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Drawing Architecture Studio

Drawing Architecture Studio (DAS) was founded in 2013 by Li Han and Hu Yan in Beijing with a commitment to the practice of architectural drawing, architectural design, and urban studies. Through their works, DAS explores the potential of architectural drawing as a unique medium to document, represent, and critique social realities in the context of contemporary urbanization. They derive inspiration from the tradition of architectural representation and integrate influences from pop art, the aesthetics of postmodernism, and contemporary popular culture to create magnificent urban landscapes. Their drawings are featured with high density, complex details, and clear line style for the representation of diversified contemporary urban culture. DAS has exhibited widely in China and abroad. Select exhibitions include the Chinese Pavilion and the Japan Pavilion at the 16th Venice Biennale of Architecture, the 7th Bi-City Biennale of Urbanism/Architecture in Shenzen and Hong Kong, Architecture in Comic-Strip Form in Oslo, and many others. Their works are the winning pieces of the overall and digital category of the annual World Architecture Festival’s Architecture Drawing Prize 2018 and RIBA Journal’s 2016 Eye Line drawing competition. They are in the collections of The Museum of Modern Art in New York, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, and Pingshan Art Museum in Shenzen. DAS’s publications include A Little Bit of Beijing, A Little Bit of Beijing · Dashilar, Hutong Mushroom, Apartment Blossom, The Joy of Architectural Drawing, and Chinese translation of Atlas of Novel Tectonics. Li Han is a national first class registered architect in China. He received his B. Arch. from Central Academy of Fine Arts in Beijing and his M. Arch. from RMIT University in Melbourne. Hu Yan received her B. Fine Arts from Concordia University in Montreal.
Hu Kangyu

Still Life in the Windy City

Venue: Graham Foundation

A traditional still life portrays objects arranged on a table; this drawing, in the form of a traditional Chinese scroll, extends the definition of objects to the scale of the city. Still Life in the Windy City illustrates life in an imagined community in the southwestern suburbs of Chicago that Drawing Architecture Studio developed referencing public space in Beijing. In both Chicago and Beijing, found objects may play a more powerful role in the community public space than architecture. Compared to architecture, objects are independent from their surroundings and are not bound to a fixed location. Objects are usually easier to make, more convertible, mobile, or sustainable, and they can bring more resources together. In this drawing, eight scenarios are depicted around different objects that transform their environment, including a tent that becomes a vegetable farm, fitness equipment that becomes an outdoor gym, furniture that creates a carpenter workshop. Additionally, markets sprout up in car trunks, various recycled items—such as furniture, home appliances and other discarded things—are used to make a garden, an inflatable device becomes a playground, a tricycle is used as a food stall, and a shipping container transforms into a stage. These functional objects become a series of hubs in the community, connecting people in the neighborhood. Still Life in the Windy City proposes that instead of creating new architecture, the modification and use of found objects offers creative solutions that nurture community building activities and yield a more flexible and sustainable future for design.

Traditional Chinese scroll painting emphasizes spatial continuity with smooth transitions between scenes. While utilizing this technique, Still Life in the Windy City also integrates the illusion of depth borrowed from Renaissance frescoes. Here, identifiable Chicago architecture is depicted in the distance to render different urban perspectives.

Past Works

Samsara of Building No. 42 Dirty on Street

Taobao Village - Smallacre City

Analogous City for Art