Architecture as a discipline uses drawing as a way to describe buildings and structures. Architectural illustrators are employed by architects, heritage centres and property-based businesses. Illustration can do important things that photography cannot, and is used in two main  ways:

  • to draw up plans and diagrams. This uses technical language and techniques aimed to objectively and accurately represent the topography of a building and its parts.
  • to visualise proposed projects and buildings – imagining the built environment.

Illustrators need to have an eye for detail,  understand proportion and perspective, have good observational skills and a drawing style that can convey complex structures. However not all architectural illustration is technical and dry.

Different architectural illustrators approach the task of documenting visual space and the built environment in different ways. They differ in choice of drawing approach, and how the perspective and materials used relates to the architecture itself:

  • some are driven by the ideas that drawing and illustration offers
  • some by the ideas inherent in the architectural styles they’re representing.

They may produce very different effects supporting or contradicting the ideas underlying the buildings, for example:

  • glossy images used by a developer to suggest the idea of luxury
  • approaches may seem at odds with the spaces they’re representing.

Project 2.3 Architectural Illustration: Port of London Authority and Walkie Talkie

Architectural Illustration Approaches

Pick a range of examples of different architectural illustrators and write a short critical statement (50–200 words) on each of them outlining your observations. Full reviews still to be done with separate pages for those I really like – also analysis of digital/analogue processes.