The Architect’s Drawing as an Instrument of Taste-making

Putra, Yvette ORCID: 0000-0001-8219-1872 (2018) The Architect’s Drawing as an Instrument of Taste-making. In: Art, Materiality and Representation, Royal Anthropological Institute conference, 1st-3rd June 2018, London, UK.

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Questions of taste, and corresponding tensions between 'good' and 'bad' taste, are old and familiar ground, particularly in Western thought. This paper proposes that the architect's drawing, as a distinct cultural product, is often more than an architect's instructions for building, or even record of historical precedent, as the architect's drawing may be, also, an instrument of taste-making. This is supported by, first, the unique relationship between architect and client, as described by Niels L Prak (1984), and, second, the characteristics of taste itself, where, as Garry Stevens argued, "[t]aste is the prime mechanism by which privileged groups can maintain their cohesion and separate themselves from outsiders" (1998). An architect may use drawing to argue for 'correct' aesthetics, as reflected in Herbert J Gans' theory of "taste cultures", as the architect's drawing may communicate "values and standards of taste and aesthetics" (1974). This paper explores the nature of the architect's drawing as an instrument of taste-making, then considers examples by twentieth-century Australian architects who used drawing to probe questions of taste in Australian architecture. These questions were underpinned by a deeper search for authenticity and identity in a relatively young nation, which has had to contend with both its colonial British heritage, as well as place in the Asian and Oceanic geographic spheres. This paper concludes with the possibilities of understanding the taste-making aspects of different places and times, through similar readings of the architects' drawings produced in those contexts.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Additional Information: ROYAL ANTHROPOLOGICAL INSTITUTE, THE DEPARTMENT OF AFRICA, OCEANIA AND THE AMERICAS OF THE BRITISH MUSEUM AND THE DEPARTMENT OF ANTHROPOLOGY AT SOAS Art, Materiality and Representation BRITISH MUSEUM/SOAS 1st-3rd JUNE 2018 The conference was jointly organised by the RAI, the BM’s Department for Africa, Oceania and the Americas, and the Department of Anthropology at SOAS and held in the Clore Centre of the British Museum and the SOAS Paul Webley Wing of Senate House.
Subjects: N Fine Arts > NA Architecture
Divisions: Schools and Research Institutes > School of Creative Arts
Research Priority Areas: Culture, Continuity, and Transformation
Depositing User: Yvette Putra
Date Deposited: 31 Jul 2023 10:25
Last Modified: 31 Aug 2023 09:22

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