Lus-Arana, Luis Miguel. "Comics and architecture: a reading guide: telling architecture(s): comics, cartoons and graphic narrative in architecture." The Routledge Companion on Architecture, Literature and The City. Ed. Jonathan Charley. London, New York: Routledge, 2019. 347–84.
Added by: joachim (10/23/19, 5:11 PM)
|Resource type: Book Article
Language: en: English
BibTeX citation key: LusArana2019
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Keywords: Architecture, Intermediality, Space
Creators: Charley, Lus-Arana
Publisher: Routledge (London, New York)
Collection: The Routledge Companion on Architecture, Literature and The City
As a both graphic and narrative medium, the relationships between comics and other media have been continuous since their encoding as such in the late XIX century, and architecture is not alien to this overlap. Academic disdain notwithstanding, the presence of comics in architecture can be traced back to Le Corbusier and his storyboarded Lettre à Madame Meyer (1925), wherein the Swiss architect introduced the client to his design concepts through a series of footnoted sequential vistas, his sequential renderings of the Ville Contemporaine in L’Esprit Nouveau (1922), or his well-documented infatuation with Rodolphe Töpffer, the Swiss fathers of modern comics, who would be featured in the magazine as early as in 1921. Lina Bo Bardi’s magazine A (1946) would invariably feature a comic strip by Picardo on its cover, and the architectural journals of the 1960s, consisting of ‘underground’ or ‘little’ magazines such as Archigram, Utopie, Street Farmer, or AAQ, but also of canonical publications such as L’Architecture d’aujourd’hui, or AD, turn to comics and cartoons as an communication device that captured the ethos of the time.
Moreover, graphic narrative has regularly been found as a useful tool to tell architecture: That was certainly the case in the utopian scene of the 1960s and 1970s, where it became a representation mode by default, but also, throughout the XX Century, comics, cartoons and/or sequential narratives have been used in different degrees by a multitude of architects ranging from Peter Cook and Archizoom to Norman Foster or Jean Nouvel. Framed within a bigger, ongoing research project, Telling Architecture(s) looks at the exchanges between architecture and graphic narrative both from a historical and theoretical perspective, studying the appropriation of comics by the former, but also explaining the mechanisms, abilities and potentialities of the latter in the representation of architectural space.
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