Evan Vandermeer | February 14, 2020
Those passing through the Walsh Family Hall of Architecture on January 23rd and 24th might have wondered at all the activity in the Stoa, where groups of students sketched busily away on three 4’ x 6’ canvases standing upright against the floor-to-ceiling windows. Shadows lengthened with the day as an ever-changing audience looked on to witness each group’s progress, creating the bustling, market-like atmosphere the Stoa was designed to reflect.
This live-drawing event—which had three groups of architecture students drawing on two consecutive days from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.—was organized by Scenographia, a non-profit organization whose ultimate mission is to encourage others to see hand drawing not as a rare skill, but as a fully human one that’s accessible to all. What better way to communicate that message than demonstrate it live for the public to see?
“We’re trying to break the ‘I could never do that’ stigma of hand drawing,” said Jennifer Frantik ‘20, Scenographia’s Media Director. “We want people to see the process of creation as well as the finished product. It all starts on a blank canvas, and they see it all—even the mistakes.”
The three teams that participated were made up of fifth-year and graduate architecture students, who after being selected last semester had one month to complete the designs they would recreate on the large canvases. The assigned theme was South Bend architecture in the 1920s.
“Before researching, we were not aware how much great architecture happened in the city in the 1920s, and we decided to depict several buildings that were the most culturally important,” said Madeline Fairman ‘20, one of the participants. “The drawing focuses on twenties South Bend as a hub of transportation, industry, and education.”
Inspiration for the theme is tied to the Architecture Library’s Building South Bend project, created to study the past, present, and future architecture in the city of South Bend through a website, mobile application, 3D printed models, and an immersive 3D virtual tour of downtown South Bend in the 1920s.
Read more here.