What shapes a plane? What is a plane?
In our Transparent Drawings, we draw planes all the time. You might say that to draw an enclosed and resolved form, all we are drawing is planes. Most of them are curved and warped. But a Transparent Drawing is an assembly of connecting planes.
A house is an assembly of connecting planes. A car is an assembly of connecting planes.
We tend to think of planes in a dichotomous manner. Let’s think of a wall of the building you are in. As we think about why, for example, the windows are where they are, our interior viewpoint is different from the exterior viewpoint.
When arranging windows in a wall from the interior, we of course need to position them to provide the most function. You want to see out of them. They will bring in natural light.
Now think about those same windows in the same wall from the outside. Our mindset is completely different. From the exterior, we typically consider the proportion and balance of the windows. Does their arrangement and positioning evince any rationale? Is there an order? Are they culturally correct?
Planes, as they exist in nature. are the result of a pushing and a pulling on either side. Think of the plane, or wall, of a cell. The shape that it takes and the permeability of it is, more or less, the byproduct of an equal set of forces. The shape and features of the cell’s wall has a much to do with what has to get into the cell as what has to get out.
“The challenge of drawing is to show this, to make visible on the paper or the drawing surface not only discrete, recognizable things, but also to show how the extensive is one substance.” P. 113.
A transparency to our drawings enables us to imagine this concept of one substance, this concept of planes that are shaped by equal forces on either side. You can’t imagine this balancing of forces when we draw representationally. And that’s because you can’t see thru the wall you just drew!
So any plane, or wall, or surface that we draw, given that we can see both sides, we are able to imagine the forces that shape that plane on both sides.
1.Berger, John. Bento’s Sketchbook. Random House. New York. 2011.