Source collection Studiolo of Plans
Paper Architects, which included Michael Belov, Alexander Brodsky and Ilya Utkin, Mikhail Flippov, Nadia Bronzova and Yuri Avvakumov amongst others, was a proponent of designing lavish buildings meant for a fantastical world that only existed on paper. Riding the wave of non-conformist attitudes that swept the Soviet Union in the 1980s, Paper Architecture provided an ideological haven away from the communist aesthetic and stagnant planned economy enforced by the Soviet government.
'The New Museum’, an international project set up at the end of the ‘80’s by Chris Dercon and Stefaan Decostere for the purpose of making a television documentary. The project aimed at nothing less than a complete exploration of the museum as a historical model of worldmaking, as a means of organizing knowledge and culture into a coherent picture. One of the projects’ opportunities to overstep the limits of the normal television documentary was its conception of the programme as a building consisting of several storeys and rooms. Unfortunately the plan did never go on the air due to its technical complexity at the time. See also: Palatial Examples.
Early in his career ‘starchitect’ Daniel Libeskind produced several drawings exploring the fictional potential of architectural space. In particular his drawings entitled 'Micromegas' reflected his interest in geometry and the power of technical drawing to make convincing spatial concepts. These drawings suggest the decision making processes of a post apocalypse architect working their way through masses of old blueprints found in an old bunker. They feel as if layers of drawings have been sandwiched together and now need architectural unpicking.
Achilles Rizzoli (1896–1981), anonymous during his lifetime, has since his death become celebrated as an outsider artist. Rizzoli lived in San Francisco, where he was employed as an architectural draftsman. In the 1930s he showed his work in exhibits held in his home, which he called the Achilles Tectonic Exhibit Portfolio (A.T.E.P.). After his death, a group of elaborate drawings came to light, many in the form of maps and architectural renderings that described an imaginary world exposition. The drawings include "portraits" of his mother (whom he lived with until her death in 1937) and neighborhood children "symbolically sketched" in the form of fanciful neo-baroque buildings.
Inspired by the book Homo Ludens by Johan Huizinga Constant Nieuwenhuys starts to work on his New Babylon project for which he designs models for cities with the playful and creative human being at the center. Cities in which man is liberated from manual labor, where man can dedicate himself fully to the development of creative ideas. He focuses on the question which role art plays in intensifying a daily life filled with creative expression? He abandons painting to dedicate himself fully to the New Babylon project. He works on the project from approximately 1959 to the New Babylon exhibition in 1974.
Pjotr Müller bases his works on a constellation of architecture, autonomous sculpture and landscape art. He captures his thoughts on architecture in his images, which do refer to buildings but at the same time remain autonomous. His desire to give architecture its deeper and ritual meaning runs like a thread through his work, which develops from inaccessible sculpture structures, followed by temporary or permanent walk-in sculptures, to follies and mini museums. After about 50 years of artistry, Müller looks back on his career in the form of a self-drawn comic book autobiography, originally very personal, intended for his dyslexic son.
Archigram was an avant-garde architectural group formed in the 1960s that was neofuturistic, anti-heroic and pro-consumerist, drawing inspiration from technology in order to create a new reality that was solely expressed through hypothetical projects. The pamphlet Archigram I was printed in 1961 to proclaim their ideas, offering a seductive vision of a glamorous future machine age.
Th. Wijdeveld (1885 - 1987) is best known as a designer and editor in chief of the magazine Wendingen (see also: The Pavilions of Honour). He realized several country houses and housing complexes, and was also a specialized theater and exhibition designer. With the motto 'Plan the Impossible', Wijdeveld drew on a new world, which offered an alternative to what he believes to be a chaotic modern metropolis. In these compelling drawings he evoked images of a cityless city or a wild primeval landscape, with highways and huge skyscrapers, spectacular eye-catchers such as a pier, theaters and museums or a shaft to the center of the earth.
Architects have been drawing for a long time, often without much hope that their ideas will be realized. Some of the most famous images from the history of discipline, like the Cenotaph (or death monument) for the astronomer Newton designed by Étienne-Louis Boullée, would have been impossible to construct even if the budget had been forthcoming.
One of Frank Lloyd Wright’s final design concepts was for a “dream city” on Ellis Island. A processing center for millions of American immigrants until 1954, the island, located south of Manhattan, was controversially proffered for sale by the federal government in September 1956. Wright was asked to draw an entirely new, complete, and independent prototype city of the future…that would be incorporated into a separate municipality: “City of the Future.”
Raymond Barion combined the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Antwerp with studying art history at the University of Ghent. The combination of theory and practice is a central theme in Barion’s career. From 1975 until his retirement in 2010, Barion taught two-and-a-half days and spent the rest of his time making his own paintings: large canvasses, characterised by the use of an isometric perspective and an almost mechanical touch, influenced by drawing techniques used in architecture.
In November 2016 Carlijn Kingma graduated from Delft University of Technology at the faculty of Architecture. Although highly attracted to the architectural practice, she chose to be an architect in an alternative way, creating worlds in order to understand the world around her. Fictional, philosophical, historical, but most of all architectural worlds full of ideas, stories and suggestions. Drawings that reflect, admire or question the mystical a complex world, mapping social, political and power structures. Although they are fictional, they are also recognizable and readable through the metaphorical language of architecture.