Drawing Conceptual Views

On a visit to the New Territories, we stopped at this walled Tang village, featuring a hierarchical grid layout, as well as examples of traditional ancestral halls, which have similar grid layouts organized by masonry and timber structural systems—seemingly simple yet capable of such spatial richness.

When drawing from observation, we can capture not only what the eye perceives but also what the mind conceives. We can use the drawing process to think about, visualize, and explore in imagined and imaginary ways the conceptual basis for the environments we see and experience. In this case, simple plan diagrams of the structural and spatial layout along with side views of the gable-roofed portions help us first to understand, then remember, and finallly convey the three-dimensional attributes of the ancestral halls.