In his class Ex Graphica, Professor Jim Dawkins of the Department of Interior Architecture and Design asks students to develop their work beyond function and into tools for communication. Students are pushed to develop their work beyond each element’s designated role into a position of kinetic expression, transcending the notion of simple plan, elevation or perspective so that graphics can communicate emotions and moods to those that view them. Students who are already trained in the fundamentals of design learn how a design practitioner conveys ideas before they are built to prospective clients and users— accommodating a full range of client needs including functional, emotional, psychological and spiritual. Graphic communications that speak to them in multiple ways can stir their souls and make connections to the potentialities of built space in new ways that point toward the future.
This course is offered each year to design students who are looking to explore processes and techniques beyond the skills learned within Graphic Techniques I, Graphic Techniques II, and Construction Systems classes. In Ex Graphica, Dawkins steers the course away from the typical conclusion of creating a rendering for final presentations, instead guiding students toward asking bigger, existential questions in term of design. The goals of the course are for students to seek to discover, examine and apply student-driven explorations of sketching that enhance conceptual and schematic design drawings, communicate more clearly the intent of design and construction details, and form the basis of sketches to support successful client meetings and consultant work sessions. Students learn to develop skills, techniques, and processes that will more clearly, concisely, and completely communicate design intent in a graphic manner. The resulting work presses the boundaries of graphic communication that showcase the students’ capacity to empathize with the entirety of their client’s needs.
*Renderings of student works above include work from Laura Greenwood and Sarah Rifqi