Tag Archives: Ignis: The Central Fire

Building Expectations! Final Roughs

The expectations build for Building Expectations! Here are the final steps in my process before arriving at the finish:

After many rounds of making drawings and a few key conversations with the curator of Building Expectations, Nathaniel Walker, I honed in on a train-shaped temple design I liked. And then, of course, it was death by tiny buildings!

Final Temple Design for Industria

I had hundreds and hundreds of tiny buildings to draw in 3-point perspective to “build” the city of Industria. Colored pencils on tracing paper helped me keep different sections in order as I began to construct a composition that would work as both the cover of the exhibition catalogue and the centerpiece of the show. The temple and a strong foreground was important for the right-hand side, which would end up being the front cover of the catalogue:

Early Compositional Layout for Industria

But the back cover needed strong visual weight too, to balance the city detail. Perhaps a very large building, and a moving road with robots? The entire piece also had to contain a significant number of key architectural details from the book, such as French gardens, smoke stacks, glass/iron and “lacy stone” buildings, a “moving road,” and robot slaves. And, of course! a happy couple on a flying machine. And a cat, just because:

Composition Draft in Colored Pencil

And here’s a look at the final rough draft for the drawing, a combination of drawing and gray digital tone:

Building Expectations will open this Friday, September 9th, at the Bell Gallery at Brown University. The final drawing, View of Industria, was executed in graphite at 36″ x 48″ and digitally colored for the giclee print. More views coming next week!


Building Expectations! Early Sketches for the Temple

Ignis: The Central Fire, by Didier de Chousy, is the story of building a Utopian city around a hole straight to the earth’s core. This steamy wonderland, full of moving roads and glowworms, flying machines and glass houses, revolves around its train-shaped temple built on a platform over the great hole. Worshippers and civilians alike gather there to celebrate man’s industrious future!

Writing by the seat of his pants through tangents and digressions, de Chousy describes the temple as inspired by both the Parthenon (Greece) and the Pantheon (Rome). As the temple sets much of the visual tone for the city architecture, it was a natural place to begin sketching for my drawing for the show Building Expectations: Past and Present Visions of the Architectural Future at Brown.

Here are few sketches of the temple design, with great thanks to Google Sketchup for enabling me to build a 3D computer model to help with the circle perspective:

Up next: the final rough sketches for Industria!