I like to draw against noise. Recy­cled paper, secu­ri­ty envelopes, oth­er people’s draw­ings, walls: each pro­vides a lit­tle tex­ture of haz­ard that I can find my feet on, so to speak. It’s the dif­fer­ence between a grassy field and a THX 1138 fric­tion­less plane.

Why would you draw on bright yel­low trace paper? Its lack of good taste and fin­ish makes what is drawn on it less pre­cious, sure. But unless you wad it up first, it doesn’t give you any lit­tle acci­dents to work off of. The weak con­texts of vin­tage star­chi­tec­ture do this in anoth­er way – ley lines pulled from street net­works or near­by sky­scrap­ers give a wat­tle for the daub, the nec­es­sary tis­sue to hang your brand­ed forms off of. 

Con­sid­er the typ­i­cal mate­r­i­al pro­duc­tion of design. How do stu­dents make? With a spec­trum that ranges from liq­uid to paste to pow­der. With ink shot onto paper, with var­i­ous coarse papers com­pound­ed from pulp, and increas­ing­ly, with pow­ders blown into form. These new design­ers have the imped­ance of their own expe­ri­ence, cer­tain­ly – which solu­tions they move toward and away from, what they val­ue, what they know. They have the imped­ance of their tools: the angles and pro­por­tions they priv­i­lege. But they lack the imped­ance of mate­ri­als. So they steer straight into the hylo­mor­phic, first in their ideation and then in their pro­duc­tion. This is why I would like them to try build­ing per­fect things in scrap, in sec­ond­hand; where your impro­vi­sa­tions build upon one anoth­er into an over­all accuracy. 

(November 2017)