Light matter : the transdisciplinary practice of the architectural moving drawing

Suess, Eleanor (2020) Light matter : the transdisciplinary practice of the architectural moving drawing. In: Troiani, Igea and Campbell, Hugh, (eds.) Architecture Filmmaking. Bristol, U.K. : Intellect. pp. 155-170. ISBN 9781783209941


Before, and after, I became an architect I was/am an artist. As both artist and architect I work in the subject of architecture but my transdisciplinary critical practice operates in this outside, third space, through production and analysis of structural film to communicate, translate, explore and potentially generate architecture. The relationship is between not only my two disciplines, but also practice and theory (as they relate to each other and to both disciplines) are central to my research. Gilles Deleuze’s notion of ‘relays’ between practice and theory, extended by Jane Rendell to emphasise a symmetrical, reciprocal relationship, describes my integrated, iterative model of critical practice. One of my most recent pieces, Sunhouse Elevation/Sunhouse Azimuth is a pair of structural films, dealing with the progress of the sun through a South London Victorian terraced house. I would also categorise this as an architectural moving drawing; it communicates the interaction of spatial, material, and temporal qualities of light with a particular building. The footage (realtime and time-lapse) for the films was not shot on a single day, rather collected over a period of years, always in the months surrounding the vernal equinox. In this chapter I argue that in both of my moving drawing films the interplay of light with space with the viewer does what no static orthographic drawing can do and invites a direct temporal and haptic engagement with the tectonics of the space.

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