Blind Drawing

A Disruption of Perfectionism

  • Ross T Smith Department of Architecture, Xi’an Jiaotong Liverpool University in Suzhou


Blind drawing is an exercise based in phenomenological and experiential pedagogy which I do with students in every architecture design Studio I teach no matter the year level of their education. It is drawing blindfolded with charcoal and dry pastel on large sheets of paper using a guided conversation to evoke sensory experiences and abstract thought. It is a transformative exercise that changes students’ perceptions of drawing, image-making, representation of concepts, and offers alternatives to how architecture design Studio can perform. Removing outward-looking visual connections turns the students’ attention to inward perception and the imagination. These poetic drawings are embodied energy drawn out from the subconscious. This style of blind drawing is a disruption of perfectionism and establishes an embodied attitude for the design Studio by breaking through the fear of mark making and the intellectual self-criticality of ‘getting it right’.   

How to Cite
SMITH, Ross T. Blind Drawing. TRACEY, [S.l.], v. 11, n. 1, p. 1-22, nov. 2016. ISSN 1742-3570. Available at: <>. Date accessed: 23 july 2019.