Speaking by Drawing

Speaking by Drawing
Bogdanova. Urbanity: experienced, imagined, designed.
Intuitive drawing as a creative process of collaborative understanding of the environment-in-becoming

Viktorija Bogdanova
Ljubljana, Slovenia; Veles, North Macedonia
Team members
Viktorija Bogdanova
Field of work
Architecture, Urban planning, Visual Art, Multimedia, Research
Project category
Project submitted

I am an architect, a poet and a visual artist based in Slovenia, whose primary medium of expression is poem-drawing. My work is an intertwinement of three lines of fascination:

cultivating spatial storytelling through literary and visual modalities in architectural research; teaching narrative instruments for a sensitive depth-reading of historical, cultural and spiritual layers of a place; translating research into design-driven imagination of site-specific realities.

My life is driven by practicing, teaching, exhibiting, dancing and drawing performances as an embodied practice of communicating and discussing experienced spatial values as the foundation of a sensitive design-driven research.

“Friendship is a mirror to presence and a testament to forgiveness.” David Whyte

In the architectural communities, writing and drawing are acts of "taking time" to reach a deeper level of understanding, to become friends with the place of research, as well as friends with our own selves.

What if drawing is transcended from a personal form of visual speaking into a communication platform for encouraging spatial discussions?

Can drawing grow into a living artefact, a language of communication among artists, citizens, interviewees, urban designers, dancers, movie makers?

What if drawing can encourage speaking as a performance of truly seeing and understanding the city-in-becoming?

* “drawing” here includes visual essay, poetic visual prose, storyboard, photography, map-making etc.

One is reaching out through drawing to a stranger
to become a friend with the place discussed,
to approach the place without over explaining,
to experience one’s own emotions
by drawing them out,
by speaking them out to the other,
who replies with a thought-in-the-making
as the hand flows though the paper,
holding the chalk that
gives voice to unconscious urban feelings.

Drawing by speaking gives birth
to an informal environmental thinking.
The informal invites us to discern who we are.
To transform what is unconscious into a creative consciousness.
To be genuine rather than polite.
To awaken the specificity of our way of relating to reality
and to strive for something beyond mere survival.

And finally,
to trascend one’s own experience
of one’s own urbanity
- embodied, felt, revived –
into a constellation of lines and colors,
witnessing a collective palimpsest
of spoken and drawn storylines,
told by beyond-citizens who have grown
into sensitive readers and true friends of their own Place.