School of Architecture College of Design

Form is a Verb


Workshop Summary

This catalyst focuses on drawing.

When a designer uses drawing as a tool, it is typically done to represent a construction or assembly—and since these are architecture’s main currencies, drawing form is a reasonable act.

But while form defines space, it is simultaneously formed by it. So, we might begin to understand space and form, not as oppositional, but as interdependent, each signaling the other its qualities and prompting responses. This suggests a reading of architecture as something taking place between space and form. In other words, architecture is a verb. If this is the case, then as architects our work is to understand, predict and direct the effects of space and form. 

This catalyst will develop some methods of drawing that seek to represent the forces that inform form. And reciprocally, seek to understand and analyze the effects that forms generate. The multi-faceted stuff that is in-between forms, connecting them, implying their boundaries. 

Can those effects and forces (heat, motion, sound, movement, currents, intent, desire, joy, sadness…) influence form? Do they have a form of their own?  How can we begin to described them, draw them?

Drawing as inquiry. 

Drawing as analysis. 

Drawing as observation that leads to communication and (sometimes) a proposition. 

Drawing as generator. 

“In architecture form is a noun, in industry form is a verb.”

—Buckminster Fuller, Nine Chains to the Moon


Guest Instructors

Luke Bulman, THUMB, New York



Blair Satterfield, UBC + HouMinn, Vancouver



Guest Biographies

Luke Bulman

Thumb / Luke Bulman is a Brooklyn-based graphic design office directed by Luke Bulman.

The office works on public and private projects, most often in the areas of architecture, art, design, and culture.

Thumb is fond of…
grosgrain ribbon
grey paper
"not a just image, just an image"
the back
triggers and blooms
awkward transitions . . .


Blair Satterfield

Principal Blair Satterfield is an Associate Professor of Architecture at the University of British Columbia School of Architecture and Landscape Architecture in Vancouver, where he serves as Intirim Chair of Architecture. Satterfield holds a Chair of Wood Building Design of Construction at UBC. His ongoing research centers on material behavior and production processes. He is currently conducting research on vacuum forming and paper pulp forming and was awarded a 2015 Hampton Grant to perform research on the latter. He has been a Visiting Critic at Rice University and a Research Assistant Professor at the University of Houston where he directed the development of projects for the U of H Green Building Components initiative. Blair has also been a Visiting Assistant Professor at the University of Minnesota. Marc and Blair were the Micheal Owen Jones Fellowsat the University of Virginia in 2009. Satterfield received a Bachelor of Science in Architecture from the University of Illinois in 1991, and a Master of Architecture from Rice University in 1995.


Faculty Hosts

Blaine Brownell and Marc Swackhamer, University of Minnesota


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