Archive for July 7, 2011

restaurant, caribbean architecture, thinking insomniac, vernelle noel, port of spain, trinidad

Building around QPS, Port of Spain, Trinidad

5” x 8.25” ink pens, in Moleskine sketchbook

This is a sketch of a building on the corner of Queens’ Park Savannah and Dundonald St. in Port of Spain, Trinidad. It is currently a restaurant, not sure what it was before. Its characteristics are very Caribbean with roof, fretwork, and windows to name a few. I like the building. On the lower floor however, they have placed glass in the arches so that patrons get the sense of openness and views in a controlled environment. I wonder if this could have been dealt with differently, better… probably leaving the gallery open or treating the fenestration differently.

Yesterday I read ARCHITECTS’ DRAWINGS – A Selection of Sketches by World Famous Architects Through History by Kendra Schank Smith and found the following excerpt defining sketches very fitting. It says: “Historically, the act of sketching or drawing on paper involves line. At its most basic level, the production of line constitutes making marks with a pointed tool, initiated by movement and force. In reverse, eyes follow a line and with that action the ‘line’s potential to suggest motion is basic’ (Lauer, 1979). A line, or mark, made with the bodily action of the hands, demonstrates its ability to cause reflective action, as it attracts the human eye to follow it. This cognition spurs associative thoughts, as the line suggests new forms (Lauer, 1979). Much of the ‘motion’ of a sketch comes from the physical action of the hand; in this way, the tool becomes an extension of the body and reflects the human body.

Architects contain within themselves the experiences and faculties necessary to interact with this visual stimulus, because the act of sketching is in some ways dependent upon memory. Thoughts, images, and experiences – all part of the architect’s whole being – determine what the sketch will be. Body memory, interpretation, and even specific items that are retained in memory over other experiences, influence what the architect sketches… Both as a method for retaining information and thoughts, and as a medium for inspiration and transformation, sketches constitute a personal dialogue for each architect.”

I have always found sketching to be very personal… sharing  myself with others. Kendra is correct about physical action being associated with a sketch…it can be very freeing, long strokes reaching forever, and therapeutic. It enables my eyes to “see” more, to see critically, remember details, know details, and think…incessantly. My hand is a brain, and the more I use it, and challenge it with exercises, the sharper they both become. Sketchcrawl is coming up again on July 23rd, I look forward to it, and I hope you join me too.

Creative Commons License
This work by Vernelle Noel is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.