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Teaching Architecture and Freehand Drawing

The experience of Sue Ferguson Gussow in teaching freehand drawing to architecture students is the central theme of the article. The theme was premised on the fundamental approaches to freehand drawing techniques that underline the preliminary stages for understanding architecture.

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Presented from a simplistic point of view, the article is full of insightful explanations from Ms. Gussow and spell-binding testimonials from her students. Indeed, the article exposes the underlying sophistication that defines the incredible value of sketching to the understanding architecture.

The article explains the relationships that exist between space, context, functionality, and reality in the composition of a final product. Freehand drawing is primarily premised on the expression of illusions on two-dimensional surfaces with the objective of narrowing down the gaps that underline the similarities and differences between things.

This assertion was evident in Ms. Gussow’s first lesson as described in this article. In the lesson, Ms. Gussow asked the students to “sketch a pea pod from memory” (Ingalls 3). She took the students’ drawing experience a notch higher 30 minutes later by handing out real pea pods and asked them to try again (Ingalls 3).

This highlighted the elementary differences that existed between illusionary expressions and enduring reality. Patricia E. Corrigan, Queens NY’s first-year student, best expressed the sensational impact of this experience when she stated that “what I drew from the memory was so different from the actual reality” Ingalls 3).

Corrigan further elaborated that “it suggested to me that I needed to examine the world around me more closely” (Ingalls 3). Ms. Gussow emphasized the theme of this article when she said: “one of the fundamental things when you approach a site, or a piece of paper is to ask yourself, How big is it, what shape is it, and where are you going to put it?” (Ingalls 5).

This quote implied the importance of using sketches to align components in architectural designs. Indeed, the importance of sketches as implied by Ms. Gussow cuts across all academic disciplines. In the context of college writing, sketching stands out as a preliminary planning tool in the writing process. One must have an illusionary perspective of the end product in the writing process.

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To achieve this, one must elaborately dissect the idealistic components of the writing and establish an outline that describes the relationship among the components. The outline consequently expresses and actualizes the illusionary perspective through sequenced ideas and contextually transitioned paragraphs.

This article diagnosed the significance of freehand drawing experience in architecture. Indeed, two-dimensional sketching ability is a preliminary requirement for achieving outstanding architectural designs. This is because it stimulates an imaginative and rhythmic nexus between illusions and reality.

Ms. Gussow expressed this objectivity when she emphatically stated that “we are aiming for the illusion of spatiality and structure, even though we’re making marks on a two-dimensional surface” (Ingalls 6). This shows the relative significance of objectivity and context in both the beginner and advanced levels of activity.

In college writing perspective, students must fundamentally horn their sketching capabilities in the early stages of a course to be guaranteed of a great sense of composition in the advanced stages of the course. The example of the pea pod drawing experience particularly demonstrated that illusions that define a writing process are assumptive and can be far from reality.

In the article titled “Teaching Architecture Students, the Discipline of the Hand” Zoe Ingalls described the third drawing lesson as one of the defining moments for architecture students. The third lesson brought out the element of proportionality between illusion, context, and reality. Students experienced the practical sense of speed and accuracy in their definitive sketches of human body postures (Ingalls 4).

It was about parts and the size ratios of the parts about the whole body. Ms. Gussow’s directives and guidance to the class facilitated the understanding of spatial requirements for positioning elements of a drawing relative to what would be expected of the actual outcome of a structure (Ingalls 4).

In college writing, this is perceived in terms of the relationship between sentences and paragraphs in the introduction, body, and conclusion. As such, the bottom-line of the writing process is the achievement of proportionality among different idealistic and structural components.

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Gussow’s teaching experiences in the freehand drawing course were premised on the principles of spatiality and structure (Ingall 34). Gussow emphasizes that these principles are significant when transforming illusionary perspectives into rational reality in architectural designs (Ingall 34).

She helps her students to expand their skills in the use of space and structure to express dimensional and relational illusions. Indeed, the underlying principles of Gussow’s free hand drawing course are relevant to students in a college writing course because they reflect the development of the outline and structure of writing composition.

A college writing course student must be able to develop an appropriate outline (structure) and relate it to the relevant ideas (illusions). This, in turn, facilitates the achievement of the required word length (space) of writing composition. Here, space and structure emerge as the nexus points that connect ideas to the theme and objectives of writing.

The quotation by Thomas K. Tsang was a vivid testimony of his learning experiences in Gussow’s free hand drawing course in his years as a freshman (Ingall 33). The quote evidenced that the underlying principles that Gussow taught in the course formed the basis of critical thinking right from the initial phases of architectural designing.

In terms of its relevance to a college writing course, critical thinking is a very important attribute that determines the flow, accuracy, and conciseness of ideas about the prevailing themes. It determines the approach that a writer employs when articulating ideas within the different components of an outline including the introduction, the main body, and the conclusion.

As such, critical thinking is the diagnostic platform through which a writer augments themes and ideas for purposes of establishing relevance between the different elements that are contained in the overall structure of a piece of writing.

Works Cited

Ingalls, Zoe. “Teaching Architecture Students the Discipline of the Hand.” Chronicle of Higher Education 44.13 (1997): 3-6. Print.

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StudyCorgi. "Teaching Architecture and Freehand Drawing." April 4, 2020.


StudyCorgi. 2020. "Teaching Architecture and Freehand Drawing." April 4, 2020.


StudyCorgi. (2020) 'Teaching Architecture and Freehand Drawing'. 4 April.

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