Barcelona Architectural Sketch Book

Summer and Winter courses - Barcelona

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Barcelona is not only a brand. In the last two decades there have been few cities that have developed their image as efficiently as Barcelona. The "Barcelona Model" has become a world-renowned benchmark for urban regeneration, taking in an architecture that spans over 2000 years, from the Roman city to mediaeval structures, from Gaudí to the modernist architects of the 19th and 20th centuries and up to the art project of the 21st century.

In the Summer Course in Barcelona Architectural Sketchbook the students will discover the origins of the city behind the well-known image of Barcelona through the technique of sketching. The course looks at the city, its design, its buildings and its urban planning through drawing. It will offer an up-close and personal experience of observing the places and people that make up this city.  In situ sketching will be each student's vehicle for creating and discovering the city from a different personal, critical viewpoint. 
By combining in situ sketching with theoretical classes, guided tours and workshops, the course will focus on providing and applying the methodology for creating a personal interpretation of the city and its widely differing architectural styles.

  • Credits
  • Start date
    July 2016
  • Duration
    2 weeks
  • Language

This course provides a background to the current architectural and urban situation in Barcelona, and is based on personal observation and experience. Through learning about specific architecture and urban projects across the city and their relationships to past and future context, the city will be seen as a complex system in a state of constant change. The course aims to deepen the students understanding of the complexity of the urban environment.
Sketching is used as the instrument to analyse, question, understand and learn from this system. The course aims to demonstrate how the sketch process allows one to engage with the city environment, evaluate it critically, propose changes and communicate these ideas.
Through the development of narrative-maps, the course aims to show how to re-read sketches, draw judgment from them and present this information graphically.

The sketch-visits will develop skills in sketching in street environments, along with an awareness of the critical role of time in sketching. Lightning sketches will be developed along with more complete compositions. Emphasis will be given to individual improvisation according to the opportunities at hand.
Sketching is used to develop skills in:
Investigation – abilities at selection and synthesis of ideas in graphic form Reasoning – How to develop and reason through sequences of sketches and designs 

The course aims to encourage the following attitudes: The value of drawing in-situ for discovering and absorbing essential character; The value of thinking through drawing; The value of developing insitu sketches into the basis for design projects.

The course is divided into two main sections: drawing on-site, and discussion/presentation classes at the IED.

Each day sketch-visits will be led to selections of buildings and cityscapes across Barcelona. These visits will incorporate brief presentations of the architecture and urbanism placing them in their overall context. Returning to the IED, brief sketch theory classes will set out a theoretical background to sketching, developing logical approaches to analysis, reasoning and communication through the act of drawing.

Students will then develop their own narrative-maps during a short workshop. These will accompany the sketches made on each visit explaining and presenting the main thread which links through the sequence of in-situ sketches. These maps are to be completed outside of class time. They will then form the final exhibition at the end of the course.

Skills Developed
Skills in observation, as well as a variety of kinds of representation will be developed throughout the  course. The practical skills required for urban sketching will also be discussed throughout the visits. Workshops will improve skills in re-reading, critically evaluating and creatively developing sketches. Visual and verbal communication skills will be necessary for class discussions and presentations.

Duration and frequency:
From 4th of July to 15th of July 2016
Frequency: 2 weeks - 5 mornings per week
Timetable: Monday to Friday from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. 

* The educational planning for all IED Master courses is aligned with the criteria established by the European Higher Education Area (EHEA). The IED Master program has adopted a credit structure that follows the European Credit Transfer System (ECTS). The IED Master issues private degrees.