In autumn 2012 I was invited to hold a speech and a workshop at the JUNIOR DESIGN RESEARCH CONFERENCE in Geneva, Switzerland. The conference was held at HEAD – HAUTE ÉCOLE D’ART ET DE DESIGN GENÈVE. It was a gathering of over 200 Art and Design Master Students who should gain new perspectives on research in design in general and for their own projects.
I presented the method of observative drawing that I have been using during my field research in Madagascar in 2011. In the afternoon I held a workshop in which the participants where invited to take a shot at the method of observative drawing.
“Draw to Document
In this workshop the students will take a shot at the method of drawing to record their observations of the environment. The aim is to sharpen the eye of the beholder for observations. A following transformation and modification of the collected material will initiate the reflection of decision making on visual matter.”
The participants had one minute to draw elements out of photographs of malagasy market scenes. By using these unknown source material one has to focus on the seen, one was hindered to draw from the imagination. As a drawing material I handed out transparencies and black overhead marker.
After going through 10 pictures, the students gathered in groups. Together they created new compositions out of the collected drawings by overlapping and adding together the cut transparencies.
When finished, we started projecting the compositions with an overhead-projector on the wall. By that we could easily discuss the used method and the results.
In the end we quickly developed one cyanotype with the overhead-projector. As time fled by quickly, I handed out some with cyanotype impregnated papers and asked if I could keep the compositions for developing them with cyanotype as well.
That took quite a long time, and with a delay of some 100 years I am happy to put them on my website and to thank the participants again for that nice afternoon! I really enjoyed the workshop with you and would be happy – if one day – someone would get in contact with me again!
Photos: Fred Truniger