School of Architecture, Planning & Landscape

Event Items

The Chair and the Figure exhibition at The Shipley Art Gallery

Stage 1 architecture drawings on display

Date/Time: Until 30 March 2017

Venue: The Shipley Art Gallery, Gateshead, NE8 4LB

Our Stage 1 architecture students produced these drawings for The Chair & the Figure, a project that forms part of their first term at the School. The original work consists of large-scale 1:1 pencil drawings of chairs ranging from the Bishop’s throne and Quire Stalls at Durham Cathedral to Marcel Breuer’s Wassily and Long Chair, as well as an Eames chair and ottoman, alongside contemporary chair designs presented to the students by Newcastle furniture designers. The Marcel Breuer chairs, accessible to the students thanks to The Shipley Art Gallery, are extremely rare design objects. The ability to interact with such rare design objects was an invaluable opportunity for our students.

The Chair & the Figure introduces the mechanics of technical drawing, while at the same time helping students become more aware of changes in design attitudes and style over time. The project also explores the relation between chairs and the human form, a conceptual standard of measurement or “module” for architecture in treatises and figures ranging for Vitruvius and Da Vinci to Le Corbusier. 

The students began with analytic sketchbook studies of the Platonic “form” of a chair: plans, sections, and elevations, as well as exploratory 3D sketches. Working in groups they then produced 1:1 drawings of various specific chairs they had been assigned to study. Groups presented these collaborative drawings at their final review, together with research into the history of the chair under study.

The resulting images are being exhibited in The Shipley Art Gallery until 30 March 2017.

Shipley Gallery