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Sketchbook: Gathering Plans

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Today’s drawings are by Part 2 architectural assistants students Tim Rodber and Dominic Walker, who together are revisiting some famous plans in their sketchbooks

We have been friends since studying for our Part 1 at The University of Sheffield. Over the years our architectural sensibilities have remained closely aligned and we have often enjoyed working on competitions together in our spare time. We both graduated from our masters degrees last summer and are working as Part 2 architectural assistants at Witherford Watson Mann and AOC Architecture respectively.

The onset of lockdown brought the perfect opportunity to embark on a drawn dialogue on Instagram, a back and forth discussion meandering around a series of plans, teasing out elements of interest and joy. At the time of writing we have made our way through 80 and have found it so enjoyable that we intend to keep going indefinitely (or at the very least, until we embark on our Part 3).

Aj sketchbook studio photo

We have always thought that plans are under-appreciated in the world of education and practice, which seem to rely too much on three-dimensional representation. Whilst acknowledging the need to sell an idea and the importance of three-dimensional images in the development of the spatial experience of a project, this move away from an intelligent, well-resolved, and beautiful plan always seems like a missed opportunity. This is not to say that we favour an abstracted, intellectualised composition as such, rather, the plan is the perfect way to explore a project’s humanity.

The act of redrawing and analysing plans in this way has allowed us to travel the world from our bedrooms, and keeping the journey thematically loose – essentially, we each respond to the previous day’s post – we have been able to make unexpected connections and build up a library of knowledge we can draw upon in the future. Simultaneously, it has been a privilege to connect and engage with people across cyberspace whilst the world has been locked down, and we hope the experience has been a mutually rewarding one for those who have engaged with the account thus far.

Dominic Walker is currently working at Witherford Watson Mann and Tim Rodber at AOC Architecture

Share your working-from-home sketches with us on Instagram 
Tag @architectsjournal and use #sketchbook

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