The article analyses Frank Gehry’s insistence on the use of self-twisting uninterrupted line in his sketches. Its main objectives are first, to render explicit how this tendency of Gehry is related to how the architect conceives form-making, and second, to explain how Gehry reinvents the tension between graphic composition and the translation of spatial relations into built form. A key reference for the article is Marco Frascari’s ‘Lines as Architectural Thinking’ and, more specifically, his conceptualisation of Leon Battista Alberti’s term lineamenta
in order to illuminate in which sense architectural drawings should be understood as essential architectural factures and not merely as visualisations. Frascari, in Eleven Exercises in the Art of Architectural Drawing: Slow Food for the Architects’s Imagination
, after having drawn a distinction between what he calls ‘trivial’ and ‘non-trivial’ drawings—that is to say between communication drawings and conceptual drawings, or drawings serving to transmit ideas and drawings serving to their own designer to grasp ideas during the process of their genesis—unfolds his thoughts regarding the latter. The article focuses on how the ‘non-trivial’ drawings of Frank Gehry enhance a kinaesthetic relationship between action and thought. It pays special attention to the ways in which Frank Gehrys’ sketches function as instantaneous concretisations of a continuous process of transformation. Its main argument is that the affective capacity of Gehry’s ‘drawdlings’ lies in their interpretation as successive concretisations of a reiterative process. The affectivity of their abstract and single-gesture pictoriality is closely connected to their interpretation as components of a single dynamic system. As key issues of Frank Gehry’s use of uninterrupted line, the article identifies: the enhancement of a straightforward relationship between the gesture and the decision-making regarding the form of the building; its capacity to render possible the perception of the evolution of the process of form-making; and the way the use of uninterrupted line is related to the function of Gehry’s sketches as indexes referring to Charles Sanders Peirce’s conception of the notion of ‘index’.
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License
which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited