Horses gallop, birds fly, and architects draw. Learning design through drawing has been, and continues to be, the most fundamental method of studying architecture. As drawing literacy declines beginning at the early 1990s, both supporters and skeptics have declared the “Death of Drawing”, pitting the digital against the hand, most notably D. Scheer and W. Mitchell. Regrettably, such either-or debate has not generated any productive directives nor changed any minds. Only rhetoric and dissensus. Given this state of affairs, what is the function of architecture drawing today, particularly those that are conducive to learning? Instead of situating the “drawing” within the post-digital debate, this article discusses a pedagogical method that aims to cultivate a student’s competency to collaborate through an inclusive drawing process. An approach that draws its inspiration from a long history of precedents, from the handscroll paintings of Ming dynasty to the early Modern experiments of Exquisite Corpse. The weekend drawing game of “Dot-the-dot” by the Texas Rangers in the 1950s, and the contemporary drawing practices of David Gersten, Jill Journeaux, and Momoyo Kaijima. The inclusive drawing project aims to capitalise on the scalable benefits of “relational collaboration”, which is derived through an exchange of tacit knowledge. It offers creative autonomy while learning from others. Unlike “transactional collaboration” that works in a linear progression, vis-a-vis Fordist division-of-labor, which sees its limitation in the creative process. Inclusive drawing is cultivated through a carefully designed learning environment and framework including the rules of engagement, atmosphere, time, and space. The article documents the pedagogical impact of inclusive drawing on three occasions spanning two years. It argues for —through a critical assessment of the motivations and methods— the productive tension involving drawing together in enhancing comprehension and triggering the imagination, whereby it serves as a site of memory, documentation, and imagination.
I am a Taiwanese-American educated in RISD and Columbia University, and currently residing in Hong Kong. Having served as a project architect for many notable public buildings, and worked in firms that have produced critical architecture, I am able to share through experience, real-world problem-solving strategies, and processes with my students. As a design tutor, I have taught at the University of Arizona, Delft University of Technology, and the last ten plus years at the Chinese University of Hong Kong, where I have served as the Chair of the Teaching and Learning Committee, the Director of the Undergraduate Programme and the Thesis Coordinator. These experiences have allowed me to bridge the fissure within the school of architecture, vis-a-vis the disconnection between theory and praxis. As a researcher, my main field of scholarship is in design pedagogy in general and drawing education in particular. Some of the recent publication focuses on the potency of Inclusive Drawing, a drawing modus operandi that stimulates “relational collaboration” by involving both analysis and synthesis. Earlier research in drawing extends into the theoretical and the historic realms through the projective projects by Etienne-Louis Boullée, where I explore the disjunction between his writings and the drawing productions.