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Vol. 16 No. 1 (2022): Drawing and Loss

Do Not Scale: A Lament for Design Drawing

30 October 2020


Producing scaled artefacts — models, maps, and especially drawings — is crucial to design fields that anticipate and mobilise projects beyond the scope of a single human body to perceive, encompass, or enact. To consider intermediary drawings is to confront the remoteness and loss of immediacy produced by displacing the human body. But if physical presence and warm human bodies are sacrificed in the abstraction and distancing of schematic drawings, they return in displaced and peripheral ways through scaling. That is, scale becomes a means to recuperate loss. In this article, I consider the losses of scaled drawing and confront a large unscaled work, Monique Jansen’s Overcast (2017), using it to prompt a reconsideration of scale. I suggest that although Overcast does not have a scale (in that it is not referential), Jansen’s Overcast can be considered to scale, because it participates in circuits that take us beyond the scope of an individual human body.