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Sketchbook: John Puttick

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How are you filling your time in the lockdown? The AJ has launched Sketchbook, a showcase for architects’ sketches and concept drawings. Today’s sketches are by John Puttick

The idea for my lockdown drawings was sparked by some prints that graphic designer Otl Aicher did for the German town of Isny. They are black and white and reduce images from the town to strong graphic compositions. I saw them at an exhibition held by design consultancy dn&co about two years ago and they have been on my mind since then.

Like many people in London, we live in part of a terraced house. We only moved here in December and the houses along our street have sharp, triangular roofs at the front. They look very graphic to me, which made me think again about the Aicher drawings. Once you start thinking that way, all views look like little compositions.

200420 john puttick working from home

200420 john puttick working from home

I’ve also been reading David Hockney’s A History of Pictures during the lockdown. He talks about painters using grids to compose their work, so I wanted to see if the window frames could act in that way. I’m not a big fan of sketchbooks – I find the spine gets in the way – so these were done on A4 paper taped to a board.

This isn’t my normal mode of drawing. I do sketches around the site when we start a project and then perspectives of the design as it develops. We mostly use these just within the office but I’ve posted some on Instagram recently. 

When I started our practice I worked from our spare bedroom for about a year. My daughter was two at the time and was always playing around in the background. She’s seven now and a nice thing about this lockdown has been having her around again.

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


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