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NUA students curate an exhibition of drawings by LSI architect David Thompson

Drawings dating back over the past four decades by LSI architect David Thompson will go on show in the Hostry at Norwich Cathedral in an exhibition organised by MA Curation students at Norwich University of the Arts (NUA).

Drawn to Architecture, curated by Laura Dennis and Anthony Williams in collaboration with LSI Architects (where David is a Partner), reveals how the past 40 years have seen a transformation in the working practices of architects and designers. These dramatic changes are explored through an exhibition of drawings produced by David Thompson over the course of his career.

Drawing by David Thompson, LSI

Drawing by David Thompson, LSI

Drawn to Architecture presents David’s drawings according to the method by which they were made, from freehand sketches and doodles through to meticulously created manual drawings and hybrid techniques. The works on display reveal several design processes that have fallen out of common use, while others showcase the latest in digital technology. Nevertheless, one technique has maintained a vital role throughout: freehand drawing.

Drawn to Architecture demonstrates the collaborative nature of architecture; one area of the exhibition is devoted to drawings created by David in partnership with colleagues, where ideas are developed as drawings pass from the ‘hand’ of one team member to the next. The variety of drawings on show reflects how architects make great efforts to communicate ideas to their audiences. Perspective views, site plans, sections and elevations, technical details, word pictures and diagrams; all created in an attempt to convey the mind’s eye of the architect.

David Thompson says: “It is my conviction that the role of the manually-produced sketch, diagram or illustration remains vital for communicating ideas both within an architect’s practice and to stakeholders. The mind imagines space as the hand draws and to draw fluently allows the designer more readily to inhabit imagined space, to conceptualise and to explore design ideas. I am not alone among architects of my age in thinking this. The question is whether architects and designers in the future will continue to draw – and think – this way.”

Laura Dennis, Co-Curator, says: “David’s archive of drawings illustrate how the past few decades have borne witness to an important transition from handmade to digital processes. Architecture, like many industries, has been revolutionised through advances in technology, yet many still feel that there is no substitute for drawing by hand. The exhibition explores how ideas are communicated through a variety of manual and digital drawing techniques and will resonate not just with architects and designers, but with anyone who has questioned if an email tells as much as a handwritten letter.”

Technopolis, by David Thompson, LSI

Drawing by David Thompson, LSI

Concept by David Thompson, LSI

Drawing by David Thompson, LSI


Title: Drawn to Architecture
Address: The Hostry, Norwich Cathedral, The Close NR1 4DH
Telephone: 01603 218300
Dates: 22 February – 2 March 2014
Opening Hours: Mon – Sat 9:30am – 4:30pm, Sun 12pm – 3pm
Admission: Free

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