Dream, Design, Build: The UW Architecture Student Drawing Collection, 1914-1947
arabesque, April 7, 1940.
Ornament class project:
graphite on paper with matting.
Typical first year spring quarter projects asked students to design a classical window, theater, etc.: exercises that allowed limited individual expression. Once the students developed their own designs, then they made their presentations in the form of an analytique. Analytiques are carefully composed monochromatic drawings including elevation, partial plan, section, and fragments of architectural elements at a larger scale. They were judged on their composition, their inclusion of the required project elements, and technical expertise. Students did analytiques for about a year, providing foundation for work in the more advanced studios.
Students were also asked to produce analytiques in the Architectural Design I sophomore studio class, taught by Pries and Gowen. Sophomore problems lasted two to four weeks with the last ten to fourteen days spent focused on the anayltique. By the beginning of the last two weeks, students had already completed projects which served as drafts of the required plans, sections, elevations, and details. These drawings were critiqued and refined multiple times during the quarter until the designs were ready to be produced as a final presentation. Thus, the last week of the quarter was spent in delineating and rendering the analytique. The process began with transferring the entire composition onto a previously prepared stretch, followed by watercolor rendering building up tones with successive washes to achieve the values previously worked out.
As the final deadline approached, hours got longer and students often worked all night before the project was due. This process, working long hours in the days leading to the due date was called the charrette, just as it is today.
Final projects were juried by faculty behind closed doors and discussed with the class in the next studio.
History of Ornament
Although the junior year marked the beginning of Architectural Design II, taught by Herrman and Olchewsky, students were also required/elected to take a class in the History of Architectural Ornamentation, taught by Lionel Pries. The course was enormously popular and influential. Although it was only two credits per quarter, students worked long hours on assignments and research. The ornamentation course was based on the Beaux-Arts tenet that decorative details are an essential part of architectural design. The coursework was an opportunity for students to study historical examples and then develop designs using their personal style and imagination.