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Wednesday, 24 July 2013

Sketching Urban Place: People, Space and Street - with Richard Alomar

The first workshop of the USK Barcelona Symposium was all about understanding urban space and how it was created for the people living in it.

This might be a strange thing to say, considering the subject of the whole symposium, but I had never really thought about the places we live in in these terms.

Sure, I understood the basic principles, for example that a street is supposed to lead you some place, but it had never (consciously) occurred to me that some places were designed to be lived in, enjoyed as such, and others just for their utilitarian purpose, to serve some function.

Richard Alomar's workshop introduced me to the concepts of path, transition, entry and point of focus of a place, which in turn led me to think about my sketches in a very different way.

Check out this link to read a full description of the workshop.

For the first exercise, we had to do very quick 30-second and 2-minute sketches of one place, then moved to another.

It is a stressful exercise in the beginning, but it helps to go to the essentials instead of focusing too much on details.
Capturing space in a few quick strokes
Another exercise was first describing a place in words : what we were seeing, hearing, smelling, etc. before sketching those things. Again, very interesting exercise to help understand what we are going to draw.

We did these exercises a few times until we reached Plaça Reial, where we stayed for about an hour and had more time to do a more complete sketch.

Plaça Reial - I had a lovely time sketching this with two adorable ladies from England at this point
I loved this workshop (as all the others). Richard was very dynamic and his instructions were clear. It was a great way to start this symposium.