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Lucas, R., 2018.

The Materiality of Writing

Output Type:Chapter in a book
Publication:The Materiality of Writing: A Trace-Making Perspective
Brief Description/Editor(s):Van Leeuwen, T.
Pagination:pp. 116-137
Number of Works:13

This chapter considers the nature of tracing1 in architecture, a fundamental drawing practice which relies on transparent paper, allowing lines from one drawing to be selectively re-used in subsequent inscriptions. Whilst not unique to architecture, tracing paper found prominence in the discipline and embedded itself as a key technology within the design process. The use of tracing paper is replicated by contemporary CAD software, where layers mimic stacks of translucent paper and allow copying, iterative designs, and cross-referencing of alternative projections. Tracing is under-theorised within the body of literature on architectural drawing. This is due, in part, to the focus on lines and marks which constitute drawing, and insufficient attention paid to the support, most often paper, on which the marks are made. Drawing can be said to consist of the contact between mark and surface, however, and by ignoring the support we are missing a large part of the story.