Journal article Open Access

From the hand to the mind to the hand

Quintela, João; Simon, Tim

If we consider architecture as the art of construction it can be determined by a mental process of design or, instead, it can be complemented with an empirical knowledge where building is learning, building is deciding, building is designing. A process of going back and forth asking the brick what he wants to be indeed.We have had the possibility of developing several self-built projects where the gap between designing and building is filled by the experience with the materials themselves. Important decisions are taken while the performative act of building is taking place. The act of construction is turned into an act of design as it goes from the hand to the mind. By this the rational nature of construction is complemented by instinctive intentions.In the same way we try to explore drawing techniques not just as a design tool but as a process of analysis and expression. Handmade drawings of the projects are produced afterwards in an abstract but very precise way in order to clarify the principles that come out of the designing process. The act of drawing is turned into an act of analysis as it goes from the mind to the hand. The project informs the drawing and the drawing reveals the project. There is a point where the question of representation in architecture arises once these works aspire to a certain autonomy.

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