Formal Analysis

Princeton University: Michael Young

Fall 2013


The formal analysis course aims to present a history of representation in architecture as well as allow skills to develop through a set of exercises. Each drawing was developed over a two week period.


Exercise 1: A set of precedents were assigned to the class with each student selecting one to copy. This example was developed from Filip Dujardin’s impossible architecture. His skill in creating convincing architecture through the manipulation of photos is interpreted through the lack of skill in tracing and redrawing. The subtle manipulations of shading and perspective are flattened into a caricature.

Exercise 2: Two pieces of canonical plans were assigned to be developed into a 3D model, and traditional drawing methods and line weights were observed.

Exercise 3: Two objects were assigned to each student to be interpreted in a drawing. In this case, the clock and hammer were selected to perform in an exercise of bad drawing. Poor modeling practice and improper line weights were applied to defamiliarize the objects.

Exercise 4: Based on an image of a bass relief, these drawings utilize linework to gain qualities of affect. In this drawing the visual qualities of fabric were interpreted.

Exercise 5: One movie was assigned to each student to watch and a single still was extracted from the film for development. The films involved in this exercise are “Pan’s Labyrinth” and “The Assassination of Jesse James.” The scope of this exercise was to not only seamlessly integrate a new and unexpected component into the montage, but also merge a narrative or create a new narrative in the process of addition.