SAH News

Katherine J. Wheeler Reviews Drawn from Miami Exhibition in JAE

by SAH news | Feb 21, 2014
SAH member Katherine J. Wheeler has published a review of the Drawn from Miami exhibition (December 6, 2013 through February 7, 2014) at the Miami Center for Architecture and Design (MCAD) in the Journal of Architectural Education (JAE). Katherine's review appeared on the Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture website.

On an unseasonably chilly day in downtown Miami, with the wind curling down the streets, I stepped into the new Miami Center for Architecture and Design (MCAD) to see the inaugural exhibit, Drawn from Miami. The vaulted space of what must have been the main hall of the historic Post Office Building holds the gallery, and the eye is taken by the juxtaposition of historical and new elements. On the left, an inserted steel-plate stair bends up to the second-level conference spaces and offices, and to the right is the light-filled gallery.

Drawn from Miami presents a fascinating range of drawings by Miami architects and of Miami projects spanning almost 100 years. It focuses on hand drawings as opposed to digital and reveals the diversity and creativity of designers and artists as well as a range of drawing and project styles. Curators Allan Shulman, Nick Gelpi, Jake Brillhart, Jean-Francois Lejeune, and Terrence Riley rightly note in the introductory panel that to understand the image of Miami, the exhibit should include drawings of both built and unbuilt projects that created its increasingly cultural image. And if any city is about image, it’s Miami. There is no doubt that this exhibit grew from earlier ones in which Shulman and LeJeune were involved, including Interama at the Miami History Museum, and their knowledge of the archives shows here. They have sourced from university and museum archives, private collections, and collections of architects, with the drawing types ranging from fast, conceptual sketches, to sketchbooks, diagrams, design development, and renderings. Many of the drawings have not been previously exhibited or published, and the possibility of a catalog of these works is most welcome.

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