Academy Colloquium 'Designing Architecture in Sixteenth-Century Europe. Drawing as Motor & Medium for Architectural Innovation'

6 May 2013  -  7 May 2013
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The colloquium is dedicated to the design and design process of architecture in Europe during the 'long' 16th century (1480-1630), with the architectural drawing and the architectural print as its main focus. Participation is by invitation only.

The objective is gaining insight into the design of architecture by graphical means. The architectural drawing will be studied here as means of communication and as designing tool, not only on the construction site but also in the architect’s study and in the patron’s drawing room.

A central point is the basic intuition that architectural drawing seen as a means of (intellectual) communication not only develops in parallel with the introduction of a new architectural culture (labelled 'renaissance' for want of better) in Europe but is also one of its principal motive forces. Architectural drawings itself have been studied as objets d’art and objects of art history, but the fundamental implications for the evolution of early modern architecture yet remain to be recognized and explored.

Recent research on the mechanisms of (scientific) knowledge transmission in early modern Europe has proved to be most inspiring. The interaction between the arts in this period, between architecture and painting but also between architecture and sculpture (the most innovative architects of the period are sculptors by training), opens up a broader perspective.

Two Sessions

The colloquium will be organised in two sessions:

Session 1

What is the relationship between the different categories of architectural designers – who in the 16th century not only include building masters, or members of the traditional building corporations, but also sculptors, painters, goldsmiths, and connoisseurs who consider architecture as a fitting intellectual exercise – and more in particular, how do they use the drawing and the print as design tools and as means of communication (transfer of knowledge) with other actors in the design process, first and foremost the patron?

Session 2

What is the role of the architectural drawing (as graphical representation of the disegno or design concept), and closely related with it, of the three-dimensional model (le pourtraict en bois) in the changing architectural practice of Early Modern Europe, where architecture is henceforth seen as an activity of the mind, and where the figurative arts and architecture operate in close interaction?

Participation is by invitation only.

The Academy supports the international transfer of knowledge and science through funding.