Architecture & Design

Clare Broome, Northern Ireland’s Professional Life Model, has worked with architects and architecture students to promote the centuries long interaction of drawing the human form to inform creation of the built world. Any human dwelling or meeting place is inextricably linked to the human body it is designed to house and shelter. Studying the human form allows architecture students, experienced architects and indeed, landscape and garden designers, to think about how their human clients are going to interact in the space being designed for them, improve their own drawing skills and be inspired by the human form to create beautiful spaces and dwellings.

In a foreword Michael Doherty, artist and architect, explains his view on the relationship between architecture and life drawing –

“On viewing my life drawings in an exhibition of architects sketches I remember being asked what a nude has to do with architecture. I had to reply with questioning what a pile of bricks has to do with art.
Pointless comments really, architecture is art.
The process of making pictures has a lot in common with the processes involved in designing a building.
Fundamentally I strive to make the sketch legible. I look at it as comprising assembled elements, lines and surfaces set in relationships and guiding the eye on a journey around it. In making and assessing sketches I refine my design skills.
Drawing, in this age of computers, is needed to maintain that immediacy of testing and recording thoughts.
Life drawing is a wonderfully relaxing opportunity to develop drawing skills and I have been fortunate to have been able to draw the excellent model Clare over many years.
How she holds those poses so perfectly is just one of those mysteries!”

Michael Doherty, Artist and Architect.

Aspects covered in sessions include:

Measurement – the measurements of the human body were and are frequently in use in the built world, learning to judge measurement and proportion in relation to the human figure exercises the ability to do so in the built environment and how the two do or may interact. Drawing from a live model allows for multi positioning when considering spatial requirements for a specific project.

Structural integrity – examine the balance and internal structure of the body to understand how lean, solidity and flex interact in the structural integrity of buildings

Angle of interest – contemplating how the figure interacts with its surroundings, light and space to create maximum interest to the observer

Inspiration – being inspired is an experience which, when repeated, increases the individuals ability to capture that inspiration, even in a fleeting moment. Drawing from a professional life model who has experience and skill in the art of inspiration will train the eye to seek inspiration and the hand to capture it.
Hemisfèric is a remarkable and spectacular building designed by Santiago Calatrava that represents a huge human eye, the eye of wisdom. This symbolises the observation of the world that visitors discover by means of surprising audiovisual projections.

“As technology advances at an alarming pace, the place of drawing remains as valid as ever in the creation of art and architecture.” (Prince Charles)

Queen’s University Belfast School of Architecture recognises the value of life drawing for its students, as does the QUB Architectural Society. The placing of the human figure within the built world, the study of internal structures, balance and form are some of the learning points of life drawing that are intrinsic to the study of Architecture.