Drawing the Unbuildable
(Supervisors: Marina Lathouri, Mark Cousins)
In examining architectural drawings outside of the conventional architectural domain, both, the unbuildable and the buildable, were revealed as working distinctly, but importantly, not in opposition to one another. In fact, they were frequently found operating in a complementary fashion. Selected from immediate post-revolutionary Soviet Union, the period taken as the peak of the unbuildable, detailed case studies included Tatlin’s Tower and the Palace of the Soviets. Despite these examples being purportedly amongst the best-known architectural projects ever conceived, the thesis demonstrated, somewhat paradoxically, that not much about them can be claimed for certain. With an ability to exist at multiple scales, in many locations, repeated and copied as a reference or through multiple associations. Speculations on repetition and reproduction included Lissitzky’s Cloud Stirrups and Chernikhov’s opus, with Piranesi’s Carceri proposed as the pioneering, if not the very first example of architectural drawing as a series. One of the final suggestions concluded that the buildable may continue to increasingly resemble the unbuildable, mimicking its traits, potentially blurring the distinction between the two, and even eventually abolished.
PhD completed this year.
Nerma Prnjavorac Cridge was educated at the universities of Sarajevo and Birmingham, the Bartlett and the Architectural Association. After participating in an Antarctic expedition she became Special Envoy to UNESCO in 1997. Distinguished practitioner Nerma has worked for Thomas Heatherwick and art2architecture. Nerma’s drawing installation ‘Echo’ featured in 2010 ‘Drawing Out’ festival at RMIT. She has lectured in many universities including Greenwich, Birmingham, London Met, Central Saint Martins and Brighton. Upon completing her PhD Nerma founded London based Drawing Agency.