The Adventure of Drawing as “Writing About Building”

Tuesday, September 21, 2021, 12 - 2pm

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Architettura volante

This presentation will be conducted through Zoom. Zoom account registration is required, please register in advance here. Students and faculty may view the lecture in Room 315F of the Foundation Building.

In conjunction with the exhibition Exercises of Claustrophobia, currently on view in the School of Architecture and online, architect Franco Purini will give a lecture on Tuesday, September 21 at 12:00 pm. Titled The Adventure of Drawing as “Writing About Building,” the lecture will be translated and moderated by School of Architecture Professor Guido Zuliani.

In his lecture, Purini will explain what architectural drawing means to him today and how it has become for him an ideal experimental laboratory:

What is drawing for me? Five aspects of drawing in architecture. What does the drawing represent? Reason, obsession, and emotion. Similarities and differences between manual drawing, collage, and digital drawing. The value of the image.

Franco Purini (1941) is an Italian architect, writer, and Emeritus Professor of Architectural and Urban Composition at the Faculty of Architecture of the University of Rome Sapienza. He has lectured and participated in seminars and workshops in Europe, the United States, South America, China, and Japan. He is a member of the National Academy of San Luca and the Academy of Arts and Design in Florence. He has participated in numerous national and international design competitions for which he has received several prizes and awards.

Since 1966 he has practiced architecture in Rome with Laura Thermes, with whom he is researching architectural language and complex urban issues following an experimental line that associates a strongly rational component with figurative suggestions drawn from the classical tradition. This research has been expressed in many projects extensively documented by well-known national and international magazines and books.

Purini’s publications and his famous Disegni d’Invenzione, which placed him among the most important protagonists of what is known as Archittetura Disegnata, have influenced international debate by developing a clear conception of the discipline’s theoretical issues. His drawings and projects are in the collections of the Beaubourg in Paris, the MAXXI in Rome, the Deutsches Architekturmuseum in Frankfurt, the Projects Archive of the IUAV in Venice, the Uffizi in Florence, the Albertina in Vienna, among others.

This event is free and accessible to the public. 

View the full Fall 2021 Lectures and Events List.

  • Founded by inventor, industrialist and philanthropist Peter Cooper in 1859, The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art offers education in art, architecture and engineering, as well as courses in the humanities and social sciences.

  • “My feelings, my desires, my hopes, embrace humanity throughout the world,” Peter Cooper proclaimed in a speech in 1853. He looked forward to a time when, “knowledge shall cover the earth as waters cover the great deep.”

  • From its beginnings, Cooper Union was a unique institution, dedicated to founder Peter Cooper's proposition that education is the key not only to personal prosperity but to civic virtue and harmony.

  • Peter Cooper wanted his graduates to acquire the technical mastery and entrepreneurial skills, enrich their intellects and spark their creativity, and develop a sense of social justice that would translate into action.