Drawing Matter begins with the drawing itself. Our interest is in drawings for architecture, and we look hardest at the practice of representation: at the intentions with which the drawing was made, the conventions on which it depends, the real and imagined architecture it reproduces, and at what the designer’s hand might show which the building itself cannot.

Selecting the exhibition, 21 January, in 8.44 / out 8.16, at the Drawing Matter Archive.

Speculative enquiry, expressed in ways that often go well beyond a pencil and paper, is central to the conception of architecture, not only as a means of thinking through ideas but also to how they are then disseminated and understood.  We see drawing as a critical artistic practice in its own right,  reflecting both the continuity and the evolution of essential ideas: about space, materials, technology, history, and context. 

The Drawing Matter archive now incorporates a significant body of material focussed on architectural drawings as works of ongoing exploration and discovery, particularly through sketches, sketchbooks, models, study and presentation drawings. 

A critical artistic and cultural practice in their own right, they reflect changing ideas about things such as space, materials, technology, history, conventions and context, as well as their continuities in practice. We recognise that drawing has remained central to the conception of architecture, not simply through providing ways to think through design ideas, but also as integral to the way ideas about the built world are interpreted and disseminated.

Farshid Moussavi Architecture v2 (RA TALK IMAGE)

Farshid Moussavi, Planometric Coordinations, Montpellier Housing. X-RAY talk Royal Academy.

This website is intended to offer a forum in which relevant material from our own and other collections is made more visible and available for discussion, supported by associated events and activities. We are grateful to all in our network of institutions, museums and galleries; educators, curators, scholars, collectors and archivists; architects, artists, writers and critics, historians and friends from around the world.

If you would like to join us please sign up to our mailing list.

Subject to demand, the collection itself is available on application to qualified researchers, and for teaching studios and seminars.


Niall Hobhouse
Helen Mallinson
Helen Thomas
Tina Di Carlo
Tris Rogers


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