Archive for March, 2007


When I class a post on this blog as ‘off-topic’ I do so with caution, as it’s probably far too early to dismiss anything as being ‘off-topic’. Jeet Heer, a Comics Journal forum user sent me back to an earlier post of mine about Will Alsop and Winsor McCay to point out something that I’d most definitely missed.

Yes, Gray and McCay were both Masons. There is a subtle masonic joke woven into the famous “Little Nemo” page with the walking bed. The bed stumbles against a church steeple, causing Nemo to fall back into waking life: the idea being, as per Masonic doctrine, that organized religion is a stumbling block to the imagination and freedom.

There is a fair bit of Masonic themes in Gray’s work as well: the orientalism of many of Daddy Warbuck’s aids (Punjab, Wun Wey, the Asp) who form a brotherhood to protect innocence and goodness (Annie). Warbucks and company are an international fraternal order, held together by a common decency that trancends culture: the masonic ideal in a nutshell.

Or consider the figure of Mr. Am — a jovial diety in the Annie world. He looks like Santa Claus and dresses like an arabian sultan; he’s lived forever and testifies to the unchanging verities of reality (and of human nature); he’s a benign and jovial god, but somewhat distant from human concerns. He’s illustrates the principal of deism.

You learn something new every day…




My thanks go to billym (another user of the Comics Journal forum) who put me on to another artist who work I recognise but I hadn’t thought to look into: Ben Katchor. The picture above is an frame from A Date in Architectural History, a strip by Katchor in the January 1999 issue of Metropolis magazine. Follow this link for the whole strip.

I just love the mild humour of this short strip – perhaps that’s because I’m an architecture student training to enter a profession which has a strange language and value system that is so rarely mocked. Notice also the large panel: I don’t recall ever seeing an architect draw a building like that.

For any other newbies out there like me, there’s a good interview with Katchor by Catherine McWeeney here.


Frequent is the architecture student’s cry of disbelief when someone recommends a building to him, only to find it’s one that he vaguely remembered seeing somewhere before, but which he never had the foresight to think of. Today’s star suggestion over on the Comics Journal message board came from user tapvd, who directed my attention towards the Dutch artist Joost Swarte. Not only as Swarte a remarkable and prolific producer of comics in the ligne claire style (like Chris Ware), he also recently partnered with Mecanoo Architects to build this, the Toneelschuur Theatre in Haarlem, near Amsterdam. A trip to the low countries was already on the cards for my forthcoming easter break, so maybe a diversion via Haarlem will be in order.

Time to get my European Railway Timetable out. Thanks again to everyone making suggestions over the Comics Journal message board.


The sun continues to shine convincingly on Strasbourg, and my days remain conveniently free of scheduled classes. During my last visit to Sheffield, Renata Tyszczuk recommended that I read Diana Periton’s essay The ‘Coupe Anatomique’: sections through the nineteenth century Parisian apartment block (in The Journal of Architecture, Autumn 2004 pp. 289 – 304). Finally with some time to focus on it, I topped and tailed today with two particularly bohemian reading sessions: with a coffee this morning, sitting outside my favourite Strasbourg café, watching the theatre of the city’s busy streets; and then again this afternoon, in the warm early evening sunshine pouring into the bar beneath my apartment. With the sun perfectly framed between the tall buildings on the other side of the street, I made some really interesting notes that are beginning to gel some of my earlier ideas. Periton introduces the essay:

In French popular literature of the later nineteenth century, such as illustrated newspapers, or the ubiquitous guides to and didactic histories of Paris, the section through the Parisian apartment block becomes a familiar image. These sections reveal the anatomy of Paris at a glance. They use our understanding of the domestic interior, particularly the way it regulates activities and flows, to present a summary of the city through the ordering of its constituent elements.

A hybrid of the technical drawing, that shows construction and infrastructure, and of an assemly of pictorial tableaux, they are seductively banal. Seductive, because they give us an overview of the normally hidden world of the interior, made miniature and caught between the pages of a book or magazine. Banal, because in doing so, its mysteries are laid bare. The systems that structure the city, from its social divisions to its networks of electricity conduits, are explicitly set out.

Diana Periton, The ‘Coupe Anatomique’
Journal of Architecture, vol. 9, p. 289

The journal is illustrated with copies of the sectional drawings that Periton explores, however you’ll have to find a copy of the journal yourself to see them, since I’m not able to reproduce them here (the article cites the shelfmarks of the original publications in the British Library in London). At the very first glance, however, these prints are to my eyes instantly interpretable as comic strips; sectional cuts and perspectives that present each room as an individual panel with – as Periton explains – varying degrees of animated occupancy. There must be something in the Parisian water that encourages the French to look in on their urban environment so closely: I was instantly reminded of the wonderful novel by Georges Perec, Life, A Users Manual, in which the dozens of separate yet intermingled stories and histories of the occupants of a Parisian apartment block are told.

Periton charts a short history of three published Parisian ‘coupes’, or illustrated sections. The first to be examined is of a single five story Parisian town house by the French writer, photographer, illustrator and caricaturist Bertall, first published in 1845. The second is from 1769, and is a slightly earlier but wider section through an (idealised) Parisian street by the architect Pierre Patte. Periton introduces the third as a ‘hybrid’ of the first two: it’s by the writer and history Baron Alfred-Auguste Ernouf and comes from his 1885 publication l’Art des Jardins.

Today’s ‘lightbulb’ moment of sudden realisation came this afternoon, as the sun slipped out of sight and the rapidly shifting shadows on the white tiled floor of the café moved over my green-topped table. Bertall is approaching his section of the Parisian town house as a characturist, presenting a series of stacked vignettes. Patte, however, is an architect, showing the houses, street and even the drains below the surface of the paved street as a complete urban system. His rooms are noticeably vacant of human occupation. In these two sections, we already have what would appear to be the first seeds of the seismic gap between the way that architects and cartoonists present buildings. Bertall embraces the variety of human activity in the building. Periton describes the building’s activities and quotes from the caption that appeared with the picture in its first publication, a weekly newspaper.

On the ground floor, we read, the caretaker, a little over-excited, is dancing a mazurka with his wife, while mademoiselle their daughter plays something more like a sonata or a nocturne on the piano, with the kind of talent that will allow her to marry an elderly genetleman who has fallen on hard times. ‘On the first floor, we are yawning over the velvets and silks. This is the old morale of marble halls. On the [next] …, we are less rich, and more awake’; but we are warned, teh viture and happiness of this floor, the ‘entente cordiale’, show but one not entirely dependable aspect of the race that occipies it, the ‘bon bourgeoisie’. In the mansard, a man has just beaten his wife, and ‘a philosopher, a poet, perhaps, shelters his genius under a [home-made] … dome in the ceiling…’

Diana Periton, The ‘Coupe Anatomique’
Journal of Architecture, vol. 9, pp. 289-291

These images are a French parallel to the earlier sequential prints of William Hogarth that I saw earlier this month in London. Like Hogarth in the previous century, Bertall is styling himself as a moralist, and using the readily accessible and affordable mass media to present a series of vignettes, acted out by recognisable characters. These actors are partly recognisable in the wider and fractured French society by the levels of the building that they occupy; from the grand first floor rooms to the low and angled ceilings of the cheaper and unornamented garrets. Periton explains how Bertall was using the ‘coupe’ to explore contemporary changes in French society.

In another of Walter Benjamin’s examples of ‘panoramic literature’, Les français peints par eux-mêmes, Jules Janin writes that ‘the Charter [of 1830, which brough in Louis-Philippe as a constitutional ‘bourgeois king’, and removed the aristocracy from government] has, as it were by enchantment, created among us an entirely new set of characters, of strange and incredible manners’. French society, he declares, has become ‘an infinity of small republics’, each with its own customs, faults, ambitions, etc., and ‘the more [it] … has divided, the more difficult has its analysis become’. It is the job of the ‘moralist’, whether illustrator or write, to attempt that analysis, to observe and describe, but also to deduce some kind of scheme of specification through which it might be ordered. For Bertall, that scheme is the framework of the Parisian apartment block.

Diana Periton, The ‘Coupe Anatomique’
Journal of Architecture, vol. 9, pp. 291-2

In the first half of the nineteenth century, Bertall used a Parisian apartment block to provide a framework to his anthropological and sociological observations. At the beginning of the twenty-first century, Chris Ware has begun to the use a Chicago apartment building as a framework for a series of interdependent and interconnected stories. There is, it seems, an acknowledged value in architecture as a structural and social framework to sequential art.

The second ‘coupe’ (that of Pierre Patte) is, however, very different. It is, in effect, an architectural treatise, but one that considers the compilation of the entire city rather than just one building at a time.

Patte uses his drawing to decompose the street, a section of the city, into a series of elements that can then be arranged to generate a new and ideal territory. If we allow our eye to move around the drawing by following the labelling system .. it is in order to understand how each element of that territory functions with the next. Patte’s ideal city is a system of instruments, designed to regulate the fire, water, filth and people that come into contact with it.

Patte frequently assures his readers that the aim of conceiving the city in this way is to ensure ‘the happiness of the inhabitants’, to bring about a ‘genuine sense of well-being’. But as he shows it, the city is unpeopled.

Diana Periton, The ‘Coupe Anatomique’
Journal of Architecture, vol. 9, p. 293

Patte is, like many other architects before and after him, well meaning in his desire tocleanse, simplify and re-organise the city into a more ordered image. But in doing his, drawings reveal the city without character or human marks.

Patte asks:

which of us would not imagine that it must be an evil genie, an enemy of the human race, who has foced men to live together [in such a way]…?

His drawing sucks this devil in the underworld, to leave the way for his haunting vacuum of well being.

Diana Periton, The ‘Coupe Anatomique’
Journal of Architecture, vol. 9, p. 295

Periton draws the inevitable connection from Pierre Patte’s section to the subsequent renovation and re-organisation of Paris by Baron Georges-Eugène Haussmann. Taking almost three decades, Haussmann’s plan for Paris sought to modernise, sanitise and redesign the entire structure of the medieval city centre. What is amusing to discover is that the massive building works undertaken to achieve this actually made real the previously imagined building sections of Patte and Bertall.

For witnesses such as Gautier, the incessant attempt to move from chaos to order meant glimpses of a ‘curious spectacle, these open houses, their floorboards suspended over the abyss, their colourful .. flowered wallpaper still marking the shape of the rooms’, houses whose ‘high walls, striped with the swarthy streaks of chimney flues, reveal, like an architectural section, the mystery of intimate distributions’.

Diana Periton, The ‘Coupe Anatomique’
Journal of Architecture, vol. 9, pp. 295-6

The third and final ‘coupe’ that Periton examines is that of Ernouf. The drawing shows the boulevard Saint Germain, in a part of Paris after Hausmann’s reconstruction. As such it is the only section that is in a specific place, but which remains essentially generic. It combines the characteristics of the first two ‘coupes’ to produce a new kind of image. Attempting to present both the narrative detail of Bertall’s house section and the technical sophistication of Patte’s street section, the image is a dazzling perspective view that cuts across a broad Haussmannian boulevard, into the soil, drains and cellars below, and up into a seven storey building.

The city that for Bertall was implicitly there, generating the fluid social hierarchies accommodated in its interiors, has become after Huassmann’s upheavals a metropolis consciously constructed through a complex interplay of networks, distributing ‘the people’, now anonymous, their provisions and their waste. In these image, it seems that the relationship of interior to street must be visibly articulated, to demonstrate that they are strongly differentiated, separately codified components of a continuous system of regulation. The city here is synthesised not by a notion of society, centred on the bourgeoisie, but by its elaborate infrastructure, which links and operates on all those who come within its remit.

Diana Periton, The ‘Coupe Anatomique’
Journal of Architecture, vol. 9, pp. 296-298

I’ll be in Paris 30 March – 2 May and Stuttgart 7 – 9 May. My earlier atttempt to solicit recommendations for comics book stores or libraries in Paris on the Lonely Planet Thorn Tree did not have that much success (“go to Brussels” being one particularly useless suggestion). If you have any suggestions for unmissable bookstores or cultural centres, please let me know


A not insignificant aspect of my interest in comics relates to storytelling. What makes a good story? Is it the story itself, or is it the way that you tell it? A mainstay of public radio in the USA and the UK, Garrison Keillor is surely one of America’s greatest living storytellers. His weekly radio show features a monologue entitled The News from Lake Wobegon, the fictional ‘home-town’ of Keillor. This segment of the show is now available every week as a podcast, and it’s wonderful stuff. You can find out more here, or if using iTunes to manage your podcasts just follow this link.

Photo: Brian Velenchenko

PS… I’ve just realised that in the gushing comment I made about the show on iTunes, I managed to get my spelling of ‘hear’ mixed up with ‘here’. Crap. A career as a serious academic is seeming even further out of reach…


Image: detail from Building Stories by Chris Ware

After a cold week with rain and snow here in Strasbourg, it was a joy to finally have a warm, sunny Sunday afternoon. Especially as I was slightly hungover and deprived of sleep. Nothing lifts the soul like a blue sky, cherry blossom trees and a gentle walk. Making a long promenade around the edge of the island on which the city-centre sits, I ended up at Café Brant near Marc-Bloch University to revisit my earlier post on the introductory chapter of Daniel Raeburn’s book on Chris Ware. That post ended with the rather open ended question…

…if comic artists can structure their pages to present both a space and a time, how can architects look to comics to more actively present their buildings?

The parallels drawn between comics and architecture by Chris Ware made me re-read a couple of notes I’d made earlier. It seems apparent to me that Ware and certain other comic artists have looked to architecture for inspirartion or direction when organising their stories. Musing over this in the smokey wood-panelled café, I came up with two interchangeable questions…

How can comic artists look to architecture to better present their stories?

How can architects look to comics to better present their buildings?

This simplistic approach of looking at the same question from a completely different angle sent me back to Raeburn’s book, and to this quote.

Because comics, like music, are composed by dividing time, each panel is like a window into time, and together these windows form a map whose chain lets us see the story’s beginning, middle and end simultaneously, at least when the story fits on a single page. In a longer story, Ware compensates for the page breaks by deliberately placing recurring images and visual motifs in an identical location on their page spread … Ware does this to nudge the memory and help the reader see more the book at once.

Daniel Raeburn, Chris Ware (Monographics)
New Haven, Yale Universiy Press, 2004, p. 25

Having read that, I realised that I could substitute the following words…

comics with pictures of buildings

story / book with building

Ware with the architect

…to produce this:

Because pictures of buildings, like music, are composed by dividing time, each panel is like a window into time, and together these windows form a map whose chain lets us see the building’s beginning, middle and end simultaneously, at least when the building fits on a single page. In a [larger] building, the architect compensates for the page breaks by deliberately placing recurring images and visual motifs in an identical location on their page spread … the architect does this to nudge the memory and help the reader see more the building at once.

And suddenly we have what could be described a comic artist’s description of how to present a building through pictures. Not only does it make sense, it brings into sharp contrast the manner in which an architect would normally present a building.

Would any architects care to comment on this new definition of drawing buildings?

This blog announced itself on the discussion forum of The Comics Journal today: a big hello and warm welcome to readers who followed the link, your thoughts and comments on any of the subjects posted here are greatly appreciated. Welcome also to the select group of friends, colleagues and acquaintances I emailed earlier this weekend. I promise that you are more than just an incentive for me to make regular posts…!


(a single page from Jimmy Corrigan by Chris Ware; click on the image to expand it)

Catching up on some articles on Chris Ware’s work that were referenced in other texts that I’m reading, I was particularly interested to read these analogies from Ware about the structure of the complex and non-liner nature of his graphic novel Jimmy Corrigan.

The book’s remarkable jacket, which unfolds to a 24″ x 16″ blueprint of the multiple Jimmy Corrigan storylines, was proofed five times. “It’s complex,” admitted Ware, who did the proofing himself. “It’s kind of like a Web page, smashed down.”

Nissen, Beth, A Not-So-Comic Book, 3 October 2000, retrieved 24 March 2007

“…I first drew Jimmy Corrigan in 1990 in Austin,” [where Ware produced weekly cartoon strips for a college paper] “but I started developing his story in 1993. It was like a tree, growing outwards.”

Nissen, Beth, Transcript: An interview with Chris Ware, 3 October 2000, retrieved 24 March 2007

Jimmy Corrigan is undoubtedly one of the most complex non-linear stories every published. This non-linear narrative is evidently not a construct; it is also how the graphic novel was drawn, like a tree that grows in three dimensions and many different directions at once.

Ware likens the fold-out book jacket to a web site. Complex web pages of different overlapping pages, sections and levels are frequently summarised in ‘site maps’. These attempt to ‘flatten’ an effectively three dimensional virtual space into a single flat atlas of interconnecting linked pages. It’s an old age solution to modern age technological problem: facilitating navigation in virtual spaces by applying a flat surface to explain and map it.

Many of Ware’s drawings are smaller than that: The characters and neat lettering in his panels are often eye-strainingly tiny. (This reader neaded a strong light and a magnifying flass to see all the details and read every last word.)

“I don’t actually draw them that small — the original drawings are about double the size you see in the book,” said Ware. “But I have them reduced a very small image. Smaller makes for a more compact world, a little magical world.”

Nissen, Beth, A Not-So-Comic Book, 3 October 2000, retrieved 24 March 2007

An architect is normally employed to produce drawings that will determine the construction of buildings, usually on paper or on a computer screen. The plan of a building drawn by an architect will be many times smaller than the finished building. But the original comic strips produced by a comic strip artist will frequently be reduced before appearing in their finished published form. It’s not just a difference of scale, it’s a different approach to the connection between the drawing and the finished product.






What better recommendation to find a certain book than personal recommendations from three different people. The words ‘architecture’ and ‘comics’ have directed me to a Belgian series called Les Cités Obscures by Benoît Peeters and François Shuiten . I have the first two albums and will write more shortly. Until then, this quote from co-author Peeters:

Et déjà nous nous en rendions compte: dans une histoire comme celle qui s’annonçait, le décor ne pouvait pas être l’élément secondaire qu’il était dans la plupart des bandes dessinées. Beaucoup plus que le malheureux Franz, ballotté d’un lieu à l’autre sans bien comprendre ce qui lui arrivait…

Benoît Peeters, Les Murailles de Samaris
Paris (?) Casterman, 1993, postscript

Which I would tentatively translate as:

And then we realised it: in this kind of story, the decoration could not be the secondary element which it was in the majority of comic strips. It was much more so than the unhappy Franz, bouncing (?) from one place to another without understanding what has happened to him…



From an article in the French magazine L’Express (no. 2906, 15-21 March 2007) previewing a forthcoming architecture exhibition in Paris, I found this article and a comment on the Sharp Centre for Design at the Ontario College of Art and Design in Toronto.

“Cet architecte m’a toujours fait pense à Little Nemo et à cette BD de Winsor McCay dans laquelle les pieds de lit deviennent d’immenses jambes,” explique Patrice Goulet, le commissaire de l’exposition. “La sensation provoquée par ce gigantesque parallélépipède est étrange! On ne sait s’il enjambe délicatement le bâtiment qu’il domine ou s’il s’apprête à le pulvériser. Les projets de ce Britannique sont des machines à remonter le temps. On reste ébahi.”

Or in my shaky translation:

“This architect always reminds me of Little Nemo and of Winsor McCay’s cartoon, in which Little Nemo’s bed frame grows immense legs,” explains Patrice Goulet, the chief curator of the exhibition. “The feeling caused by this many-legged monster is bizarre! We don’t know if it delicately spans the building which it dominates or if it is about to pulverize it. The projects of this British architect are machines to return to time and time again. One remains amazed.”

In the process of reading Ogée & Meslay’s introduction to the Tate Britain Hogarth exhibition catalogue last night, my tired eyes leapt into life at the sight of this passage, which provoked some connections with Daniel Raeburn’s commentary on Chris Ware.

[A Rake’s Progress and The Four Times of Day] confirmed his increasing mastey of the series as a pictorial format: in both cases meaning and narrative are generated not only by a highly innovative manipulation of figures, architecture and space within individual paintings and engravings; but also by the subtle pictorial relationships that he sets up between the different images that make up each series.

Frédéric Ogée & Olivier Meslay , Hogarth
London: Tate, 2006, p. 16

As usual, it was the occurence of the word architecture in a non-architectural text that caught my eye. On re-reading it, however, it seems there is a strong precedent for Ware’s skills as a sequential artist in William Hogarth. A similar appreciation of both micro scale of a single panel and the macro scale of the whole assemblage is undeniable both in Ware’s cartoons and Hogarth’s morality sequences.


The image above is a detail of one of the images that initiated this project. It is the third instalment in a series of cartoon strips by the American artist Chris Ware that will eventually chronicle a single day – hour by hour – in a Chicago apartment building, to be published under the title Building Stories (currently being serialised in the Independent on Sunday). In introductory panel, Ware has removed the elevations and roof of the building to reveal its interior, showing the occupants, furniture and discarded socks within. The structure and internal divisions of a domestic building provide the initial framework to a story that will involve the inhabitants of the building, reminiscent of both a dolls’ house and Georges Perec‘s use of an apartment building to connect the disparate lives and stories of its inhabitants in Life, A Users Manual.

This study takes a particular interest in Ware’s comics, graphic novels and artwork. Ware’s work has been phenomenally successful and has been widely discussed in both the specialist and mainstream media, most notably after winning the 2001 Guardian First Book Award for Jimmy Corrigan. His precise drawings and close study of typography and graphic design has created an instantly recognisable style of graphic art that develops comics from sequential images with speech bubbles to a more coherent and complex art form.

“The basic idea of comics is just slapping word balloons on top of drawings,” Ware says. “That is so boneheaded.”

Daniel Raeburn, Chris Ware (Monographics)
New Haven: Yale University Press, 2004, p. 10

An early concern I had with this dissertation was that it would be easy to be sidetracked by engaging comics and graphic novels that featured idosyncratic representations of buildings, but which did not adequately further the development of a discourse between comics and architecture. Ware has already stated some of his thoughts on the use of architecture in comics however, and Building Stories is already a stimulating development of a cross-over between the structure of sequential art forms and architecture.

Ware compensates for the page breaks in the composition by deliberately placing recurring images and visual motifs in an identical location on their page spread, visually linking parallel emotions and events in the lives of the Corrigan men … to nudge the memory and help the reader see more of the book at once. This points out what we might call the architecture of comics.

Daniel Raeburn, Chris Ware (Monographics)
New Haven: Yale University Press, 2004, p. 25 (my emphasis)

Ware has been employing ‘architectural’ techniques in his work for many years now; Building Stories is merely the most convenient opportunity for us to draw direct parallels between his aesthetic techniques and those of an architect. Many architects are, for instance, familiar with the strategy of repeating elements to help navigation or to encourage observation, for example by using the same material or circulatory structure to guide people through a building.

Ware subsequently draws a important parallel between comics and music. A comic strip might be made up by a series of images, but through the participatory act of reading them, the reader brings a story to life by introducing an element of time to a knowingly constructed narrative.

“What you do with comics, essentially, is take pieces of experience and freeze them in time,” Ware says. “The moments are inert, lying there on the page in the same way that sheet music lies on the printed page. In music you breathe life into the composition by playing it. In comics you make the strip come alive by reading it, by experiencing it beat by beat as you would playing music…”

Daniel Raeburn, Chris Ware (Monographics)
New Haven: Yale University Press, 2004, p. 25

Raeburn concludes the introduction to his study of Ware with an observation of a note made by Ware in one of his sketchbooks. Quoting Johann Wolfgang von Goethe:

…[Ware] copied “ARCHITECTURE IS FROZEN MUSIC.” Beneath it he scrawled, “This is, I think, the aesthetic key to the development of cartoons as an art form.”

Daniel Raeburn, Chris Ware (Monographics)
New Haven: Yale University Press, 2004, p. 26

My personal fascination with comics, graphic novels and other forms of sequential art lie close to this analogy. The very act of picking up a comic and reading it, interpreting the words and the pictures (itself an act that varies from artist to artist) transforms the fixed ink marks on a page into a living story that occupies time and which employs a narrative to flow through it. One might argue that cinema or video art incorporate time into their works, but of course the control of the passage of that time remains in the hands of the artist. Comic book artists have both the gift of being able to lay down a rhythm of time through the structure of the page and the individual panels, and the open ended opportunity to allow each reader to find their own tempo in the beats that are presented.

Many of Ware’s cartoons employ ‘silent’ sequences, when characters who inhabit a scene make no ‘sounds’ or engage in no dialogue. This sophisticated skill of being able to present a period of time in a comic book that passes in silence demands a closer investigation. The analogy between architecture and comics certainly cannot be limited to one direction only: if comic artists can structure their pages to present both a space and a time, how can architects look to comics to more actively present their buildings?


11.jpg 21.jpg 31.jpg

Click on the thumbnails to see notes on Daniel Raeburn’s introduction to his book on Chris Ware (Monographics) published by Yale University Press, 2004.

4.jpg 5.jpg

Click on the thumbnails to see (largely illegible) notes from my visit to the Hogarth exhibition at Tate Britain.


    "no words no action" was an experiment in academic blogging. The blog recorded the progress of reading, research and investigations that lead to a Masters in Architecture dissertation at the University of Sheffield in autumn 2007. You can find out more about the author's interest in blogging here.

    To find out more about the thesis, download the original dissertation proposal (pdf format) from February 2007 or the semi-formal first chapter (pdf format) from April 2007.

    Further research projects are in the works, and their dependence on human interaction and networking suggests more blogging will be inevitable when the time comes.


    At the time that this blog was created, James Benedict Brown was a fifth year Masters of Architecture student at the University of Sheffield. James' personal blog is here.

    James graduated in 2008 and now lives and works in Glasgow.


    This project was supervised by Renata Tyszczuk at the University of Sheffield


    If you want to correct me on something, offer an opinion on a particular artist or building, or if you'd like to recommend someone or something to find out about, please feel free to leave a comment. Just click on 'Comments' under the headline of the relevant post...


    Click here to browse James' bookshelf, and to purchase books being used in this project.


    I've managed to miss almost half a dozen compelling conferences around the world so far this year, simply because I have no (more) money to travel and no time to escape my studies in Strasbourg and Sheffield. However, if I had a magic plane ticket and plenty of time, here's my selection of essential conferences to attend. Hopefully I'll be there for more of them next year... click here for the diary (updated every time I miss another one).

  • NOTE

    All images are used for illustrative purposes only, and the copyright remains with the artist and/or creator. Please contact me if I have misappropriated an image or incorrectly credited it. Thanks... JBB


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    The content of this blog is licenced under a Creative Commons Licence.

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