This chapter draws from Frascari’s discussion of “Drawings as loci for thought” () as well as earlier research on the “situation of drawing” (Banou 2015), to propose that the drawing archive inherits modes of embodied cognition from the particular modalities of reading and writing drawing.
The discussion is instigated by a particular research visit to the Drawing Matter archive in Somerset, UK, which focused on the Superstudio holdings of the collection. The intimate architectural configuration of Drawing Matter and the responses to the content that this sets out illustrate a merging of drawn and built space that is specific to the drawing archive. This is examined through the interrogation of a series of representational sites of embodiment of the archive, from the collector, to drawing and architecture as spatial and representational situations. The text and images frame these with a series of archival/curatorial exercises from the Drawing Matter collection, including outputs and reflections from the research on Superstudio, and contextualise them within a critical review of practices of reading and writing art history with visual material, from the architectural pin-up to the long history of image atlases.
The tension between image and drawing that runs through the work of Superstudio offers a useful context for the illustration of the particularities of the drawing archive as a site of collective memory. The chapter proposes drawing and display as complementary visual research methods of archival discourse that illustrate the function of the drawing archive as a cumulative representational condition; a site of knowledge that is multiplied and expanded through the representational fields it contains and the modes of inhabitation it enables.
Banou, S. (in press). The intimate archive: Sites of representation and embodiment in a reading of Drawing Matter. In F. Goffi (Ed.), The Routledge Companion to Architectural Drawings and Models: From Translating to Archiving, Collecting and Displaying. London: Routledge