Form Follows Fiction: Narrative Drawings of Pictorial Profusion

Yiou Wang (2021). “Form Follows Fiction – Narrative Drawings of Pictorial Profusion,” in Proceedings of EAEA15: Envisioning Architectural Narrative, ed. Danilo Di Mascio, University of Huddersfield, 1-3 Sept. 2021. Huddersfield, UK.


Architecture’s potential of narrating complexities and paradoxes lies in drawings of pictorial profusion, a contemporary graphic narrative characterized by an aesthetics of profusion. Independent of the traditional architectural images whose purpose is to represent the primary design object of a 3-D architecture, pictorial profusion is ambiguous in typology and methodology, often narrating the “unpresentable” dimensions of buildings, city, and people with an intellectual inquiry and visual sensations. As interstitial drawings between hypersensitivities to the mundane and imagination, archetypal works of pictorial profusion tell multiple narratives synchronously to uncover indeterminate present, document non-architect-centric past, and propose speculative futures. This article analyzes works by Drawing Architecture Studio, Eric Wong, and Chris Ware in the dimensions of viewpoint multiplicities, temporal multiplicities, assemblage, and figuration, ubiquitously manifesting pluralism and paradoxes between referentiality and reflexivity, as well as between narrative and description. Constructive in the method of production, these images demonstrate thorough intentionality in the defining features of pictorial profusion: non-Euclidean space, non-linear time, decentralized composition, and heterogeneity of content. Space, which is subject to time and subjective perception, appears plural in direct association with the human as agent of the narrative progression.

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