Descriptive Geometry and Infographics: Towards the Formulation of a Theory of Projective Representation for Computer-aided Architectural Drawing Tools


CALL: 2019

DOMAIN: ID - Humanities and Social Sciences


LAST NAME: Rippinger



HOST INSTITUTION: Free University of Brussels

KEYWORDS: Architecture / Architectural representation / Computer graphics / History of science and technology / Descriptive Geometry

START: 2019-10-01

END: 2023-09-30


Submitted Abstract

The research aims to develop a theory of the projective act – i.e. the founding and generative paradigm that links the architectural drawing to the object it represents – in order to formulate a critique of the current infographic principles that are transforming the practice of architectural representation through the association of information science with the practice of graphic representation. To this end, the project studies historically and conceptually descriptive geometry through Gaspard Monge’s manuals and his student’s work and relies on the production of software prototypes in order to lay the foundation for an alternative approach to computer-aided design. The increased use of infographic tools in architectural design reflects a fascination among architects for a tool that excludes the methods and knowledge of descriptive geometry in its usage. However, descriptive geometry is still considered to be a fundamental component of the architectural discipline. The objective of the research is to correlate the representational fundamentals of architectural design – of which descriptive geometry is the most elaborate version – with contemporary infographic tools to avoid the inherent tendency of these tools to obscure these same fundamentals. To do this, the analysis of descriptive geometry advances particular concepts of a graphic space governed by the projective act as well as as the modalities of its material implementation through drawing. Thus, taking as its operating mode the creation of architectural representation tools, the research is based on the experimentation of an implementation of these principles of descriptive geometry by means of computer programming. Theses prototypes will attempt to implement the projective act in experimental infographic environments. By articulating these two modes of existence of drawing, the research will be able to advance a new meaning to the propensities put forward by the association of informatics with the practice of graphic representation.

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