Drawing from Practice: Architects and the Meaning of Freehand, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Drawing from Practice

Architects and the Meaning of Freehand, 1st Edition

By J. Michael Welton


236 pages

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Paperback: 9780415725095
pub: 2015-04-27
Hardback: 9780415725088
pub: 2015-05-04
eBook (VitalSource) : 9781315856919
pub: 2015-04-10
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Drawing from Practice explores and illuminates the ways that 26 diverse and reputable architects use freehand drawing to shape our built environment. Author J. Michael Welton traces the tactile sketch, from initial parti to finished product, through words, images, and photographs that reveal the creative process in action.

The book features drawings and architecture from every generation practicing today, including Aidlin Darling Design, Alberto Alfonso, Deborah Berke, Marlon Blackwell, Peter Bohlin, Warren Byrd, Ellen Cassilly, Jim Cutler, Chad Everhart, Formwork, Phil Freelon, Michael Graves, Frank Harmon, Eric Howeler and Meejin Yoon, Leon Krier, Tom Kundig, Daniel Libeskind, Brian McKay Lyons, Richard Meier, Bill Pedersen, Suchi Reddy, Witold Rybczynski, in situ studio, Laurinda Spear, Stanley Tigerman, and Tod Williams Billie Tsien Architects.

Included is a foreword by Robert McCarter, architect, author and professor of architecture.


'J. Michael Welton's Drawing from Practice is a fantastic book that sheds light on the creative process of how architects envision and bring their buildings to life. At a time when so much is lost to mechanization, Welton's book reinforces the fact that nothing is as powerful and engaging as the art of the hand, especially in architecture. It is a book that every architecture student and enthusiast should have.' - Wendy Goodman, Design Editor, New York Magazine, USA

'Many architects will say that before they dreamed of building, they dreamed of art. In Drawing from Practice, J. Michael Welton explores this essential connection through his interviews with many of the most compelling minds practicing today. In so doing he establishes that architecture is art, and that through drawing, artists create buildings.' - Amanda Dameron, Editor-in-Chief, Dwell Media, USA

'Michael Welton’s deeply researched and thoughtfully composed book brings us inside the work and process of the nation’s esteemed architects. It is a powerful reminder of all the humanity that goes into the art, beyond the science and the mathematics and even the beauty. Through the architects’ drawings and words, we experience a rare intimacy.' - Lynn Medford, Editor, Washington Post Magazine, USA

'Profiling architects with different approaches and at various stages in their careers, Welton investigates the importance of a simple pencil and paper to dozens of firms. He reminds us that new doesn’t always mean better by exploring how the medium has adapted to contemporary practice, as both a foundation for and a supplement to the latest technology. Whether you’re an architect or just curious about how buildings go from notepad to brick and mortar, Drawing from Practice is an engaging, approachable read.' - MacKenzie Lewis Kassab, Editor-in-chief, A magazine, Lebanon

‘A must-read for architects and architecture enthusiasts alike, Drawing From Practice offers an unprecedented look at the creative processes of some the most influential figures that shape our world - and the sketches that guide their work. The drawings presented feel intimate, the sources tapped reveal a wealth of knowledge, and J. Michael Welton's writing, as always, is complex enough for experts while remaining accessible for casual fans of architecture.’ - Amanda Koellner, Managing Editor, Design Bureau Magazine, USA

'In an age of cutting-edge technology, drawing by hand is not only an enduring art form, but a necessary step in the creative process for any successful architect. Combining his talents as a keen observer, incisive commentator and natural storyteller, J. Michael Welton takes complex subjects and turns them into engaging and informative essays with a detailed yet easy to understand writing style that will be enjoyed by academics, professionals and casual readers alike.' - Andrew Conway, Editor, Ocean Home Magazine, USA

'[T]his volume has a wonderful look, weight, and feel to it. Welton’s features and interviews on each practitioner are incredibly readable – and by that I mean written in clear, relaxed, flowing language that is absent of overly complex "architect speak" that would alienate those outside the profession. Overall, a nice book for those already practicing, those in school, or anyone who appreciates the power of hand drawing in the built world.' Architect’s Toy Box

'Drawing From Practice holds the line for the architect's most basic drive—to physically make a mark—in its oldest, most essential form.' - Jon Leon, INDY

Table of Contents

Introduction by J. Michael Welton. Foreword Robert McCarter. 1. Aidlin Darling Design 2. Alberto Alfonso 3. Deborah Berke 4. Marlon Blackwell 5. Peter Bohlin 6. Warren Byrd 7. Ellen Cassilly 8. Jim Cutler 9. Chad Everhart 10. Cecilia Hernandez and Robert Nichols (Formwork) 11. Phil Freelon 12. Michael Graves 13. Frank Harmon 14. Eric Howeler and Meejin Yoon 15. in situ studio 16. Leon Krier 17. Tom Kundig 18. Daniel Libeskind 19. Brian McKay Lyons 20. Richard Meier 21. Bill Pedersen 22. Suchi Reddy 23. Witold Rybczynski 24. Laurinda Spear 25. Stanley Tigerman 26. Tod Williams and Billie Tsien. Acknowledgements. Image Credits. Index

About the Author

J. Michael Welton writes about architecture, art, and design for national and regional publications. His news articles, feature stories, and op-ed criticisms have appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Huffington Post, Dwell, Architectural Record, Ocean Home Magazine, Metropolis, Interior Design, Inform, and the Raleigh News & Observer.

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
ARCHITECTURE / Design, Drafting, Drawing & Presentation