Drawing Research Platform Somerset 2023


During a one-week summer workshop in the archives and on the site of Drawing Matter, Somerset, students will explore drawing as key tool of architecture and engineering. Through research into the Drawing Matter Collection and through the construction of survey drawings and spatial fabrications measuring and observing the site, drawing will be explored as a corporeal form of measuring and conceiving our environment. The Drawing Matter site, Shatwell Farm, Somerset, UK, offers a unique setting as drawing archive as well as testing ground for construction.

The summer workshop Drawing Research Platform Somerset will link to the Unité d’Enseignement GC Docta Manus_Drawing Structures, a research into the discipline of drawing for students in civil engineering and architecture. Drawing is introduced to the students not as a technique of representation but as a mediator between the construction and the individual. We understand drawing by hand as a cognitive tool, as a physical act, an experience, a construction in its own right. Through the act of drawing in the landscape (with ropes, with wood members), drawings can become mapping devices on a 1:1 scale. The students will understand the place and the scale, a corporeal form of measuring that becomes a tool of design (disegno: drawing or invention).

We will use drawing and observation as tools for the analysis of our environment, in direct contact with materials and with “low-tech”, hands-on construction methods. The slowness and tactile nature of the act of drawing and construction by hand builds up tacit knowledge and an awareness of an adequacy and economy of means. Through testing and observation, the tactile qualities of a construction and its relation to gravity, wind, water, sun, etc. can be understood and expressed. Work will take place in an atelier format at Shatwell Farm, Somerset, through drawing, 1:1 construction and collaborative discussions. It will be supported by lectures and interactions with the Drawing Matter Collection. The unique accessibility of drawings and sketches will allow for deep research into the discipline of drawing through a comparative analysis of drawings from different authors, project stages and time periods.

Project Team

Patricia Guaita, architect, lecturer, ENAC IA EPFL, ALICE
Raffael Baur, architect and external Lecturer EPFL Lausanne
David Fernandez-Ordoñez, Host Professor, IIC IBETON EPFL
Niall Hobhouse, collector and writer, Drawing Matter Director
Manuel Montenegro, architect and Phd candidate, ETH Zurich

Contact & registration

For questions or to register, write to [email protected]