We do a lot of sketches… About different things…
Some drawings are illustrations; some are about communication, or about project explanations. And we always write on drawings. Text is also an integral part of a drawing. Architecture is a kind of description of the world, as we perceive it. I think it describes, or at least comments on the world we live in. In our case drawings and architecture are about the way life has changed in the last 30 or forty years. Somehow we try to detect these changes in our drawings so our sketches are often more like diagrams.
The sketches are not about beauty, they do not pretend to be beautiful. They’re often overloaded with text and this combination of text and lines make drawings for us a real sketch. They are a type of diagram, a kind of organizational model of spaces and thoughts. Our sketches are about the way things should really function. Sometimes we make drawings only for ourselves, to clarify the thinking processes, sometimes for clients to show them what we are doing, and sometimes for students to show certain stages in our work.
Since every building is quite complex, our idea is to skip this complexity in order to better communicate something about a building as a construction, or an idea about behavior.
A sketch can of course also try to explain the technical details and information, but this lends it an unnecessary complexity. If you manage to simplify your process of thinking and explain a project or an idea in one sentence – which equals one sketch -, then it is more than enough. Otherwise all the technical and other details can become completely paralyzing.
That makes our sketches diagrams, where authenticity is not in doubt. If you are able to convey the concept of your house by just drawing a few lines, it is not an issue whether the drawing was made before or after the house, because the sketch is not about the house but about conveying the idea.
The role of an architect today has completely changed. The project has become an accumulation of different professionals working parallel – one person is responsible for the structures, another for the electricity, there is a facade specialist, a sustainability advisor etc. etc. – so an architect’s role does not seem so important anymore – so they can mainly control the ideas on a conceptual level, which is very often very vague… So this explains why we don’t feel too comfortable with very large scale projects – and that’s why it’s so important for us to make small houses – because there still seems to be this ability to control more processes simultaneously – and sketches are what convey the concepts of these projects very clearly.