08 / Synthesis / Workshop / System to System / 12 Oct 14:00-18:00

08 / Synthesis / Workshop 1 / System to System


“To do this exercise keep in mind that architecture is never autonomous from multiple embodiments and that the human body is the starting point and point of arrival of architecture. Begin a drawing of a section… by drawing several scale figures. The aim is to use human bodies as instruments for the production of form while at the same time the experience and the communication of the experience of the body is expressed by different kinds of movement. Some of the patterns of movement are potentially implied by empty space, because architecture restricts potential movement through the imposition of boundaries and the creation of spatial structure.” [Frascari]


  1. Imagine the surface of the paper has a scale of 1/8″’ = 1’-0.”  
    (At this scale a 6ft tall adult is roughly 3/4” tall and a 3ft tall child 3/8” tall.)
  2. “Begin by drawing shadowy silhouettes representing quotidian events that will take place within the building, i.e. sitting on the toilet, climbing stairs, resting against a wall or looking out of the window.” [Frasacari]
  3. Continue drawing the actions of inhabitants, expanding the scene to describe the full range of inhabitants in the school, adding props where necessary (objects and furniture).
  4. Overlaying a sheet of vellum or trace, systematically draw the surfaces that would be needed to support the human activity – add planes to represent floors at various levels, add vertical circulation to allow inhabitants to move levels, add opaque, translucent and transparent envelopes to regulate view, add thick and thin envelopes to regulate sound, climate, etc.
  5. Overlaying another sheet of vellum or trace, imagine the structure required to support vertical and horizontal surfaces and circulatory networks.

    Now start over, referencing your Program and Organization research.


Frascari, Marco (2011-03-08). Eleven Exercises in the Art of Architectural Drawing: Slow Food for the Architect’s Imagination, Exercise #5, Scale Figures.



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