A new show at one of our favorite spaces in the city–the Storefront for Art and Architecture–opened last Tuesday. POP: Protocols, Obsessions, Positions is Storefront’s second annual drawing show that challenges our contemporary understanding of the basic means of conceptualizing and representing architecture.
Many practicing architects declare the death of drawing by hand and plead the superiority of the machine. Others claim that architecture cannot become separate from drawing because drawings are not just end products, but the foundation of any design process. Most architects today abandoned drafting by hand in favor of computer-aided design softwares such as AutoCAD or Revit. Does it mean that the personal connection with the work is lost?

In his New York Times essay, the architect Michael Graves argues for the importance of hand drawing and the joy that comes from the interaction between the mind and the hand. According to the great postmodernist, handmade drawing leaves room for speculation and improvisation “not unlike the way a musician might intone a note or how a riff in jazz would be understood subliminally and put a smile on your face.”
Storefront’s exhibition, which presents thirty original drawings by an international group of architects, addresses both sides of the discussion. The drawings pay homage to codes and protocols present in the architectural circles but also showcase the individual personal obsessions of their creators. Some are done by hand, others digitally but what they have in common is the wonderful speculative vigor that shows that the profession is truly alive.
POP: Protocols, Obsessions, Positions
June 19 – July 26, 2013
Storefront for Art and Architecture
97 Kenmare Street
New York, NY 10012
Tues. – Sat. 11:00AM – 6:00PM
Get in touch with the author @tendrebarbare.