Primitive Drawings

The cone, the sphere, and the cylinder are geometric solids derived from a circle. Within our contemporary digital framework a cone is a singular object that is a built-in component in most software platforms, a primitive. The same could be said for the sphere or the cylinder. However, these massive and apparently singular forms are composed of sets of simpler geometric elements: the circle and the point. In the history of architectural drawing, the ability to break down the cone, the sphere, and the cylinder into specific geometric properties has made these figures not only significant formal elements but also drawing instruments in their own right. Stereotomy, the drawing practice used to develop the shape of stones within vaults is a central example of this. Within this drawing practice cones were used to draw toroidal vaults, hemispherical domes, and simply to break down spheres into developable surfaces . These three simple solids, the cone, the sphere, and the cylinder can therefore be understood as geometric elements capable of describing forms of a higher degree of complexity than themselves. By extending this logic into the digital realm, it is possible to imagine geometric primitives not as something to be aggregated, intersected with, or subtracted from but as drawing instruments. Drawings instruments that are capable not only of creating simulated three-dimensional form, but also describing form through flat two-dimensional variants of orthographic drawing. All drawings created for this project are two-dimensional orthographic projections that deploy conic sections as drawing instruments.