The Analogical Surface: City, Drawing, Form and Thought

McEwan, Cameron orcid iconORCID: 0000-0002-0683-1708 (2018) The Analogical Surface: City, Drawing, Form and Thought. Drawing On, 2 . pp. 17-31. ISSN 2059-9978

[thumbnail of VOR]
PDF (VOR) - Published Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial No Derivatives.


Official URL:


This paper, and its accompanying suite of drawings and montages, approaches surface through Aldo Rossi’s notion of the analogical city. It does so in three ways: firstly, as the surface of the city, secondly as the surface of the drawing, and third as the analogical surface of thought between city and drawing. The first surface emphasises plan-based representation centred on an analytical gaze looking from above or outside to the city as a whole. The second is a quasi-perspectival and frontal surface with the analytical gaze looking at the city from the inside. The third surface is the conceptual hinge between those two positions. Through these three readings of surface I will discuss analogical strategies of formal, representational and disciplinary critique (including critique of scale, situation, form, space, figure and ground). I will discuss how the process of the critical removal of form creates an analogical space for projective possibility, and how the accumulation of form amounts to an erasure of form in Rossi’s work. The accompanying drawings and montages operate specifically in dialogue with Rossi’s analogical city, but function more broadly as a move toward developing the formal knowledge of architecture as a cultural and critical project.

Repository Staff Only: item control page