Department 21 a student-led interdisciplinary department at the Royal College of Art

Exploring the Gap between Promise and Performance in Technical Drawings

This workshop and discussion aims to raise questions about the stories that technical drawings tell about processes of design, distribution of agency, the abbreviatory and the euphoric provision of detail, and expectations. The 1st hour provides an informal space to engage with some activities that aim to raise awareness of the work of technical drawings. These activities including creative material ways of representing architecture, and creative writing. The 2nd hour uses the results of the activities to inform and shape a discussion.

Junkers Ju 87, by H. Redmill, 1942, from Donald Nijboer, Graphic War: The Secret Aviation Drawings and Illustrations of World War II, (Boston Mills Press: Erin, Ontario, 2005), p.56-7.

I unmake the artefact, the aircraft. My author fashions me out of parts and wreckages, in order to look simultaneously whole and dissected, a belly of components. I show you, pilot, the machine of the enemy – where to disarm, to destroy, to avoid. The artefact is undone and then re-done, so that you might undo, and see with different eyes when in real combat. I appear to show you everything, but I only show you what your fighting nation requires you to know, so that you will learn quickly and unquestioningly, as a soldier of the air. I am shaded, and coloured, and peopled, so that I can bring you closer to the real moment. I am not isolated, but surrounded and embodied. I sport a cascade of labels, bringing you a euphoria of detail. I give you action and confidence. You, the operator, and I, the inscription, enable the artefact together.

Write a Comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.