Graphic Communications

We like something because it makes sense. We get it.
I was just in a senior architecture studio pin-up, where the class was looking at each class member’s analytical drawings of a croissant. Each student had been asked to convey the ‘croissantness’ of a croissant; his or her choice on type of drawings, models or video. There were photographs of mixers, plans, sections, and elevations of the croissants, and sequential drawings of rolled up triangles. The student had to stand next to his or her set of drawings while the classmates interpreted the drawings. The exciting moment arrived when one person said’ “I like the drawings on the left. Why? Because they make sense.”
As designers, we like to make sense out of things, solve problems, provide solutions. I had a studio critic who explained it slightly differently – “Architects provide order out of disorder.” As architects we use graphics – our drawings and models – as the language of communication. What Makes Sense?
The VRC blog will revisit the issues of communication throughout the semester so welcome back!

In the meantime check out this website:

Study Abroad 2012 – Sri Lanka

Professor Lindley Vann took 20 students form the School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation to Sri Lanka this past January. They travelled to various sights, and we get to see the trip as documented by a friend of Lindley’s – Dwight.  Check out his Blog, for super-saturated colors of Anuradhapura, Galle, the sunsets, the markets, even the traffic!

Items in the VRC: The Copystand

The copy stand in the VRC makes photographing drawings or smaller models an easy process.  A camera can be connected to an adjustable stand and lights are already set up. This should be used if your drawing is too delicate or unwieldy to go through the scanner in the DOC. At the moment, it must be used between the hours of 9:30 and 4, Monday through Friday.


Power button

Power button

Pedals used to turn lights on, and raise and lower camera arm.

Pedals used to turn lights on, and raise and lower camera arm.

How to Photograph Architectural Models

It is important to photograph your models soon after you complete them.  Drawings generated digitally can always be saved – in multiple places – but models have a way of getting dusty, losing parts, or molding in your parents’ basement. Therefore you should photograph models pretty much immediately after finishing them.  Whites will be whiter, columns will be straighter, and windows less finger-printed now, as opposed to a few weeks from now. And, if you leave them in the School studio space, they will get thrown out!

Plan view of model photography set-up

Plan view of model photography set-up

Model Photography basics: Click on the link to download the PDF instructions.

How to photograph models 12_13_10

A few things to keep in mind:

You can use a point and shoot camera, you dont need an SLR (single lens reflex) camera.  Always use a tripod. This will give you sharper pictures than any handheld shots.

Use two lights; one is a direct light source, and the other will be indirect.  The direct light source acts like the sun, lighting your model from a particular direction.  The indirect light acts as atmospheric, reflected light, and keeps the shadows on your model from being too dark.

Light colored models will look best on a black background.  We have black cloths in the Visual Resources Center, that students may borrow. See the next blog post for other amenities that students may borrow!

Studio is What’s Happening

Architecture student works on a drawing in the Great Space during studio.

Architecture student works on a drawing in the Great Space during studio.

The School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation has a Flickr account with pictures from the various programs.  Most recently, we have documented activities in the studio sequence of the Architecture program.

Student 1.
a person formally engaged in learning, especially one enrolled in a school or college; pupil:


Workroom of an artist.

Is the artist always learning? Student and studio begin with the same 4 letters, but how related are they?