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[Re]presenting the City

Part 1 Dissertation 2010
Tom Davis
Plymouth University Plymouth UK
Within architectural pedagogy, we learn how to identify and define architecture almost entirely through its representations. A social relation among architects – the spectacle – mediates via these representations; it is the current cultural context of the architectural drawing.

Contemporary architectural practice focuses on the intention to build; drawings contain instructions for use at each stage of the process embarking upon a standard trajectory from drawing to building – an indirect claim of territory, through conventional techniques.

‘[Re]presenting the City’ is a composition that voices an alternative critique, challenging theories of drawing and architectural representation. By interrogating the hypothesis that architecture can be produced through new unorthodox techniques, the architect as author is hence permitted to claim territory in the contemporary city directly.

The city is [re]presented through a new hierarchy of values in drawing, offering a platform from which to discover hidden spatial narratives of a new city – the straight line of architecture’s standard trajectory shall be ‘taken for a walk.’

This investigation revealed my own authorial traits through a multi-layered text rich in literary, musical and artistic analogy and allegory spanning multiple fields yet relating directly to architecture and retaining a personal cross-disciplinary attitude where drawing is universal throughout. ‘All writing is drawing.’

Tom Davis


Tom's paper interrogate ideas and thinking that connect personal hypotheses, grounded research and predicted agendas. The nature of [all] drawing and means of representation, the notion of territory and ownership, and the values that the authors of such mark making adhere to their drawn, filmed, written or acted works: representation.
The paper links cult film [The Warriors], critical theories of representation and drawings [from Klee to Evans] with a parallel series of personal drawn works that Tom carried out within the Design Studio.
The paper seamlessly yet rigorously fuses a series of connections that evolved throughout a two-year personal agenda. Tom's thorough research, interrogation, questioning and investigations together with subjective and subjunctive experiments have defined this undergraduate dissertation.
The dissertation as an object has been designed and made to reflect the content as a piece of representation itself. This is a superb piece of undergraduate writing.
Adam Cowley-Evans, Supervisor

Tutor(s)
Adam Cowley-Evans
2010
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