The In-situ Drawing Practices of the Citizen Architect
In this paper I will explore how the process of drawing in-situ can help to define and influence the particular practices of the citizen architect; the designer, whose approach to architecture is bound and influenced by their location of residence. My method of investigation will be through the presentation of a situated drawing of my own. The site for the drawing is Byker in Newcastle upon Tyne, a location that holds a history of situated practice. During the redevelopment of the 1970s a group of architects, led by Ralph Erskine, lived and worked on site. Their experience, of an overlap of their professional and social commitment, provides the start point for my investigation. In 2011, attempting to learn from their approach, I took up residence in Byker. The drawing situated is a Nolli plan of Byker, drawn directly onto my dining room table. In the drawing the personal and professional interweave, offering new insights into a particular approach to architectural practice, which I will draw out through the paper. I also argue that the representation of public and private spaces of the city, within the Nolli plan, reflect two positions of relating to the site based on the architect’s citizenship within the site. Finally I propose that the situatedness of the drawing influences the architect’s practices by reconnecting them to a phenomenological experience of site as well as to its social and political context.
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