Drawing Research Platform Somerset

 During a one-week Summer Workshop in the archives and on the site of Drawing Matter, Somerset, students will explore drawing as a fundamental tool in both architecture and engineering. Through research into the Drawing Matter Collection and the construction of survey drawings and spatial fabrications, 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 ENAC Summer Workshop Drawing Research Platform Somerset 2024 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 site 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 manual drawing and construction builds up tacit knowledge and foster an awareness and economy of means. Through systematic 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 outdoors atelier 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 in-depth research through a comparative analysis of drawings from different authors, project stages and historical periods within the discipline of drawing.


Project Team 2024

Patricia Guaita, architect, lecturer, IA ENAC EPFL;

Raffael Baur, architect and external lecturer ENAC EPFL 

David Fernandez-Ordoñez, engineer, Host Professor, SGC ENAC EPFL

Niall Hobhouse, collector and writer, Drawing Matter Director


Contact & registration

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







Photos 2023

photos: Herve Laurendeau