Describing Architecture


Untitled / Suzanne Martin


Folded paper, photographs

Observing how people used an area – the routes, movements and activities performed in/around it – was the first step in recording and analysing a gap site in Glasgow. To capture movements, shapes and to gain a greater understanding of this city space (as seen by its users) involved experimenting with responsive methods of drawing which communicated more than just observation e.g. performance, 3D collage, text, recordings, installations & photography. The result of these approaches, in turn, influenced and informed the project development.

Folding paper to catch the motion & activity in the spaces led to unexpected, unplanned forms/shapes. It also added restrictions – there are only so many ways you can fold a sheet of paper once you’ve started – which made the observational ‘drawing’ more vital, more relevant, through the act itself. These shapes reflect the atmosphere of the space and perhaps echo something of its engagement with users, but critically, they enabled observation to become more active within the design process.