Scale As the Representation of an Idea, the Dream of Architecture and the Unravelling of a Surface
This paper is an investigation into the issue of the drawn scale and fragmented phantasia. The paper follows Italo Calvino’s notions of the instability of scale with the representations of phantasia that are revealed in the drawings of the Smith and Caughey Building (1927). Scaled drawings can be seen as the demonstration of an architectural idea, the architect attempts to fix fragmented dreams in logical sequences, by building understanding step by step. This hoped for logic is expressed in a system of scaling and eventually the nature of forms that are too complex to be seen at a single glance become clear. The scaled drawn detail becomes an act of clarification, of unravelling, a visualisation of the imagined. The drawn is directed towards future ‘non-drawing objects’, ‘operis futuri figura’, an undreamt future and the complicating of a surface.