Lecture 9: Drawing a Sense of Place = Design Tool

Presenter: Richard Briggs

This lecture will focus on how a sense of place can be captured through sketching and subsequently used as a design tool to improve our built environment.

I will look at examples of how my own work demonstrates the process of observing context; both the physical and social. As place is made up of many components, I will also look how some of these studies in isolation can help to generate a holistic view of a street, a city or a landscape.

One of the main topics of discussion will be how this process can be useful for artists, built environment students/practitioners/teachers/legislators and the everyday citizen – all of whom can contribute to making places better to live in. In 2015 I co-tutored a University of NSW student course that followed this process. Examples of the students work from this course will demonstrate their comparative observations in Phnom Penh, Cambodia and Sydney, Australia.

I would also like to encourage those who sketch to think about the “what” (subject matter) and the “why” (the message), and facilitate a wider discussion of how we can use our observational skills for the greater good of a city’s development.


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