms of the building, its angles and curves, drawing from a live building allows the observer to see the building in its full three dimensional reality, as Leonardo da Vinci one said - one must be suspicious of second hand knowledge, drawing from life is authentic drawing, thought interprets the image, however prejudice in the beholders eye can distort the essence of the building though misconception like an individual drawing the face with the eyes of the persons features too far up, or a simple chair that can be distorted through misconceived exaggerated angles, that is why further analysis of the subject is important.


The essence of drawing for analysis is distinguishing, organizing, and reproducing in graphic form the conceptual and perceptual circumstances of an object.

This can be further broken down into Diagrams, Geometrics, Place, Deconstructions and Morphologies


This process represents the ability to see beyond the original concept and use techniques that allow the removal or taking away original characteristics of a building to leave thoughts ideas concepts feelings ideas tastes emotions, it allows for creative thinking beyond the constrains of the buildings physical manifestation

As with Analysis, this can be broken down further to include Similarities, Transformations, Signs and Memory, Simplification of Shapes


Out of Field Analogies - This can be defined as the shape of familiar objects, as an example viewing the building through nature, a tree for example

In Field Analogies - In relation to architectural spaces and internal voids

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