This dissertation examines a period in the late twentieth century when architectural drawings provoked a profound re-evaluation of architecture. It does so through novel research of the individuals, galleries, institutions, and events-and the networks that originated therefrom-that drove this reappraisal by shifting the perception of architectural drawings. During the 1970s and 1980s, for the first time, architectural drawings became more than an instrument for building. Prior to this period, except for scattered instances, buildings were considered to be the goal of architectural practice; architectural drawings were viewed simply as a means to an end. However, through a confluence of factors architectural drawings emerged from this marginal role. Drawings attained autonomy from the architectural process and were ultimately perceived as aesthetic artifacts in and of themselves. No attention has been given to this shift, and recovering this period's forgotten history reveals a rich and complex tapestry. Research unearths interrelated individuals, galleries, institutions, and events outside of practice that impacted the perception of architectural drawings during this period. This reveals the uniqueness of this period, for at no other time was debate generated in the same way, since at no other time did the necessary structures exist to support this change. During this period, architectural drawings became the driving force of architectural debate, not for what architects put in them, but for what others asked them to be and saw in them. Through exhibitions that emphasized drawings in and of themselves, through collectors and galleries, through the development of a market for architectural drawings, and through the interrelation of these, all of which this work reconstructs for the first time, the role and perception of drawings fell between and among aesthetic, artistic, architectural, commercial, conceptual, cultural, and historical understandings. It was this shifting that drove questioning during this period of nearly all facets of architecture.
by Jordan Scott Kauffman.
Thesis: Ph. D., Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Department of Architecture, February 2015.
Cataloged from PDF version of thesis.
Includes bibliographical references (pages 391-422).